Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I've been wanting to make my own laundry soap for a while now.  I have my own reasons for wanting to do so.  First off I do TONS of laundry a day, so the cost of soap, plus the annoyance of running in to town to buy MORE soap is frustrating.  I'd definitely like to bring the cost and travel down.  

There's also the fact that companies pump their products full of harmful chemicals to make our clothes supposedly look, feel, and smell better....something I definitely don't like exposing my family to.

The main (and really the REAL) reason why I want, need, have to make my own laundry soap is for my poor baby #2.  He has dreadfully awful allergies and eczema.  I have to buy the dye-free, fragrance-free soap for him, but even then sometimes there are hidden chemicals that irritate his skin.  I've been on a search to find a good soap that won't irritate him, but its hard to find.  I usually get ALL Free & Clear, which works the best so far, but going back to my first reason, I don't like having to buy a new bottle every 2 weeks.  It gets expensive.  I'm telling ya, with 3 little boys running around, I've got LOTS of laundry!

So we're giving homemade soap a try.  I searched the internet high and low for a good recipe.  They're all basically the same.  My sister has been making her own for a while now and handed her tried and true recipe over to me.  I let her do all of the testing and dingying of whites for me.  We both have hard water (even though she's in Wyoming & I'm in California), so her recipe is adjusted for just that.  I've been using it for probably 3 or more weeks far so good!  Everything is coming out nice and clean, so there's no complaints here!

Homemade Laundry Soap
  • 1/2 bar soap (my sister uses Fels Napa, but since it has fragrance in it, I chose to use Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Bar Soap, which I found at Trader Joes.  If you can find it somewhere else, they have LOTS of other scents-which are essential oils, NOT chemical fragrances!- that you might like better for your laundry) Update:  Now that I've been using this for a little while now, I can safely say that I LOVE it!  It works better than any store bought stuff ever did.  The only change that I've made is to the soap.  I loved the Dr. Bronner's (I actually loved the peppermint scent!), but it seemed to irritate my little Captain's skin (not as bad as normal detergent, but enough), so I switched to Trader Joe's Oatmeal & Honey soap bars.  So far so good!
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 cup OxiClean (powdered)
Grate the bar of soap.  You can do this with a regular cheese grater or your food processor (I used my food processor, but beware, its pretty hard on it, so do with caution!).

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor, chop until it is a fine powder (NOTE:  the soap won't be quite as fine as the rest of the ingredients).  Poor into an air-tight container.

For a HE front loaders, use 1 Tbsp.

For normal, non-fancy top-loaders, like my own, use about 1/4 cup.

You can add or subtract the amounts of soap you use according to how your clothes turn out.

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