Thursday, May 2, 2013

Obligatory laundry soap recipe

I know. I know. 

You've seen this recipe all over the Internet. Please forgive me as I add it to my recipe collection here. 

As a bonus, I have done the math about cost savings of making laundry soap vs. buying detergent. 

Here is how I make homemade laundry soap. It only takes me five minutes to prepare a batch.

Homemade Laundry Soap


Bar of Ivory Soap, unscented
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Essential oil (optional)


You may wish to wear rubber gloves but I don't.

1. Get a plastic bucket with lid (like an empty ice cream tub).

2. Shred one bath bar of plain Ivory soap—not scented, with a cheese grater.
    (Beware of any soap or beauty bars with perfumes or oils. They may stain 
    your clothes!)

3. Combine the Ivory soap shreds with:
    2 cups of Borax
    2 cups of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Don’t inhale the cloud of powder while stirring. It’s not too much of a cloud, but still the same…keep your distance. 

Use 2 tablespoons of this soap per load. Some loads I use double (dog blankets) and some loads I add a couple drops of essential oil (um, dog blankets).

If you use cold water and hang your laundry to dry (way to go!), then you might notice white soap spots, just a few. These brush off with a toothbrush, hair brush or fingernail. No big deal, really. Shredding the bar soap finer may remedy this. If you use cold water and dry clothes in the dryer, you probably won’t notice any white spots.

This soap does not make suds and that’s OK. It also doesn't have a scent other than the Ivory soap scent, which is nice. For more of a laundry smell, tumble dry load with a dryer sheet or hang clothes outside for a fresh air scent.

The math:            
Borax (76 oz.—11.5 cups) costs $2.98 at WalMart.
Washing Soda (55 oz.—5.5 cups) costs $2.79 at Schnucks.
Ivory soap costs about 35 cents per bar.

There are 16 tablespoons in one cup.
One bar of Ivory soap shreds into about 4 cups.

To make 44 cups of laundry soap (704 tablespoons):
(1) Box of Borax, 11.5 cups - $2.98
(2) Boxes of Washing Soda, 11 cups - $5.58
(5.5) Bars of Ivory Soap, shreds into 22 cups - $1.93
Total -$10.49

$10.49 should do approximately 352 loads of laundry (704 tablespoons divided by 2…to reflect using 2 tablespoons per load). Compare this to brand name laundry detergent selling for $11 to do only 80 loads.

This method is only smidge more effort but a lot of cost savings!

*Disclaimers: I am not an expert. Your results may vary. Keep out of reach of children. This recipe was not tested on a high efficiency washer. This recipe was used in a home with a sewer system as opposed to a septic system. Prices may change and vary from store to store.

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