How to Make Laundry Soap
I have a love hate relationship with laundry. I love that rare feeling of accomplishment when I manage to catch up all the dirty laundry, and I hate the rest of the time when it’s overflowing from the hampers and I have to wade through a waist high pile just to get to my washer! But what I loathe even more than doing the laundry is how much money it can suck up. Depending on your washer and dryer (and mine are 7 years OLD) it can cost over a dollar just to wash and dry 1 load of laundry. And that’s just for the utilities! Then you have detergent, stain sprays, and fabric softeners. I found that even with store bought detergent I was still using stain removers (like Shout & Oxyclean) and fabric softeners. So, I’m not claiming that my recipe for how to make laundry soap will fight super tough stains or leave SUPER fragrance smells but it will get the job done.
I only sought to remove 1 element… the detergent! I still use stain removers and fabric softeners when necessary. As in when the clothes smell kind of funky because I forgot about throwing the clothes in the dryer and it’s either use a dryer sheet or wash the whole load over again! Three years ago, when I first started searching for a recipe I was shocked to find out that not only was commercial laundry detergent expensive, it contained some pretty harmful stuff.
What is petroleum doing in a product that literally wraps around all my pores 24/7? Why are they using artificial fragrances that literally paralyze your olfactory senses? How many scary dyes must they be using to make those vibrant blues? And who really cares what color it is anyway? It’s not like it makes it clean any better!
I do a lot of laundry… I think I do more than anyone I’ve talked to…which drives me crazy! I’ve tried everything from making my husband re-wear his work pants over and over, to everyone reusing their P.J.’s for several days, to suggesting that we all go naked! No matter what I’ve tried this is my typical laundry schedule (I added in a couple diaper loads since I’m having another baby in a couple of months), but other than that I’m choosing to live in denial… I don’t want to think about how having another baby is going to create even more laundry. No reason to resent the kid before he’s even here (haha)!
My Typical Weekly Laundry Loads:
21 loads per week (minimum)
21 loads x 52 weeks = 1092 loads per year
Cost for Tide Detergent
.22 per load (name brand tide)
1092 loads x .22 = 240.24 per year
Cost for Homemade Laundry Soap
.02 per load homemade
Cost breakdown of ingredients.
- FYI You will get SEVERAL batches out of your borax and washing soda!
- KMART BORAX $2.5 PER BOX % 12(½ cup servings per box) = $0.2
- KROGER WASHING SODA $2.79 % 6(1 cup servings per box) = $0.47
- SOAP 1.2 % 2(bars per pack) = $0.6
I’m not calculating water and energy costs… because I’m too lazy!
1.27 PER BATCH
53 LOADS PER BATCH
.02 CENTS PER LOAD
Making my own laundry soap should save me $218.4 dollars per year
*** These savings estimates are conservative, not factoring in bonus laundry due to company, sickness, and more***
Can you think of anything you’d like to spend $200 on? I sure can!
1 bar soap (shaved with cheese grater)
1 quart of water
½ cup borax
1 cup washing soda
3 gallons water
*Optional- Several drops of essential oils
*I tend to only add this to particularly stinky loads because it makes it more expensive. I like to add Tea Tree oil to the scoop when I’m fighting against that lovely urine smell my children are so good at creating!)
Grate the soap. Be careful!
Add one quart of water to the shaved soap and heat on stove.
Stir occasionally until the soap is completely melted.
Remove from heat and stir in the borax and washing soda until dissolved. Add in the remaining water while stirring. You can start using it right away if you don’t care about consistency. I store this in a huge stainless steel pan so that I can cook it and everything in 1 step. If you don’t have one of those lying around, you’ll need to melt everything down in a smaller pan and then transfer to a bucket, or multiple smaller containers. You can also easily cut this recipe in half if you don’t have a lot of space in your home or laundry area!
One thing you can do to make this recipe even more natural is to spend a little more money on the soap. Although it’s wonderful to get the multi packs of soap from the dollar store, I’ve since started using the more expensive olive oil based soaps. (I actually make my own.) This will raise your costs overall… but you shouldn’t be comparing the cost to Tide at that point, but to a more expensive natural alternative. If you use the natural soap you’ll notice that the recipe goes from the consistency of snot, to that of runny goo! I know they both sound equally yummy, and they both work just fine so don’t freak out if yours looks different as long as you followed the recipe you’re fine. Happy laundry making! Now that you know how to make laundry soap you can go spend your $218 on something fun like babysitting!