Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In Which I Become A Bonafide Penny-Pincher And My Family LIKES It For A Change


A while back I decided I was going to stop paying for laundry soap.

So instead, I take my family's laundry out back to the crik and beat it on a big ol' rock to get it clean.

Not really.

Instead, I make my own. It really is much cheaper and cleans just as well or better than any laundry soap I've ever used before. As a matter of fact, we ran out this week and THE KIDS ASKED ME TO MAKE MORE.

Oh yes, they did.

So today, I'm going to share with you the source of my laundry joy. I mean, as if there ever was such a thing.

Basically, it's one bar of your favorite soap (Fels Naptha is suggested, although I can't abide the smell of it), 1 1/2 cups of borax, 1 1/2 cups of washing soda and water.

I grind up the bar of soap in my food processor to a fine powder after I cut it up in pieces, then heat it, along with 12 cups of water on the stove until the soap melts. I add the borax (think 20 Mule Team Borax) and the washing soda (I use Arm and Hammer - but not baking soda) and cook it until it dissolves. Then I add three gallons (more or less) of water, mix the whole thing together and let it sit overnight.

I end up with a semi-jelled, gloppy mess that I use 1/2 cup of every time I wash clothes. For larger loads I use more, smaller loads, less. It averages out to much less than I would spend on even the least expensive store brand of detergent, yet cleans my clothing just as well. I just used the last of my first box of washing soda, and I believe I got four batches of laundry soap out of it. I still have some of my first box of borax left, since it comes in a bigger box.

I nipped and tucked the recipe a bit to fit my own proportions, as I'm sure you'll do.

And it works for me!

4 comments:

Linds said...

It is 3 something in the morning and I want to make my soap but the link doesn't work. What else would I be doing at 3 something in the morning, you ask???? Humph.

Chris said...

Edited to include the recipe. I have no idea why the link led nowhere.

And what else would one do at 3 ayem but make laundry soap? Sheesh.

Linds said...

Thank you kindly. And I could think of a few interesting options, but that would require too much effort right now. The thinking. Of course. I am heading back to the couch for a snooze. I lead such an exciting life.

Jo said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe... These days I am all about saving any place that I can.

I am thinking we need to find a big dog....perhaps a great dane to send to Linds to see to it that she stays put on that couch by sitting on her. Making soap at 3 in the early hours. Everyone knows you aren't supposed to heat up the copper kettle for soap making until sun up.