Friday, January 21, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Homemade Laundry Soap

Out of laundry soap again! Luckily I have all the ingredients on hand to MAKE my own laundry soap!

I usually use FelsNaptha soap, but this time I used a bar of Ivory soap, because my mother had found an OLD one in her cupboard that was turning brown.  I put it on the sink, but noone wanted to use it.  I therefore decided that it could be used in my next batch of laundry soap.  My recipe calls for 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha, but states that you can use a full bar of Ivory instead, which is what I did.
  I took out my big pot so that it would hold the whole batch.  Some people do this in a smaller pot and then transfer to a bucket -- I like to skip that step.  I grated the whole bar of Ivory soap into my big stock pot then added 6 cups of water. I kept it on medium and stirred with a plastic spoon (don't want a soapy taste to get in my wooden ones!!).  Once it was all melted, I added 1/2 cup each of washing soda and borax powder and heated until they were both dissolved.  Once dissolved, I added 26 cups of water and stirred.  I put the lid on it and carried to my laundry room to set overnight. In the morning this will look like egg drop soup.
I will stir in pour up into soap and juice containers that I have saved for this purpose (These are plastic juice containers that have the handle on them).  Once in the smaller bottles, I have a variety of essential oils on hand to add scent (although I often do NOT add scent, as I like the clean, fresh smell of just the soap -- and I think the Ivory will be one I may not add scent to).  BUT, if you wish, I bought some at the $1 shop and some at the health food store.  My scents of choice are lemon, Jasmine, and ocean breeze.  I also have rose oil which smells lovely, but I've decided my whole laundry doesn't need that!  I will put some of that in a smaller bottle of laundry soap to use when washing my lingerie.
When using this, you only need about 1/2 cup (or a little less for front loading machines).  This means that I now have enough laundry soap for at least 64 loads of laundry!!
*I paid NOTHING for the Ivory soap since this was some my mom gave me, but I have found it for .50 and with a coupon, I have paid as little as .25 for Ivory soap. If using Fels Naptha, it runs about $1.30 (and since you need only 1/3 bar of it, you spend about .43 per batch.
*The Borax and Washing Soda cost less than $4/box.. and you only need 1/2 cup. I believe there would be enough for about 16 batches in each box. If that's the case, and IF you had to spend $4/box, that would be about .25 each.
*I paid only $1 for some of my oils (paid more for the Jasmine), and you only need a few drops. If a bottle lasted for only 16 batches, the cost of the scent would be .06
THEREFORE, I just made enough laundry soap for 64 loads of laundry and it only cost me an estimated .56! That's less than .01/load! WOW!! How's that for a thrifty granny?!!


  1. I make my own soap too, but I don't make the liquid, I just make powder and use it as powder detergent, I really like to make it. I use my blender/food processor to blend it up, I just put the fels naptha in and whir til fine then add the borax and washing soda. It only takes a couple minutes. I like it better than messing with the liquid. :) (though I'm sure the liquid spot treats well)
    It's fun to know you are saving so much money!

  2. Then how much powder do you use?? a teaspoon ??

    for spot treating , I just wet the corner of my fels naptha bar and rub it on the stain.

  3. We have been advised not to use powdered laundry detergent because it doesn't always disolve fully and can cause clogs. Does the ivory soap laundry detergent smell like ivory soap? I think I'll give this a try next time I need laundry soap.

  4. Yes, it smells like Ivory soap, but it is so diluted that it just mildly smells like Ivory soap.. It is nice..

  5. The recipe on the powder recipe says two tablespoons, which is less than half of most commercial powders...I'm always thinking it's not enough, just one small scoop. And a small load you only need half that.