Are you trying to cut down on household costs? If you have a big family and you do heaploads of laundry at least thrice a week, it might be time for you to consider making homemade laundry soap. You can spend as little as $0.71 per load when you make your own soap and it’s so easy. All you need are these three main ingredients. They don’t change whether you’re planning to make liquid or dry laundry detergent. They are:
- Washing soda
- Ordinary, and preferably cheap but nice smelling bar soaps.
Making dry homemade laundry soap
Dry homemade soap is easier to make because there’s one key ingredient taken out of the picture: water. Water could be difficult to handle so most homemakers opt for this laundry soap recipe instead of the liquid variation. In exact measurements, you will need:
- One cup of Borax
- One cup of washing soda
- One cup of bar soap
To start things off, simply shave an entire bar soap. You can use a cheese grater for this purpose. Just make sure you wash off all the soap debris before using it on cheese again. Better yet, since cheese graters are cheap anyway, just purchase a grater for your soap making endeavor.
Once the soap is grated, put it in the bowl and mix it with the Borax and Washing Soda powder. Stir the dry mixture for about five minutes to make sure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Once your mixture resembled the commercialized powdered laundry soaps, you can keep it in a small ice cream or yoghurt container. Make sure you label it properly so you won’t mistake the powdered homemade soap for food. Keep all ingredients and the soap in a cool dark place to maintain their freshness.
Making homemade liquid laundry soap
Some people prefer liquid detergent or laundry soap over the dry variation. The good news is that this can also be made at home. The bad news is that it’s a bit more difficult to accomplish. You will need:
- One bar of soap
- One cup of washing soda
- One cup of Borax
- A bucket which can hold two gallons of water
- A sauce pan
- A grater
- A spatula for stirring
- A stove
- A measuring cup
The only added complication to the procedure for liquid laundry soap is the heating and dissolving of the solid particles into the water. To begin the process, grate the bar of soap first. If possible, also purchase a grater which is reserved only for handling soaps. It would be better if there are zero traces of cheese on your grater. Consequently, you don’t want soap in your food.
Put the grated soap on a sauce pan and add about six cups of water. Continue stirring until the soap has dissolved fully into the water. Remove the pan from heat once it has dissolved, boil about four more cups of water in a different pan or pot, pour this on the 2 gallon pail. Add the borax and the washing soda to the pail, stir to dissolve, and then add the soap solution. Stir just to balance the combined solutions and let it sit for about 24 hours.
The end product should look slightly gelatinous. If the gel isn’t thick enough, you can still use this to wash your clothes, and just add more soap next time. You can also add more water if the mixture seems too solid for your taste.
Advantages of homemade soap over commercial versions
The most obvious advantage of homemade laundry soap over commercial variants is the price. The homemade version is just as effective, but because you’re not paying for the name and you’re doing the mixing yourself, you pay for less than half of the original cost. You also get to control the scent of your laundry soap, its consistency, and its efficiency. The amount of laundry soap per load is the same in both commercial and homemade variants. Add about a scoop for thirty pieces of lightly soiled clothes (this is equivalent to one load). You use two scoops of the detergent if the clothes are really soiled. Most people use homemade soap because the commercial soaps are much too sudsy for their machines. He washing machines use less water and need detergents which rinse faster and better than commercial variants. Cheap bathing soap bars are easier to rinse off than the soaps and harsh chemicals used in commercial laundry soaps. You can save a lot of money not just on the soap but on water too when you use homemade soap.
Liquid vs. Dry laundry soap
Why do people prefer liquid laundry soap over dry detergent? The main reason for this is the washing speed and consistency. Liquid laundry soap no longer needs to be dissolved. It mixes with the water more easily. It also doesn’t leave unsightly crystals on your clothes after washing. On the downside, it’s harder to make. While you only have to mix all the ingredients together with the dry homemade laundry detergent, you still need to cook heat, dissolve, and set the liquid variant. Either homemade variant works as well as commercial laundry soaps. You don’t have to worry about the efficiency of these mixtures. They’re just as capable of cleaning your clothes and removing a significant amount of stain.
It’s best not to make too much of these detergents at once. Keep the ingredients in a cool, dark, and clean place. Look at the shelf life of all ingredients carefully. Make one batch a week unless you feel like you need to use more than a small ice cream container’s worth of detergent. This volume, however, is plenty even for big families. Label the containers of your homemade laundry soap well to make sure they’re not mistaken for food. Keep them out of reach of very small children, and use them according to the instructions given here. You may also add scented oil to your liquid laundry soap if you want a more aromatic scent on your clothes after washing. Orange blossoms are very popular. Lavender is also a good option.