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Friday, March 29, 2013

Laundry Soap

I've been making my own laundry soap for awhile now. It's great. Super cheap and the clothes have never been cleaner. However, it was a bit messy in the beginning. I used to cook it on the stove and then ladle it into old milk jugs. Next I got a large bucket to pour it in, but it was still kind of a pain to make. So today I tried something different and I liked it a lot. 

First I shredded up a whole bar of Fels-Naptha soap. I mixed that with 6 cups of water and put it into this old bowl that I never use anymore. I then popped it into the microwave. After 3 minutes I stopped and stirred. I did this about 4 times until all the soap was dissolved. 
Then I added 1 1/2 cups Borax and 1 1/2 cups Washing Soda. (I found all of these ingredients on the laundry isle at Walmart. )
The liquid in the bowl was already starting to gel up so after I stirred in the washing soda and borax I popped it back into the microwave for another 3 minutes. 

I then poured it into this bucket. I'm not sure how many gallons this is exactly. (I ended up using a total of 3 gallons of water and it filled it up almost all the way. ) After pouring the soap mixture in, I added another 4 cups of hot water and stirred it around. I then added another 38 cups or so (I'm pretty sure I counted right : ) and stirred again and then put the lid on and took it back to the laundry room to cool down. 

This is what it looked like when I was done. I usually use 1/2 a cup per load. Sometimes  a little more if the clothes are super dirty (my girls Love to play in the dirt). That should give me roughly 96 loads. I've used it with hot, cold and warm water without any trouble. I've never used it in the new front load washing machines so I don't know how that will work out. 

Even though I didn't spill anything on the counter when I was measuring, the Borax tends to leave a little bit of a dusty film on the counter. I don't like that. Soooo... next time I make the soap (which shouldn't be for several months) I'm going to melt the Fels-naptha and water then pour that into the bucket and then take it into the laundry room to add the borax and washing soda and hot water. I want to keep as much of the dust out of the kitchen as I can. 

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