So what am I up to now???
Liquid Laundry Soap!
Over the years, I've read about women who've made their own laundry soap with great success. It looked easy, so I figured since I'm close to running out of the commercial stuff, I'd give it a go.
I gathered the important "stuff":
I shaved 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap with my food processor. Btw, it took me longer to get the thing out and put it together than it did to shave the soap! It took like 5 seconds.
See what a good job it did?
Meanwhile, In a 2qt. saucepan, I heated approximately 5 c. of water to a boil on the stove. I added the soap shavings *after* I reduced the water to a simmer and covered with a lid. Once in a while, I stirred it up.
While the soap was melting, I filled a 5-gallon bucket with about 3 gallons of hot water. A 2qt or gallon pitcher works great for this. Then I added 1/2 c. of washing soda and 1 c. of borax. A wooden spoon works good to stir it all together. I could've put in some sort of scent (essential oils) at this point, but I don't have any so I didn't.
After the soap is melted, I added it to the bucket and this is what I got:
Cover and let it "brew"!
I just happened to have a frying pan lid that perfectly fits the top of a 5-gallon bucket. Who would've thunk it?? Incidentally, I did this on my lunch hour. At 9pm, the concoction in the bucket was still warm! I did stir it occassionally.
Different websites varied on what the consistency should be. I think it depends on the amount of borax and washing soda put in, but don't quote me on that. The soap may be watery or gel up in areas, or may be slightly lumpy in areas. Some said theirs came out like pudding. In any case, it's all normal!
24 hours later... Again, on my lunch hour I got to see the fruits of my (15 minutes) labor!
Using a measuring cup and funnel, I transferred it to gallon jugs that I had in the basement, complete with directions label. (I'm sooo proud of myself! *giggles*)
It actually made 3 1/2 gallons, but who wants to see half a jug? No one.
If you're like me, you'd be wondering: "This is great and all, but what's the cost breakdown?" (The accountant in me, ya know? Can't help it! Shush.)
Cost break down: (as of 2011)
• Borax: $2.98 for 76 oz. Cost per batch: 63cents (16 oz. needed for recipe)
• Washing Soda: $2.99 for 55 oz. Cost per batch .43cents (8 oz. needed for recipe)
• Ivory Soap: $.99 for 3 3.1 oz. Bars. Cost per batch: 33cents (1 bar of soap needed for recipe)
• Or Fels Naptha $.97 for one bar. Cost per batch: 32cents (1/3 bar needed)
Cost to make: approximately 1.38cents
Yield: 464 oz.
Cost per oz. = .00303
One-half cup (4 oz) is what's needed to wash normally soiled clothes. That makes it 1.2 cents per load of laundry!! How many loads? About 116!
As soon as I finish up the rest of my commercial laundry soap, I'll be trying this and let ya'll know what I think. I've been using borax as a laundry booster for a while, and Fels Naptha is a good stain remover so I'm guessing it'll work just fine.
P.S. This is a low-sudsing soap and works fine with top loading, front loading, and HE machines.