It's time to make laundry soap. I've been making this for just over two years now, and I wouldn't go back to the high priced store kind. No way! For those of you who have the high efficiency front load washing machines and worry about using this, that's exactly what I have, Whirlpool Duets. You will find this recipe all over the Internet, so I don't have anything special or new, but I do have PICTURES with mine!!
It's a pretty simple deal. 3 ingredients, 4 if you count water, 5 if you want fragrance.
1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap
1 cup Super Washing Soda
½ cup Borax
Water - HOT from the tap
5 gallon bucket
Optional : essential oil 10drops per gallon (lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, etc.)
Oh, I guess 6 if you count the bucket! Is a bucket an ingredient??
First step is to grate the soap. You can use a food processor if you like, but a regular cheese grater works just fine. I grate it over a paper towel so I can pick the towel up and use it to pour the soap into the water in that step.
When you're done, it looks a little like a pile of cheddar cheese. Then put a pot of water on the stove over medium low heat - the amount of water is somewhere around 3 - 4 cups. This does not need to be exact, you're just going to melt the soap here.
PLEASE, PLEASE do not look at the dirty stove! We are making soap here!
Then using your paper towel, pour the soap into the water and give it a quick stir. Don't have the heat too high, we are just melting the soap, not boiling it. If you boil it you will have a giant mess! I might have done that before (I'm not saying!).
Now, get out the other ingredients, 1 cup of washing soda... I've included a picture of the box. I sure wish I had a picture when I was trying to find this stuff. I was looking for a little box, like the baking soda comes in! I got mine at the local Krogers, usually grocery stores have it. They also have the Fels-Naptha soap. My local Wal-Mart does not.
And now the 5 gallon bucket. Put about a half gallon of the hottest water that comes out of your tap into the bucket. Add the 1 cup of washing soda to the water.
Stir it completely with a LONG handled spoon.
Now add the 1/2 cup of borax. I don't have a picture of that box, but it's alot easier to find. Stir this completely into the water and washing soda mixture. When you think it's completely stirred together, stir it some more. That's one of the thing I've learned, getting this stuff stirred together well is the trick to great soap.
Go back to your melting soap hand give it another stir. Don't stir it too much, or it will foam up and you can't tell if it's melted yet!
Once it's completely melted, pour it into the water/washing soda/borax bucket. It will quickly turn thick.
and STIR! Then STIR some more.
After you have stirred it completely, I use the same pot I melted the soap in to add one pot of hot water at a time to the mixture, stirring completely between pots of water. I repeat this until my 5 gallon bucket is about 3/4 full. If you are going to add fragrance, either do it now, or you could wait until you put it into the containers so you can have several fragrances from one batch. The mixture should be about the consistency of runny pudding. Let this mixture sit overnight to gel up. Now get out your containers and a funnel.
Pour the finished laundry soap into your containers (I love these old vinegar containers because the cap is attached!). If you want to use several fragrances, add them to the containers before you fill them and then shake to mix. Don't fill them all the way, as you will want to have some head room to shake the soap before every use as it might separate some. It all depends on how long it takes you to use 5 gallons of laundry soap! A front load washer takes about 1/4 cup and a top load takes about 1/2 cup of soap.
This makes great gifts for your family, friends and neighbors if you don't have room to store it all.