Seriously, you guys. When I watched the Duggars making their vats of laundry detergent (Was it on the show, or did I just dream about it?) I thought… “Okay, that’s a little bit beyond what I’m ever going to do to pinch a penny.”
But then I saw this post about making laundry soap. No melting things… no stirring giant pots full of strange ingredients, trying to figure out how to store 18 gallons of liquid, or pouring (spilling) into a smaller container for the laundry room. Just good old stir-and-serve.
And I don’t normally like to shop at Wal-Mart, but the whole everything-is-available-in-one-spot thing made the idea of going there palatable. So I did. I teamed up with a friend, and made a huge batch of the soap. We split the cost and split the soap, and can you believe it lasted both of us (WHILE cloth diapering) 6 months???
For the amount I would normally spend on ONE bottle…
of High Efficiency All Free & Clear (or even Up & Up, Target’s brand) liquid, I was able to wash tons of clothes and diapers for 6 whole months.
And then I ran out. The second time I mixed up a batch of soap, I did it slightly differently. The original recipe says to use Fels-Naptha laundry soap, or Zote soap, which I did. But the smell was a bit strong for me, and I had read that regular soap like Ivory (NOT a cleanser bar like Zest or something) will work just as well. So far that’s proven to be true.
So here’s your shopping list.
Prices are from Alice.com, where purchases of over $49 get free shipping and they have TONS of home items. I may just order from them the next time (and also get some shampoo, toilet paper, and other sundries), instead of going to Wal-Mart.
55 oz. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda — $4.09
2 2-lb. boxes Arm & Hammer Baking Soda — $4.18
76 oz. 20 Mule Team Borax — $5.59
3 Bars Ivory Soap — $1.79
Total — $15.65
I also added some Lavender essential oil, which you can also get at Alice.com for $6.99, but I already had mine.
All you have to do is…
- Grate your soap.
- Convince your toddler daughter that it is NOT, in fact, cheese.
- Mix together HALF of each ingredient in a bowl with a spoon. Trust me. The first time, I used the garbage-bag-in-a-5-gallon-bucket method described in the original blog post, and it was SO hard to stir that much stuff. I ended up accidentally flinging some into my eyes, which… don’t do that. It burns like crazy. Half at a time is manageable, and works fine.
- Optionally, you can add some essential oil. Lavender is good for a lot of things, and won’t damage diapers or cause irritation when your clothes touch you. Some other oils have “side effects” so you may want to ask someone who knows more about essential oils than I do before using something different.
- I didn’t count drops. I just sprinkled them in, and stirred.
- Then I used a measuring cup as a scoop…
And put it into my giant jar.
- Repeat with the other half, and you have a full huge jar of soap. I put half of one (or one if it’s more soiled stuff, or a really full load) of these little scoops into my laundry, and it will — no joke — last me an entire year.
So what are you waiting for?
Hop in your car and get some magic laundry powder ingredients! (Or order online.) And be sure to share this post with your friends on Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, G+ and Facebook! (There are some buttons right below this to help you.)