I like a bargain. Who doesn't?
I've been making my own laundry soap for a while now and I am simply amazed how inexpensive it is to make compared to the detergent prices in the store. Frankly, I can't tell one bit of difference in how it cleans our clothes. One thing I have noticed is the soft clean smell each time I use it, which isn't always the case with store bought laundry soap. All the ingredients are easily found in the laundry aisle. I do have to admit, I'd never heard of Fels Naptha soap before making this but I found it easily.
* Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($2.98)
* 20 Mule Team Borax ($3.19)
* Bar of laundry soap (Fels Naptha) $1.98)
Grate soap and put in a large sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat until soap melts.(about 15 minutes) Add washing soda and borax. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of very hot water into your bucket or container. Add soap mixture and stir. Next, add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. As the soap gels, stir it periodically. Even when it cools it will separate so it needs to be stirred before using.
Use 1/2 cup per load.
*** Now, here is a little secret *** When I make mine I take the easy way out and I skip the entire sauce pan part. I simply put all the ingredients together in the container I'm using. I'm sure to use super hot water though so it helps dissolve the bar soap. I do have little pieces of bar soap that don't dissolve but it's no big deal. I just make sure I use those when I'm doing a load of whites or other warm temperature clothes to help the pieces dissolve better.
You'll need a container to store this in. I use a small plastic 'tote' with a lid but you could use a five gallon bucket or whatever you'd like. I keep a ladle on top of the tote I use and simply give it a quick stir before each load and then pour in a ladle of detergent.
The box of Borax contains enough for at least 10 batches of detergent. The box of washing soda contains enough for about 6 batches. You can use whatever type of bar soap you want when making this detergent (Ivory or a generic brand)
The cost of the Borax is .32
The cost of washing soda is .50
The cost of bar soap $1.98
Which adds up to $2.80 for an entire batch of laundry soap. One batch will last us 5 months! And believe me, for just two people in our house, we seem to do plenty of laundry! That is about 56 cents a month. That is less than $7.00 for an entire year!
It's hard to say no to that kind of savings.