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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap - Frugal Friday

*****REVISION  2/15/2010*****

I have been using this laundry soap for over a year now and while I have saved quite a bit of money on soap I am finding that the whites are not very white anymore, so rather than be targeted for a cheer commercial I am switching back to regular laundry detergent.  Also I was reading that Borax can be a skin irritant so this may actually not be the best for ones skin, although I have had no problems with it.  In a pinch I'd still use it but long term I don't think it's done any of my clothes any favors.  It seemed great for the first 6 months or so, so my apologies if I've lead you down a path of dingy socks.  


It's a Frugal Friday so today I made powdered laundry soap, I have a front loading washer and this works very well in it. I also use vinegar in place of Fabric softener, it helps to keep any soap film from building up as well as making clothes colors stay true for longer and making them feel softer and they don't smell like vinegar after they are dry.

Here's the recipe I made:

2 cups borax (20 Mule team)
2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 bar fels naptha laundry soap- (finely grated so it will disolve easily in the washer)

If you are like me and do not have a food processor you can grate the soap by hand, I use a vintage rotary grater that would normally be used for hard cheese, it worked pretty well and gave me the tiny pieces I was wanting.

Once you have the soap grated you pour the 3 ingredients in a bowl, mix them till they are evenly blended, transfer them to a container with a lid to keep moisture out. That's it. I use 1/8 cup per load and the clothes have been coming out clean and smelling clean but not detergenty. I still have to spot treat just like I did with regular detergent, but that's no worse than before.

I have a friend who has extremely sensitive skin so she makes her own soap, she uses her soap in place of the Fels-Naptha bar when she makes laundry soap.

The first time I decided to try this I had a little trouble finding all the ingredients, the washing soda was the toughest. I found all three ingredients at a Fred Meyers store near me. Some people have said they get it at Wal-mart, but where I live Fred Meyers is the only place I could find that had it and I called them all. SO it might pay to call around before you waste a half tank of fuel looking for the washing soda. I have also seen some companies selling it online if you can't find it where you live.

It's a pretty simple way to save a few bucks. It will be even easier when I get a food processor. That's on my thrift list, I'll find one soon. :-) I bet I have saved enough money on my last 2 batches of laundry soap to pay for the food processor when I find it. ;-)


MaryDeluxe said...

Hey that's a great idea! I hate spending all that money on laundry soap and it never seems to last as long as it says it will last!

Mrs Boats said...

This sounds fun! I wonder how tough it would be to find the ingredients here? I bet not very, if I just figure out how to ask for it...

Bucca said...

How clever! I really need to get more motivated to make things!

retroliving said...

I have never heard of using vinegar as a fabric softener that is such a great idea! Thank you. Vinegar is good for so much, did you know apple cider vinegar works wonders to get rid of planters or normal warts.

Just found your blog and I love it! You have a new fan right here!


Sadie from said...

just getting ready to order my borax and washing soda from - surpassed their mark and hit their free shipping deal...

always makes you feel a little bit better about spending too much :)

Much love!

Anonymous said...

I love making homeade laundry soap. I live in Canada and cannot find Fels-Naptha in our town although it used to be around years ago I have been told. Anyhow, I the soaps I use for my base for liquid laundry soap are Sunlight which is usually tucked away in the laundry section, Ivory except once all the soap floated to the top, and I really really like using Irish Spring partly because it smells very nice and the green is pretty and it seems to clean well. Also used Lux. I read that Dove is good but have yet to try it.