Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap & Fabric Softner

So here is my version of homemade laundry soap. It's not 'mine', I don't know who to give the credit to actually. I went to a women's ministry event in Washington. Later, I found out the receipe is really close to Michelle Duggers except it has more borax in it.

So here is what I do.
1) Boil water and add  1 cup of borax and 1 cup of arm & hammer washing soda, stir in 5 gallon bucket until it is dissolved.
* Be sure to buy the washing soda and not a big box of baking soda!
2) While the next pot of water is boiling, cut up the bar of Fels-naptha soap. (Originally I had instructions to use an old cheese shredder..but cutting it and crumbling it with my hands works so much better for me! & Boil until it is melted in the water and then add it to the 5 gallon bucket.
3) Just keep boiling hot water and adding it to the bucket and stirring w/each pot of water added.
4) Close the lid and let it sit over night to set up. (Remember to put the lid on and place out of the way of children)
5) The next day it will be gel'd, you can use a paint stick to stir it up but really.. the kids and I love to just roll up our sleeves and start 'scientifically smushing' until it is all broken up! I wouldn't recommend it for kids under 5 to help with.
6) Your done! Use 1/4 cup a load. I put some in a spray bottle to use as a stain remover and then place some in an old laundry bottle. Put some marbles in the bottem of the laundry bottle to shake before use. I have also used a cereal container from the dollar store w/a whisk from the dollar store.
Optional Step) Michelle Dugger suggests that you can add essential oils of your choice for a scented soap and you can check out her website for that info. I like the smell of the fels-naptha, so I have never tried that.

I honestly don't know how long a whole 5 gallon tub will last because it depends on the size of your family.. I would bet close to 5-6 months for most families. I usually make a batch every 2 months because I like to give samples out to friends who are curious about making it or trying it. I have also donated to the local shelters! The first time I buy supplies it usually costs about $15 depending on where you live. All you need is a box of borax and arm and hammer washing soda and a bar of fels-naptha and a 5 gallon bucket. Alot of grocery stores are starting to put these items all together! So usually, if I haven't used all the borax on another cleaning project..I only have to buy the Fels-Naptha bar which in Washington, I only paid $.97 for and in Hawaii, I pay $1.27 it just depends on your area but still not bad!)

I never thought I would be someone who makes my own laundry soap.However, when I started couponing. I figured my family was going through a costco size tub of laundry soap a month. That figured out to be $.34 a load. Doesn't sound bad right? Well w/couponing I got it down to $.17 a load..Now it figures to be $.03 a load! From August 2010 to July 2011, my family saved just over $500 in laundry soap costs alone!

So now I also, make my own fabric softner too! Here is the website I used for that . I prefer instead of spraying a washcloth down w/each load. I have soaked 3 washclothes, let them dry and then alternate them in the dryer w/loads. Each one is suppose to last up to 40 + loads.. I'll let you know! Oh, and I just used Suave Conditioner.

So here is the real question...But does it work? Let me tell you, I have an almost 8 yr old son and a 5 yr old girl and I'm married to a sailor who is a jet mechanic! Trust me, we have smells and stains! I have found that very rarely do I have to do a load twice. I use my spray bottle for stains (OH and don't forget, using chalk on grease stains pre wash will usually get the grease out and save the item)..and if I'm worried about a load I double the amount of soap. Nevery had any problems w/my thinking! LOL. I have friends who have used this in high efficency machines and do well with it. Usually the only time I have to rewash is because I forgot to change the clothes into the dryer!

So it all comes down to one thing? What are you going to do with the money you save? (We have been working for 12 months to be debt free and we're getting closer!)

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