Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making Laundry Soap

   Some time ago we had some pipe problems in the area connected to our washing machine and sink. It seems the laundry detergents had been building up a glassy-type coating in the pipes that eventually blocked them.
   Several shoveled trenches later, we replaced those pipes and started researching laundry detergents; the making of them and the cost effectiveness of making them. With much test and trial, we have developed our version of home made detergent. Let me share it with you.

bar soap (such as Zote, Fels Naptha, or your home made soap)
baking soda
boric acid (Borax)
washing soda (Arm & Hammer)

two bars of laundry soap, grated
   The first ingredient is bar laundry soap, such as Fels Naptha or I used two bars of Zote. Personally, I grate my soap by hand, however, a food processor works just fine. Size of flakes really isn't important here because we are going to blend it in the food processor in just a minute. The key is to get the bars grated and ready to process.
   Using the largest mixing bowl you can find, measure out your soap ingredients. For every one cup of grated soap flakes add one cup of borax, one cup of wash soda, and one-half cup of baking soda. Once this is measured out, get your food processor ready.

blending the soaps into a fine powder
   Now, this step is optional, but I really like the soap to be a finer powder than it is when measured out. I place scoops of the soap mixture into a food processor and pulse it until the bar soap is almost not noticeable. Blending it like this, the soap dissolves better in our cold wash cycles.

into the soap container
   The soap is stored, in powder form, in an airtight plastic container. I make as much soap at one time as my container will hold. As the soap is poured into the container after blending, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the soap and stir well. Sometimes I add tea tree oil, however, I often leave it as is.
   This soap has several household uses. Using the soap for laundry, I add one fourth a cup to a standard wash load. If washing my husband's work clothes (he's a welder) I add half a cup and use an extra large cycle. If you make a paste from the prepared soap, you can pre-treat a stain. Mixing the soap with water (equal parts) will result in a gel/liquid version of laundry soap. For scrubbing powder, mix one cup of prepared soap with one half a cup of coarse salt and a few drops of essential oils. In the dishwasher, simply fill your soap tray with prepared soap mix. Mix a teaspoon of soap with a sink of warm water for hand washing dishes.
   We have been using this soap for several years now (in the uses mentioned above) and are very satisfied with the results. Being mild in nature, this soap is gentle on the skin and non-drying. We have recently used it for scrubbing barn implements and stock tanks!


Rachel Willow'z Design said...

this is awesome. thank you so much i can't wait to try it out.

Simply Scaife Family said...

You're welcome. I hope it works for you- we sure like it!

Hibiscus House said...

Hi, I see where you stopped by Dolly Is Cooking and left such a nice compliment. I thought I would repay the visit. I am now following you and love your blog. I have seen the recipes for the soap before but never had the nerve to make it. Your's seems like I might be able to tackle it.. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I love making laundry soap! My recipe is a gel, I don't think powder would work with our hard water.

I love the pink soap. I often use either fels or homemade soap, so my laundry gel is either yellow or white! Fun variations.

Stopping by from farmgirl friday. :o)

Simply Scaife Family said...

Welcome Dolly and Mooberry Farmwife, so nice to have new visitors.
This soap is super easy, I think..I need simple to stick to it; just don't have the time for a complex version!!
I have made gel in the past and it does great as well. As for the pink's what was available at the local market...ran out of it today, so the next batch will be yellow since the fels is yellow. Change is always nice!

Blackberry brambles said...

I make the gel also, out of the same things you use except, mine doesn't call for baking soda? so I'm going to try this one to see how it work in our water. We also have hard water,can't wait to try it.