I’ve been making our laundry soap for years. YEARRRSSSSS. I remember once my son saw laundry soap at the store and didn’t know what it was, and it blew his mind that people buy it. He’s been helping make it pretty much his entire life. I finally needed a new batch and wanted to show you how to make laundry soap!
Things to Know:
- About $20 can make a lot of soap
- Ask at your local bakery (even the one in your grocery store) for a five-gallon bucket. The use them for frosting, and usually empties are free. Make sure it has a lid!
- If you have certain types of well water it may not work for you.
- It’s super easy!!!!
Those four things are absolute truth. I got a free five-gallon bucket years ago (make sure it has a lid) and about 2-3 times a year I make a batch of soap that half fills it. I spend about $20 or so each time.
Here’s what you need, with my most recent prices:
6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap ($1 a piece)
1 box of Borax (about 4 pounds) ($4.50)
1 Box of Washing Soda (about four pounds) $4
4 pounds of Baking Soda ($2) (four small boxes, two medium boxes, one large box, whatever you can find.)
The ratio is about 1 to 1 of each ingredient. Incidentally both washing soda and borax come in a box that is right around 4 pounds. One is slightly under one is slightly over. Don’t sweat it. Just go with it.
Over the years I added extra Fels Naptha and once I did I never turned back.
I’m able to get all of these ingredients at Walmart. Some grocery stores have the stuff as do other department stores, or good hardware stores. Usually, the washing soda tends to be on the bottom of the laundry soap area. Most of these things are near stain removers.
You guys, it’s so easy you are going to plotz!
Step 1- Grate your Fels Naptha into your bucket:
I happen to have a large manual food processor, and I use that. I just put it right on top of my bucket and go with it. IF you don’t have one you can manually grate your soap with a hand grater, or use a normal food processor with a grater blade.
If you have nice, fresh soap then you may get large pieces. If you get lucky you get old, dry soap, and it comes out very fine. When Mine is large pieces like this, I take a minute and crumble it up before going on to the next step. You can use a large wooden spoon, or I just go in with my hands and grab fistfuls and squeeze it. You don’t need tiny pieces, but smaller is better. You also want to break up any chunks that managed to avoid the grater. (Like the large piece of the top of this photo)
Step 2- So Easy- Dump in all the powder ingredients. Stir it up.
Notice my stirring paddle? Years ago my son made it for me! It works so great for this!!!
If you don’t have a fancy soap making paddle you can use a large spoon, a paint stir stick, or whatever. I find it easiest to tilt the bucket, scoop down to the bottom, “fold” like in baking, then rotate the bucket. You can also secure the lid tightly and then roll it around, flip it end over end, or whatever.
Step 3- There isn’t one! You are done!! The finished laundry soap should be well mixed, with no large chunks of grated soap. If you are doing laundry and happen upon a large chunk just break it up.
How Much to Use??
So, I happen to have an old (very old, because I’ve been making my own so long) detergent scoop from a store bought soap. I fill it to the level 2. That is with stinky boy clothes, gross family towels, etc. If it’s something light or not very dirty I use even less. My guess is that it’s about 1/4 cup, probably less. When I put the detergent in my soap dispenser the dispenser looks pretty empty. I also have a large washer. You can try just 2-3 tablespoons. Start there are see if you feel you need to go up or down, based on your washer. Your laundry won’t have a “detergent” smell. It should just smell clean. I usually only need a stain stick on the very worst of stains. This soap alone cleans most of our stinky boy laundry.
A Quick Note:
There is also a soap on the market called “Pink Zote” I have used that in the past. I think it is more expensive, at about $1.50 a bar. I don’t remember it working any better or worse, I just prefer the Fels Naptha. If you can’t find the Fels but can find the Zote give it a try.
I have super sensitive skin and have never had an issue with this. With no added fragrance there isn’t much to get your skin flared up. It also washes out pretty cleanly.
I used this when my son was little on his baby clothes and his cloth diapers with no problems!
If you give it a try I’d love to hear about it!! Have you ever made your own laundry soap?