front porch trash

front porch trash

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Have you ever thought about what is in your laundry soap?
Does it clean your clothes?
Does it smell good or bad?
Is it safe for the environment?

Can you pronounce the ingredients in your laundry soap? How many are long chemical names that you don’t have a clue what they are? 

Well, I read the ingredients in my laundry soap and did a little research. I found out that the basic ingredients in laundry soap are borax, washing soda, salt and all of the chemicals that make it smell good, suds up, not clump up, and look pretty ( and water if you use liquid soap). If all you really need are borax, washing soda and some kind of soap why do we pay for all of the other stuff? Salt is used as a filler, color stabilizer, and water softener and is not necessary for good cleaning.  Borax and washing soda were good enough for our forefathers so they are good enough for me.

If you check the internet you will find hundreds of homemade soap and laundry soap recipes. I found several recipes and combined them to make my own recipe to fit my needs.

If you think laundry soap is difficult to make I am here to tell you it’s not. It is very simple. All I use for laundry soap is borax, washing soda, and a bar of soap. 

 In the past I have used Fels Naptha soap, which is an old soap that was used by my parents and grandparents. A very good cleaning soap that is great for lots of things. It is a laundry soap, a hand soap, will get rid of poison ivy oils to prevent the rash and lots of other things. Cleans diapers really good. One of the problems I have had is its availability in my area. Until recently I have not been able to find it in my local stores. Harris Teeter now carries it locally. Because I could not find Fels Naptha locally my daughter helped me make old fashioned lye soap to use as the base of my laundry soap. Works for me. I know what is in my soap. Do you?

Let’s make some laundry soap!!

What you’ll need:
          A big enamel pot (no chips) or stainless pot (mine holds 10 qts)
          Wooden spoon, long handled
          A 5 to 7 oz bar of soap
          1 cup borax
          1 ½ cups washing soda
          2 gallons water, divided
          Essential oil, your choice of scent 
                              (optional, I don’t use a scent)

Pour one gallon of warm water into your pot, bring to a boil.
Grate bar of soap.

Add soap to boiling water and stir until melted.
Remove from heat.
Add borax and washing soda, stirring well.

Add one gallon of cool water, just cold from the tap.
Mix well. Add essential oil when soap has cooled, 15-30 drops depending upon your personal preference.

You can continue stirring with your wooden spoon several times until the soap cools. I have a stick blender that I use to mix the soap. I blend several times as the soap cools. The secret is to get it mixed really well before you pour it into your storage container. The more the soap cools the more gelled it becomes. The stick blender is a quick way to mix well.

That’s it you are done.

I store mine in a 2 gallon kitty litter jug, but any jug will do. Just save old laundry jugs or you can use a bucket with a lid. Plastic is the best. I give my jug a shake before starting laundry and I am good to go.

Use ½ cup per load for top loading machines.

This soap is safe for the environment, easy to use, cleans great, and cheap to make.

 Cost analysis: bar of soap    $1.39
                       Borax                .46
                       Washing Soda   .42
                        Well water        .00
                       Total Cost      $2.27

That is $2.27 for two gallons of laundry soap!!!
(Cost in my area, may be different in your area of the country.)

How does your laundry soap add up?


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