Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Laundry Soap

I made laundry soap. We do a lot of laundry. Besides cloth diapers (I typically wash the cloth diapers three times, once with vinegar) and currently lots of training pants and outfits for the bear cub, I also end up washing a ton of rag towels because we use them to clean up messes by the kids and animals, water spills, and whatever else, and all that is in addition to the normal laundry that accumulates by a family of five.

I found the recipe here. It's pretty simple to do. All the ingredients cost me less than $7.00 and should make 192 loads, and that will leave a lot of extra Borax and Washing Soda so each additional 192 loads will cost about $1.00 until I run out of those.

The ingredients. I also added sage citrus essential oil, but I think that was a waste since the Fels Naptha Soap has such a strong scent.

This is the grated Fels Naptha Soap being dissolved in water on medium low heat. The Fels Naptha Soap has a really strong odor and gave me a headache. I might try a blend of Ivory and Fels Naptha in the future. The nerdlet kept telling me I was the best mom the whole time I was making soap. I'm not sure if this is because I let her help or that she thought that making laundry soap was so cool.

Before pouring it into the gallon container. I lost a bit of it because I wasn't patient enough to let it completely drain from the funnel before adding more.

After using the two gallon containers we had in the recycling bin, I had to scavenge for another container to put the remainder in. So I used this bottle that was waiting it's turn in the kiln.

The total amount for 1/3 bar of soap and 1/2 cup each of Borax and Washing Soda was 62 loads (1/2 cup each), plus a few extra in the grape juice bottle. I'll let you know how the soap works after trying it on the next load of diapers.

FYI: For those wondering, before potty training we used around 2000 gallons of water a month. Our neighborhood average is about 6 times that. So the washing of diapers doesn't take that much water, even when running the loads 3 times. I have heard the argument that the water waste is worse than throwing away diapers and I just wanted to dispel that horrendous myth. I also think that likely three times isn't necessary, but I'm just more comfortable with that.


  1. I am definitely interested in the results. My friend made me a similar dry/powder version but it does not get ride of the sweaty smell very well. I am curious to see how the liquid version works. I think I may prefer it.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I have been looking everywhere for the washing soda. We use oxy free right now and I am guess this would have the same results. So I will keep looking. Thanks for posting this!