Homemade laundry soap: 2 gallons–64 loads for less than $1.00!

I have really delicate skin that cannot tolerate laundry detergent.  So I finally decided not to use any and just wash our clothes/towels in water.  Because we put them in the dryer, it seemed like they were fresh smelling, but they were getting a little dingy.  So I did research about alternatives.  I found some magnets that apparently scientifically remove dirt from laundry and ordered them.  As I excitedly waited for the UPS truck to bring my magnets, I gradually realized that they weren’t coming.  We’ve filed a claim with our credit card company and hope to be reimbursed for the $60.00.  Sigh…

So I did more research and discovered several recipes for using commonly obtainable ingredients that apparently work as well or better than detergent.  None of these ingredients seemed likely to cause my skin problems.  Last week for our weekly vegetarian cooking class we just made pizza and then cooked up a batch of detergent.  I’ve used it for about a week now and don’t seem to be having any skin problems from it and it does get out the dirt!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients (All were available at our local Fred Meyer’s)

1/3 bar Fels-Naptha

1/2 cup washing soda (found in the laundry section and not to be confused with baking soda)

1/2 cup borax

Grate Naptha and add to 2 cups water.  Heat until melted and add 4 cups more water.  Add remaining ingredients and then add enough water to make 2 gallons.  It starts out as a liquid but quickly turns into a gel.  This is easy, affordable and works.  Best of all, it agrees with my skin!

All three ingredients were available at our local grocery store.

The resulting detergent has a jello-like consistency and needs to be disolved in warm water before adding the clothes. Use about 1/2 cup per load.


~ by Anuttama on November 22, 2010.

One Response to “Homemade laundry soap: 2 gallons–64 loads for less than $1.00!”

  1. Hey, Girl!

    I’ve been missing you! Glad to see you back in the land of Blog!!
    Interesting, I just made a batch of this type laundry soap a couple days ago. I use my own home made goat milk soap in the place of the Fels Naptha. I have found that there are multiple recipes with the same ingredients but different ratios. I have used my stick blender to mix up the jello-like consistency you speak of. The gms only produces a fraction of the curds that the FN soap does. I like it better. I only use 1/4 cup per batch in my front load washer. I have found that synthetics don’t come out smelling so good, so I use about 1/8th Cup of store bought laundry soap and it comes out smelling good. It’s amazing to me how much less expensive this soap is than the store bought.
    I always enjoy keeping up with whatever interesting things you are up to.

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