Friday, March 1, 2013

2 Years Later: Homemade Laundry Soap

In September 2010, I started making my own homemade laundry detergent. Here is my post about how I got started: Making Laundry Soap. You can find step by step directions there.

Honestly, I still love making and using my homemade laundry soap. It continues to save our family money each year and it is really simple to do. I have learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share with you.
This is one year supply of homemade laundry soap
1. I make two double batches and it lasts me a full year with my family of four. I just make one double batch after another. I love that it's less clean up and I don't have to worry about detergent until the following year! The total cost for these 8 gallons was $2.43! You can't beat that! If I had a front loader, that would be 2 years worth of laundry! WOW!
My canning pot while making my homemade laundry soap.

2. I LOVE using my canning pot. It gets the job done and it is easy to clean up because I don't use it for cooking. I also use a cookie sheet underneath the containers while I pour into them for an easier clean up.

3. Make sure to really melt the grated laundry soap. I find that you need to warm it longer than not seeing any flakes. This will help it to not have little "boogers" floating around.

4. It helps if you can put the 3 gallons of water in the bucket or pot first so that the soap doesn't stick to the bottom. This means that the 8 cups of HOT water would go into the pan you used for warming your soap. This would require a pan that is 5+ quarts.  This also helps your soap to not have any "boogers" floating around.
Love this large glass pot for the stove top!
My Mother-in-law got me this awesome glass pot for Christmas last year. I love that it can go on the stove top and in the oven. I love it for making large batches of soups, cooking my Grandma Robinson's Yams & Apples, and making my homemade laundry soap.
I use these large detergent jugs.

5. I have started using those large detergent jugs for my soap. For a double batch I can fill 2.5 of them. Your detergent needs to be a little more watery. I always put 1 cup of water in them before I start filling them. When they have cooled down 24 hours, I shake it up really good and try the spout. Sometimes I have to add another cup or so of water. (It seems like the white Zote bar has a thinner consistency.)

6. Most laundry soap containers have a lid that is already a half cup, so just measure it and use it instead of a measuring cup. Don't forget to shake your container well before each pour.
Zote Laundry soap bar
7. I tried the white Zote bar, as opposed to the pink, and I like it a lot better. The pink one has a stronger cleaning smell, where the white one seems to have a softer scent. It also seems like the white bar makes a thinner consistency making it easier to measure and work with. (Beware though that the white one is a lot harder to grate.) You can also buy the white Zote bar already grated. I saw it in Wal-Mart. It seems like one of these would make a regular batch. It was $2 when I saw it.
Zote Laundry Flakes
8. I also use a laundry soap bar directly on my stains. Sometimes I will get a stubborn stain that requires a stain stick, but I love having a bar in a Glad dish on top of my dryer for everyday stains.

9. I used lavender essential oils last time and I was not impressed. You really couldn't smell it on the clothes and I didn't like the smell. I like just using my detergent & a nice fabric softener.
10. This recipe may not be natural. I have not confirmed it, but it seems that Borax may not be completely natural. On 20 Mule Team's site they claim it is. Either way, this recipe is definitely more natural than the leading laundry detergent on the store shelf.

As I mentioned in my previous post, once you try making your own laundry soap it is a slippery "soap" to making other cleaners. Honestly, I have tried several things and nothing seems to live up to the stuff on the shelf like my laundry soap. I hope to find a homemade cleaner that is worth sharing. If you have one you use, please send it my way! Enjoy!

Here is the copy of the recipe I use for my homemade laundry soap.