Laundry Soap!

Today is Monday, which means it’s “house” day.  The day I clean, organize & attempt to keep our routines sane.

So today, in the midst of wrangling cats for a vets visit, baking bread, writing letters, paying bills & cleaning, I realized we were low on laundry detergent.  (Yes, I did actually leave a corporate finance job for this, but I love every second of this life!)

About 7 months ago, (or sometime last summer), I decided to start making our laundry detergent.  This was partially due to wanting to live a more natural life & partially due to the fact I was irate over paying a ridiculous amount of money for detergent that didn’t clean our clothes. (Does this irk anyone else??)

After hours of research on the internet, I discovered that yes, we could use homemade detergent in our HE washer (it’s actually better since homemade is low sudsing- the main requirement for HE washers), it was actually doable without me killing myself in exertion & it was even cheaper.  Done.  I was sold.

Over the past few months I’ve taken the original recipe & “tweaked” it some.  Here is my revised recipe:

1/3 bar Ivory soap, grated
1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax

– In the biggest stock pot you have, put in the Ivory soap (I use Ivory.  I like the smell.  Some people use Fels Naptha.  That wasn’t available at my local grocery store.) with 6 cups of water on medium high heat.  Stir until the soap has melted & then bring to a small boil for about 5 minutes.

– Add the washing soda & borax.  Stir until dissolved.  Add 4 cups of hot water.  Stir well.  Wait about 5 minutes.

– Now add 1 gallon + 1 quart of hot water.  Mix well, keep on stove for another 5 minutes or so.  Then remove from heat.

– Wait 24 hours before transferring the “goop” into their storage containers.  I use 2 old milk jugs.  They say the mixture will be a “watery gel” at this point.  I’ve never exactly had it “gel.”  To me it just looks like milky water.

– Use about 1/2 c- 1 cup of soap per load.

There it is.  Nothing fancy.  I don’t add any essential oils or anything- I just like that Ivory soap smell.  In the end it really doesn’t take that long- about 20 minutes or so.  The cost point is another great benefit- all the supplies cost me about $5 & so far I’ve barely used half.  Can’t beat $5 for laundry detergent for 1 year.

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