Homemade Laundry Soap-modified from Grocery Cart Challenge
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Soap, cut up
1/2 cup Borax powder
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
soap scent (optional)
1. First, grate 1/3 of the soap and put it into a saucepan, (I found it easy to chop on a cutting board and with a knife, but if not, use a food processor).
2. Add 6 cups water and heat until the soap melts.
3. Add the washing soda and borax, stirring until dissolved.
4. Pour 4 cups hot tap water into your bucket.
5. Add your soap mixture and stir it together. Add the soap scent here if you want, (I added some to give it a little smell since the finished product has basically no smell).
6. Add another 22 cups of water and stir to combine.
7. If you're interested in adding a fragrance, it needs about 5 drops per batch. I think it's fine without it though.
Let the soap cool and set for 12-24 hours, (I give mine 24 hours).
The finished product jells up. It won't have a normal consistency. Part of it will be jello and part will remain liquid. It's ALL the same thing and dissolves in the laundry tub. No need to try and break it up.
Each load takes about 1/2 cup laundry soap.
Borax... cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens the water (I found this at Wal-Mart for around $3.00)
Washing Soda... cuts grease and neutralizes odors (I found this at Kroger for around $3.00)
Fels Naptha... is a stain remover (I found this at a small, local hardware store, Do It Yourself, Stewart Brothers I believe for around $2.00). I asked if they carried this all the time and the man that helped me said yes they do.
Soap Scent... gives the smell you want (I buy mine at Hobby Lobby in the soap making aisle. I think they're about $2.00 for a small bottle, but you only need about 5-10 drops, depending on how strong you want the smell to be, so it'll last you awhile).
This recipe easily doubles, just make sure you have a 5 gallon bucket.
Side note: My husband has VERY sensitive skin to certain laundry soaps and breaks out badly. This homemade didn't break him out AT ALL. He did great the first time and continues to do well with it. Thought you might like to know in case your family member has sensitive skin.
Revised, June 26, 2011:
I went to Kroger today (on Stage Road) and they have all the ingredients needed to make this homemade laundry soap. Fels Naptha was $1.29, 20 Mule Borax powder was about $3.89 and the Arm & Hammer washing soda was $3.39. The Fels Naptha you'll get 3 batches out of and the Borax and washing soda you'll get at least a dozen out of. I just now bought washing soda, it's been about 1.5 years since I've had to buy it. That just shows how long this stuff lasts, much longer than store bought laundry soap!!! Try it, you'll love it!