Thursday, July 12, 2012

DIY: Laundry Soap

A sparkling jar of laundry soap,
surrounded by the garbage it created.
As many of you know I am an avid couponer, and take care of my family on an extremely tight budget. Thanks to shows like TLC's Extreme Couponing, couponing has become much harder than before. There are far fewer free and ridiculously cheap items. That being the case, I challenged myself back in January to learn how to make 1 consumable item a month. I could give you excuses as to why I haven't kept up, but they would still just be excuses. I am now going to attempt to catch up, and still post 12 by the end of the year. Please accept my apologies for falling back into my old habits.

Today's attempt at DIY is laundry soap. Thanks to Pinterest I found an awesome recipe. It is a recipe for powdered laundry soap. I have to admit I was skeptical. I haven't used powder in over a decade. I bought it once in an attempt to be more frugal, and My Vet let me know, that was one item, I didn't have to be frugal on. So why am I risking it now? One word, Pinterest. (If you've ever been there, you get it. If you haven't, go there and you will.)

Stepped outside and then came back in
the house, and really noticed how
awesome it smells.
I went to the store and picked up my items. Everything was all together in the same section just like the recipe said. (I spent a grand total of $17 for 2 gallons of laundry soap. Since I only need 1 Tbsp per load that works out to be 512 loads or $.0332 per load. About the same price per load I've been able to score on cheapo laundry detergent with coupons/sales) I set everything out on the counter and got so excited, I quickly dumped it all into a bucket to mix. I then remembered the reason I was doing this, was for my 12 part blog series, and quickly snapped a picture of the tattered remains of my ingredients. The cool jar was a garage sale find from a few years ago, but I have seen them at Walmart, Target, and even our own little Shopko. And I just grabbed an extra Tbsp measuring spoon from my kitchen.

As you know, my house keeping skills are sorely lacking. Consequently, My Vet is constantly complaining about musty odors in the towels. After mixing, I immediately washed a load of towels with my new soap. When I removed them from the dryer, My Vet sniffed them and gave it the MN Head nod of Approval. Comments on the original recipe, mentioned how much they liked the smell, but I found my items to be odorless. It could be that I only used 2 bars of the soap instead of 3. In typical fashion, I glanced at the picture and not at the actual recipe before shopping, Of course couldn't find it at any store in town. I will add one as soon as I can, and let you know if it changes anything.

I have now washed smelly sheets from the kids bed (still night-time potty training) using just the 1 Tbsp of soap. The are clean smelling and even passed a blacklight test!

Here is what you will need:
1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle
1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)
2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.
**I found all my ingredients in the same section of my big box super store**

Update** It has been 6 months and I have only used a little over half of my mix!**


  1. Anonymous1/28/2013

    Would this laundry soap be ok with an HE washing machine? Also, did you grate the fels-naptha soap? I am not sure how it was done. Thanks.

    1. Joy I do not have an HE machine, so I have not personally tried it. I have been told by both friends and family, that you can use it in an HE washing machine. Because each of the individual ingredients are HE friendly.

      They are also Septic friendly if you are not on City Sewer and Water.)

    2. To grate the Fels-Naptha I just used a kitchen cheese grater.


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