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Topic: Homemade Laundry Soap ** With Tute! ** (picture heavy)  (Read 41817 times)
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Nymeria
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« on: March 10, 2010 11:49:20 AM »

Finally a tutorial for homemade laundry soap! Why make your own laundry soap? Why not! Not only is it more cost effective (and who doesnít want to save money right now?), it can also be a great way to recycle your gallon-size milk cartons! Smells great and cleans well, whatís not to love?

Supplies:


I feel I should point out that, just like regular laundry detergent you buy at the store, tough stains like oil, grass, ketchup, etc., will still need stain treatment. Itís great stuff but itís not a miracle worker. Grin

*** Please read through the entire tutorial before embarking on your laundry soap adventures. The recipe makes a concentrated laundry gel; read to the end to see how to make it useable! ***

Laundry Gel Ingredients & Materials:

5oz. soap (see note1)
4c. hot water
1c. washing soda (see note2)
1c. Borax

5-gallon bucket ($2-3 at Walmart or Home Depot)
a long metal or plastic spoon
large saucepan
cheese grater

Note1: You can really use any soap here you want, except for melt & pour soaps. Donít try it, trust me on this one. Most people tend to like to use laundry soaps such as Fels-Naptha, Zote or Meyerís (I think?), but Lever 2000, Ivory, etc. will work. Homemade soaps also work well for this too (again, no M&P); if you have 5 oz. of soap shards, feel free to use them!

*** ETA: For people who have allergies, this works phenomenally well with unscented, dye-free soaps such as Kirk's Castile, Tom's, etc. When it doubt, stick with what you know works: if Ivory soap is what you use because it's all your skin will tolerate, use Ivory. One of the great things about this is how adaptable it is to your needs! Smiley ***

Note2: Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate, is NOT the same thing as baking soda! Please note this!! Arm & Hammer makes washing soda (itís available in some grocery stores and hardware stores), but always make sure it specifically says WASHING soda, and NOT baking soda. This process will NOT work with baking soda!! I canít stress this enough. You can also order washing soda from some soap suppliers online, if you canít find it in your area. Smiley  (I should also caution that caustic soda, also known as lye, will definitely NOT work!!! Know your sodas!!)

Using your cheese grater, grate your soap into a large sauce pan. This procedure can take awhile if youíre using store-bought soap such as Zote, Fels-Naptha, Lever 2000, Ivory, etc. Good workout for the arms! F-N ends up looking awfully like grated cheddar...



Add 4c. of hot tap water to the sauce pan and place over a burner on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until soap is dissolved/melted. The mixture will smell VERY potent if youíre using anything with a strong scent -- use your fan an open some windows!

(excuse my dirty stove top)


Once the soap is melted, remove from heat. Fill your 5-gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot tap water. This is not an exact science, so feel free to eyeball it. Add the washing soda, Borax and melted soap mixture. Stir vigorously until all powder is dissolved. The mixture will be fairly viscous at this point. I recommend using a metal spoon because they wash clean. Plastic tends to absorb scents.



Once dissolved, fill the bucket the rest of the way (I leave 3-4Ē of room, again this is not an exact science) with hot tap water. Stir to combine.

Place the lid on your bucket and set it somewhere safe overnight. I like to put mine someplace cool like the basement or our garage in the cooler months. So sad and lonely...



Did I mention this process really brings out the scent of the soap? Any whiney babies in your house who are sensitive to smells may not be pleased with you... super, awesome, supportive husbands will completely understand your love of crafting and being frugal! Wink



The next day you have concentrated laundry gel! Weeeee! See how thick and lovely it is? It's almost the consistency of good flan. Mine is still very yellow because of the Fels-Naptha soap. I once used an electric green soap and it made it a lovely minty color.

To use at this point, you will have to experiment with scooping. Some people use 2T., some people up to 1/2c. It depends on your washer, the load, etc. I prefer to dilute it for convenience factor.




To use as laundry soap!

Materials needed:
1-gallon container (milk containers are great for this)
Funnel (if your container has a small opening)
Concentrated laundry gel
water
Essential or Fragrance oil (see note3)

Note 3: If your soap was heavily perfumed, as Fels-Naptha is, Iíd be careful adding any scent. The laundry gel will retain that heavy scent, itíll just be lighter, and actually quite nice. I remember using Lever 2000 and adding scent because it didnít really stick, though.

Fill your gallon container 1/2 full with laundry gel. Fill the rest of the way with water. This is the ratio for gel, 1:1, no matter what amount youíre using. For 1 gallon, keep EO/FO to 1/4-1/2tsp. You donít want to get too crazy with it.



Shake well before each use. It tends to want to separate overnight. Shaking makes it good as new.

Top-loading machines: use around 3/4c. for a full load.

Front-loading machines: use around 1/4c. for a full load.

Voila!!

** Added: It is totally normal for your bucket of gel to have some condensation. You can either pour it into your washer, or just pour it down the drain. If you have more than 4-5" of liquid floating on top the next morning, that may be a warning sign that it wasn't mixed properly. But 1-2" is totally normal. Thanks, Honeylioness, for reminding me! Smiley ***
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010 08:42:26 AM by Nymeria » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010 11:54:34 AM »

AWESOME,girl!!

I MUST try it..and theres NO whiners on scent in this hizzle!
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Nymeria
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010 12:01:36 PM »

AWESOME,girl!!

I MUST try it..and theres NO whiners on scent in this hizzle!

Thanks! It really is fun, and easy, too.

No whiners is good. I had to listen all night that I had Napalmed the house. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010 12:04:57 PM »

Looks great! I especially love the whiny baby pic Wink
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010 12:09:11 PM »

thank you for this tut, I bought all the supplies to make this a while back and just haven't done it you tut just put it back at the top of my to do list.  Great tutorial
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010 12:11:18 PM »

Coolest thing ever!!  How long does the concentrate last you?  Looks like you end up with a lot, so a while??  I am so in awe over this!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010 12:11:52 PM »

I have used a very similar recipe for about a year and half. My DD has bad allergies and unfortunately laundry soap is one of them. So this works perfect.

I would say definitely make sure you grate the fels naptha don't put in chunks!
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010 12:12:23 PM »

Awesome tute, great pictures! Love your nails in picture 3 Wink
I've only made powdered laundry soap, I think I might have to give this one a try one day when im feeling adventurous Grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010 12:14:15 PM »

I do love this recipe.

My only question is, Nymeria, why did you use Fels Naptha and not soap you had made yourself, hmmm?  Grin Grin Grin
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010 12:14:44 PM by MareMare » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010 12:21:51 PM »

Great tutorial!!! I guess MacesMeMe answered my original question...but just to be sure....we normally use a free and clear laundry soap mostly arm and hammer brand...one of my DS's actually had a skin reaction from clorox2 free and clear recently... Embarrassed and I am one of those whiney babies about scent...any ideas on which soap to use? I'm thinking dove, would that work ok and would the minor scent of that go away so I could do some slight lavender scent, or would the scent of any essential oil mix with the soap smell...am I even making sense? Tongue Did I mention I have kids and therefore have little brains cells left? Smiley

Also: Could I get away with just using the gel without water them same way that I use store bought "concentrated" detergents? (Too lazy to shake, lol) Wink
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010 12:23:50 PM by tgrsbug » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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