Monday, January 15, 2007

THE FRUGAL HOUSEWIFE


HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP TUTORIAL

Take 2 bars of Fels Naptha soap and grate with a box grater.
Place grated soap in large soup pot and add very hot water to nearly the top of the pot.
Approximately 1 gallon.
Leave overnight.
By morning, the soap will have melted and absorbed the water, and will look like one big gelatinous glop. Heat the glop over a medium heat till melted...maybe 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a 5 gallon bucket, put approximately 1 1/2 cups of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder, and 1 1/2 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster (all three of these items can be found in the laundry/bar soap aisle of your local grocer)

To the powders, add very hot water, approximately 4 gallons, (less, if you used more than 1 gallon in the fels naptha pot) stirring to dissolve.
Finally, add your melted soap/water mixture to the bucket. Your total amount of liquid should be about 5 gallons, maybe a bit less.
I stir off and on through the day with a long piece of pvc pipe. Mixture will thicken to the consistency of pudding.
Have husband/son carry bucket to the washer/dryer area.
Soap is now ready to use.
I add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 cup per load of laundry.
This laundry soap does not get sudsy, like you are used to.
But I find it gets my clothes as clean as any soap I've used in the past...except for perhaps Cheer.
And for approximately $3 or so for a 5 gallon bucket...I'm not complaining!

Make sure you grate the soap and add your hot water the night before you are going to make the soap. I tried just melting it on the stove w/o letting it set overnite, and it took a couple of hours, and stunk up the house like soap!
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20 comments:

Aunt Jenny said...

Great tutorial Cyn..this is the exact recipe I use too..and dosn't it work great??

Lovella said...

I'm wondering about your soap recipe. Does it last indefinitely? Also, I have a a front loading washing machine that requires 'he' detergent. Perhaps your soap would work just as well since it is less sudsy. I'll check the Canadian supermarkets to see if those items are on the shelves. Thank you for the tutorial. I'll give it a try.

Shabby in the City said...

Well, I'll 'B' wouldja look at that? I'm wondering where I'm gonna find in the overcrammed laundry to fit a 5 gallon bucket!

kansasrose said...

Thanks for posting this Cyn! Does Wal-Mart sell naptha?

Anonymous said...

When I made this one, hubby complained that it left a film on his clothes and refused to use it so we went back to using an environmentally-friendly off the shelf brand... But I think it's great to have both the know how and to save a $! (This is Wildside, I often can't sign in after typing up my comment unless I click "Anon" because I'm on the new blogger...)

Mimi said...

I love it, Cyn! I have always wanted to make my own cleaning stuff. It would have to be in fairly small batches, though.

FarmgirlCyn said...

Aunt Jenny...I think the soap works just fine! I found the recipe on the net
Lovella...not sure about the front loading machine, but this has pretty much NO suds
Shabby...I put mine right between the washer and the dryer on a tiny plastic table!
KRose...WalMart does sell the naptha, but you might have to check a Super Wal-Mart
Wildside...I have never noticed a film, but could it possibly be a hard or soft water problem? Ours here is hard water...so hard it ate thru my dishwasher!
Mimi....no reason you couldn't cut the recipe in half, tho I think it would last pretty near forever...can't think of what could possibly rot or go bad in it.

Cindy said...

Cool! I think I may just try that!

Cindy said...

Oh, and Thanks Cyn!!

Linda said...

Gee, that sounds like alot of trouble to me. I am for the environment and all of that, but I think I will buy my soup off the shelf. I feel I've accomplished something when I actually get a load of wash done. I admire you for doing it.

Run Around Paris said...

wow...i would have never guessed that you can make your own laundry soap - very cool!

Clare said...

How very inspirational to make your own - I do buy the Ecover range of products so I suppose I'm doing my bit for the environment!

cityfarmer said...

I shall nominate you for the Oprah show!!!!

Overwhelmed! said...

I've never made my own soap before. Sounds like fun! Thanks for the instructions.

homemakerang said...

SOMEWHERE IN THYME opened a new store right across from the old Rainbow in G-ville!!! its HUGE!!! i went today...

lucy said...

I've been wanting to try this, thanks for the tutorial! Do you think you could add a scent somehow? Like maybe with essential oils or something? My clothes have to smell good for me to believe they're clean, lol!

Katie said...

Great idea - but I couldn't get any of that...I have started using about half the 'recommended' amount with no problems though. That stuff is expensive!

Mindy said...

Great idea and so frugal too! Enjoyed the pictures..:)

FarmgirlCyn said...

I don't really make my own laundry soap because of the environment...far from it. I do it because it is so cheap! And since funds have been extremely tight around here, this was a way I could save a LOT of money with really, very little effort!
As far as adding scents, from what I understand, you could add some essential oils to the mix, but the act of rinsing pretty much washes it away. Actually, my clothes now have a "clean" smell, rather than a perfumey one.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Ok - I am going to try this one - I try to go "no fragrance or color" though.
Your readers to this entry might be able to help me - I am trying to figure out what "Spanish White" is - it's an old ingredient used to clean mirrors, silver, etc - desperate for it.