Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

I love doing laundry.
I realize this makes me slightly odd, but it's true. I don't understand why people hate it. It's not an especially hard task, all you do is dump the clothes in the machine add a little soap and walk away. I suppose it's the folding that gets most people, but I also don't mind that. I love how the smell of the nice clean clothes gets all over you and how you can just rub all over the softness of a clean shirt... yep, I know... total freak... but I'm not ashamed of my strange love.
I've recently started making my own laundry soap and I must say, I love the stuff. It's cheaper, better for the environment and in my opinion washes cleaner (our clothes are so much softer using this then they were with store bought liquid detergents) and it's super simple to put together.

You'll need:
Washing Soda
Natural Soap (such as Ivory or Dr Bronners)
A container/jar to mix everything up in.

The ratio for the detergent is 1 part washing soda - 1 part borax - 2 parts grated soap.
Because the mixture is based on a ratio scale I like using the jars with measurements right on them...

less thinking you see... mine was a spaghetti sauce jar that was thoroughly washed after we ate the sauce...

As my jar had the measurements on it, I added 4oz of washing soda and 4oz borax...

Grate your bars of soap all up and then dump into the jar.

Give it all a good shake and then check out your measurements as the levels will have decreased and you'll need to add more soap until you have your final 1-1-2 ratio completed.
(pre shake-age)
(post shake-age... I totally rocked your world right there didn't I?)

And voila!

I used Simply Aloe scented Ivory soap (it took 2, 90g bars) and it makes me swoon. It's not a strong scent but it's very clean smelling without being perfumy. There are many recipes out there for "homemade laundry soap" and I have tried a few but this one is most definitely my favourite, I would assume that goes without saying though considering I'm doing an entire post solely dedicated to it... Some include baking soda and while I understand the thought behind this I really found it didn't improve the quality of the detergent and just added an extra expense to the mixture. That said, if I ever feel my whites or colors are not as lovely looking as they could be, I would add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the load. I've also read that adding 1/2 cup right before your final rinse can work as a natural fabric softener.

That's all fine and well I hear you saying, but how much do you use per load and how long will this last you?? ah, excellent questions my friend! I have a top loading washer and I use 2 tablespoons for a large (super) load, 1 tablespoon (and maybe "a bit") for a medium load and just under 1 tablespoon for a small load. The amount that I made here yielded me 16oz which worked out to be roughly 22 tablespoons, so approximately 11 large loads, which in my house is about 2 weeks worth of laundry. That said, make a bunch and it will last longer... get a bigger jar and you can make more at one time... I like the size of this jar due to easy shake-ability but I often add it into a bigger container I keep near my washing machine.

And there you have it... you could even make this a family event having the kids help measure out the powders, dump in the soap (perhaps it would be best if you did the grating... depending on the age of your kids of course) and then have them shake... you do virtually nothing!!

Like I said I honestly love the stuff and am a true convert. Do you make any household cleaning items? I've decided to try and start going "natural" with my cleaners and would love some ideas!

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