I must say I’ve been intrigued with the whole “homemade laundry soap” idea for a while now, but just couldn’t bring myself to going through all the time and trouble of making the liquid form. Then a friend suggested this efficient no cook method. So easy!
- 1 Cup Borax
- 1 Cup Washing Soda (Found mine at Winco)
- 1 Bar of Ivory Soap OR 1/2 bar Fels-Naptha
Fels-Naptha is stronger for tough stain removal. I use Ivory because it has fewer chemicals and is easier on my kiddo’s eczema. Plus I have a ton of Ivory soap from couponing!
Take your bar of Ivory and stick it in the microwave for 90 seconds. Yeah I know it sounds silly, but just watch…
Once finished, it will look like this! Weird, huh? And the cleanup, if any, is awesome because it’s just soap. If your microwave is stinky, it won’t be after this! (FYI – I don’t recommend microwaving the Fels-Naptha because of the fumes it creates. You’ll probably want to finely grate it instead).
Make sure it feels dried and powdery when crumbled. If you mash it with a fork or spoon and start to see powder forming in the bottom of the bowl, you should be fine. If not, you can let it sit out for a 1/2 a day or so if needs be. (From this point on, the fine powder can easily become airborne, so if you are at all sensitive, you may want to do this outside.)
Gently mash the bar, er uh, blob, in a bowl until you get dime to nickel size lumps. Then transfer into a Cuisinart or Magic Bullet. A blender isn’t really a good choice for this as it can burn out the motor. Some people use a Vitamix, but I haven’t personally made this with one so I won’t recommend it. The Magic Bullet just saves time (and your arms) and the detergent ends up more uniform in appearance. Do a about a half bar’s worth at a time in the bullet.
Place back into the bowl and thoroughly stir in your remaining ingredients. Then just pour it into your favorite container and you’re set. This laundry powder really has no fragrance to it, but the cool thing about that is you get to choose whatever fragrance you want! Essential oils work best for this, just be sure you mix it really well, a small drop at a time.
Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load, depending on soil level. This has no sudsing agents so it is perfect for both regular and HE machines. I did not shop around for the best price on my ingredients and I still made this for just under $0.04 a load.
You can also adjust the mix ratios for preference. I’ve found people using 1 bar – 2 borax – 2 soda ratio and use 2 Tablespoons per load. Depending on your water softness or hardness, you may choose to. Some also choose castile or other pure soaps, but you will want to hand grate them and let them dry thoroughly before mixing.
If you are looking for a cheap fabric softener, use 1/2 cup of vinegar in your last rinse (really, it works). It also strips any leftover soap residue in your wash. And no, it won’t make your clothes smell like pickles. Be careful never to mix bleach and vinegar as it creates Chlorine Gas, which can be fatal. You can purchase 2 gallons of vinegar at Costco for about $3.
Do you make your own laundry soap? What ingredients or tricks work best for you?