Today friends, we’re going to talk about laundry soap! I haven’t been making this for very long; but I’ve still learned a few tricks on the way. I do this mainly for 2 reasons. First being that I don’t want the large plastic packaging (big surprise coming from me :P). The 4 ingredients I use are all in 100% recyclable material or don’t have any wrapping at all. Quick side note, I recently found 2 more of the ingredients in bulk, where I can bring my own jars to fill. SCORE! Second, I have sensitive skin and don’t want the chemicals in the store bought versions. My reasons are simple enough. Pretty much as simple as the actual recipe!
Before I made my first batch, I searched YouTube for hours (not even kidding!). Trying to figure out which recipe would work best for my needs. I landed on a super simple powder detergent. I tried that for a few weeks but I decided against it in the end. We wash our clothes in cold water always and parts of the powdered detergent were not dissolving. So it left my clothes full of little white soap granules. Now my question went to “what do I do with the batch I already made?” After another hour or so of searching, I stumbled across a simple recipe, already including the very same ingredients I had! All I had to do was dissolve them in hot water and mix! So alas, that batch was saved, and let me tell you, I couldn’t be happier! I even passed some jars along to family members and recently they asked for me to make more! Some of the pickiest people I know, wanted more of my easy DIY laundry soap! Who’d a thought!
So to start, there’s only 4 ingredients in this recipe:
¼ cup of Borax
½ cup of Washing Soda (important note: NOT baking soda! You can find it at any natural/health foods store)
A whole bar of soap (your preference)
15-20 drops of Essential oils (again, your preference)
And you will need:
10 liter bucket
Container to help pour mixture (I used a large measuring cup)
Air tight jars/containers of your choice for storage
Emulsion blender (it’s fine if you don’t have, a whisk will work well too)
1) You’re going to grate the bar of soap. I found mine at a natural foods store, luckily enough, it was not wrapped. You can use what you find works for you. Just using a regular cheese grater, nothing fancy, grate the entire bar. We do this so it’s easier to dissolve in the water.
2) Dissolve the grated bar of soap in 2 cups of boiling water. Whisk until it’s fully dissolved and you can no longer see small pieces of soap.
3) Fill up a bucket halfway with warm to hot water.
4) Add in the dissolved bar of soap, ¼ cup of borax and ½ cup of washing soda. Mix well until everything is fully dissolved. It should be easy since the water’s nice and hot already. Fill up bucket fully with more warm to hot water.
5) Once you’ve finished, add in the essential oils. I used peppermint because I love the smell but you can use any you like, just to make your soap nice and fresh smelling. Mix well and cover (I used a towel). Place your bucket somewhere over night so it can gel.
6) After 16-24 hours, you’ll notice it’s become quite thick and gel like. This is a good thing. Take either a whisk or emulsion blender to break up the hunks. It will give you a nice runny and soap consistency.
7) Place in your containers using a funnel to make the whole process easier. Wipe down any spills. For my containers, I’ve re-purposed an old fabric softener jug I found in my mom’s recycling bin and old, cleaned out wine bottles. You can choose anything that will work for you.
8) Store your home made laundry soap indefinitely (since it’s only soap and won’t spoil).
9) Using ¼ cup to 1/3 cup per load (depending of course on how much laundry you have in the washer), this batch should last for several months.
*I need to mention that we have an older version for a washing machine, and I’ve never had a chance to use it in a High Efficiency (HE) model. HE soap does not make suds in your laundry, and although I’ve never witnessed any in mine, I would proceed with caution.
So now you can see how simple the process was for me to make it, and I hope you’ll give it a whirl. And just like many other Zero-Waste efforts, I have to add a shout out to how much cash you’ll save! All my products maybe cost me 5$ per batch (Max). And this batch yielded me 9 liters. Enough for my family for well over 8 months. That’s a huge lift off of all our wallets!
For more tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook ‘Live Waste Free‘. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you on the Zero Waste path.