February 5, 2014

Living Natural, Product 6 & 7: Homemade Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener


Homemade Laundry Soap
I've been making my own laundry soap since 2011. I was inspired by a sister at my church and also from watching the TV show "19 Kids and Counting".
 
 
 











I've experimented and changed recipes over the last 2 years. I started out using the liquid formula. In 2013, I started experimenting and made the powder formula. I was still making the liquid formula to use for washing in cold water because it dissolves better.

Homemade Powder Laundry Soap

Up close look at the powder soap. I used Zote soap which is pink.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 











In December 2013, I was lead to a recipe for a whipped, concentrated laundry sauce. I started using this and, so far, I like it.


Homemade Laundry Sauce
I've also experimented with the type of soap that I use. I was using Fels-Naptha, which is a laundry soap specifically made for washing clothing. However, I found some recipes that used a soap called Zote.
 
The Zote was a larger bar of soap and cheaper than the Fels-Naptha. I could get two (2) 8 ounce bars for .57 each; Fels-Naptha is .97 for a 5.5 ounce bar. So, I started using Zote during the summer of 2013. I made the powder formula. It did well with cleaning my clothing and it melted better in cold water than the Fels-Naptha. However, later I read that Zote, over time, can leave residue in the clothing. Since Fels-Naptha is specifically made for laundry, it does not leave a residue and it is better for your clothing. Around the time that I read that article, I got a rash on my neck and stomach, then I started feeling a little itchy all over. Since I'd not used anything different on my skin, I thought that it just may be the Zote soap that was irritating my skin. So I decided that being good to my skin and clothing was much more important than trying to save a $1.00. I've switched back to Fels-naptha, the rash is gone and has not returned! Praise God!

Please understand that these laundry soaps will not create the bubbles and huge amounts of suds that you get with store bought laundry detergents; but they do clean your clothing.
 
So without further delay, here are all three (3) recipes.

Liquid Laundry Soap

1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
4 cups of waterPot for melting the soap
5 gallon bucket with lid, I purchased mine a Lowes for about $5.00. You must purchase the lid too.
Large spoon to use for stirring
Food processor or cheese grater (this will make grating the soap much easier)


This is the cheese grater that I use
 





































1. Place the water in a pot and heat to semi-boiling.

2. While the water is heating, grate the soap. I bought a cheese grater; it gets the job done much faster and saves your knuckles. I cut my bar of soap into 4 equal pieces, then place them in the cheese grater once piece at a time.

Soap in the cheese grater


Grated soap (almost done)
 
All grated up!
3. Fill the 5 gallon bucket 1/2 way with hot water. I actually marked the inside of my bucket, at the 1/2 mark, with a sharpee. You will need to boil a large pot of water for this. My tap water is over 120 degrees when it is hot, so I just fill my bucket straight from the sink. 

4. Add the borax and washing soda. Stir to dissolve. Set aside.

5. Once the water is semi-boiling, turn the heat to about medium and add the grated soap a little at a time. Stir constantly to melt the soap completely. I use the spoon to push the soap against the side of the pot to help melt it. Continue adding soap until it is all melted. Don't let the mixture come to a boil. DO NOT ADD ALL THE SOAP AT ONCE!!!! It will clump together and it is a pain to melt. Trust me, I know! :-)














6. Add the soap to the 5 gallon bucket and stir very well to mix everything.
 
7. Fill the 5 gallon bucket to the top with hot water. Stir again then place the lid on the bucket (please excuse the water on the floor, I missed the bucket a few times while I was filling it!)






































8. Allow the soap to set for 24 hours. The finished product will look like this (see below). The detergent will have a gelatinous look to it. I sometimes put on rubber gloves, place my hands in the bucket, and squeeze the soap to break it up. You don't have to do this but I enjoy playing in the soap... :-)


 
















To use, add 1 cup of detergent to your washer for a normal load and 2 cups for a heavy load (like towels and rugs).
  
For storage, you can dispense the soap from the bucket. I purchased several of these 2 quart size containers from the Dollar Tree to store my detergent. The lid twists on and off easily and they are easy to hold and pour. When they are empty, I just refill them from the bucket.
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




I also purchased these containers (pictured to the left), with the twist on/off lids, from Dollar Tree to store my washing soda and borax. I labeled them with a sharpee. This allows for easy dispensing and it keeps most of the moisture out, thus preventing the borax and washing soda from clumping together.
 











 
 
Powder Laundry Detergent
  
1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
Pot for melting the soap
Food processor or cheese grater (this will make grating the soap much easier)
Storage container (for mixing and storage)
 
I use this 2 quart size container/canister, for mixing and storage. I purchased it at the Dollar Tree. It works wonderfully for this! The opening is large enough for you to mix and scoop out the detergent. The twist off lid stores the detergent securely and keeps out moisture.

The indentations in the back make it easy to hold.

Front
 
 


















1. Add the borax and washing soda to the container, place the lid on and shake to mix.
 
2. Grate the soap. 

3. Once the soap is grated, add it to the container, place the lid on and shake to mix.
 
4. That is it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To use, add 1 tablespoon to your washer for a normal load and 2 tablespoons for a heavy load (like towels and rugs). Sometimes I double the recipe for two batches.
 
 
Laundry Sauce
 
This is the recipe that I have been using since December 2013. I got the original tutorial from this website. I encourage you to check it out because it is has a more details and photos than what I posted below. 
 
 
1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
4 cups of water
Pot for melting the soap
Large spoon to use for stirring
Cheese grater or food processor   
(2) 1-quart size mason jars
Blender or hand mixer

1. Place the water in a pot and heat to semi-boiling.
 
2. While the water is boiling, grate the soap. I bought a cheese grater; it gets the job done much faster and saves your knuckles.

3. Once the water is semi-boiling, turn the heat to about medium and add the grated soap a little at a time, stirring constantly to melt the soap completely. Continue adding soap until it is all melted. Don't let the mixture come to a boil. This process takes about 20 minutes or so. DO NOT ADD ALL THE SOAP AT ONCE!!!! It will clump together and be a pain to melt. Trust me, I know! :-)
 

 
4. Remove the pot from the stove once all of the soap is completely melted. Add the borax and washing soda to the pot. Stir very well until all the power has dissolve.
 
5. Fill each mason jar with equal amounts of the soap.
 
6. Fill each mason jar to the "shoulders"  or where the rounded part of the jar is with water. Leave 1.5 inches of space from the top to the shoulders.

7. Place the lids on securely then turn the mason jars upside down.

8. Let the soap set for 4-5 hours. I let mine set for 5 hours. Do not allow the soap to sit overnight because the texture will become too grainy. As the soap is setting, two layers will form. This is normal and what you want the soap to do.
 
9. Now we will blend the soap. Turn the mason jar right side up and remove the lid. Place the bottom part of your blender (the part with the blade) onto the mouth of the mason jar and tighten. If you do not have a blender, place the soap into a large bowl and blend using a hand mixer.
 
10. Place the jar on the blender and mix for about 30 seconds or until your laundry detergent is completely blended.  You will be able to tell by looking at it, while it is blending. It will thicken to the consistency of mayonnaise and look like this.
 

11. Repeat with the other mason jar.
 
12. Replace the lids and you are done!
 















 







To use, add 1 tablespoon to your washer. Since the detergent is so thick, I usually just toss my tablespoon in the washer with my clothing. This really gets strong odors out of clothing.

I wanted to mention that I have never tried the liquid formula using the Zote soap, I've always used the Fels-Naptha. For the powder formula, I've never made it with Fels-Naptha, I've always used Zote. Again, since Fels-Naptha is a laundry soap, I recommend using that over anything else.

Okay, that is the laundry soap! Now onto the fabric softener, which is super super quick and easy.

 

Fabric Softener
3 cups vinegar
6 cups water
18oz-24oz bottle of hair conditioner (I go to the .99 cents only store at get the White Rain brand which is 18oz.)
Large pot
Bucket
Storage container
 


















 
1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
 
2. While the water is boiling, add 3 cups of vinegar to the bucket.

3. Once the water boils, add 6 cups to the bucket with the vinegar.

4. Add the bottle of conditioner and stir. I find that a wire whisk is great for mixing and breaking up the chunks of conditioner.

5. Allow the softener to cool then pour equal amounts into the storage containers. Depending on the brand of conditioner that you use, the softener may thicken. I've noticed that the pomegranate thickens more that the other scents that I've used.

Pomegranate Scented Fabric Softener
To use, add 1 cup to your laundry. The vinegar gets rid of odors, the hair conditioner is for fragrance. The conditioner rinses out of the clothing completely and does not stain clothing in anyway.
 
I have been using this fabric softener for over one (1) year. However, in an effort to be even more natural, I am experimenting with another recipe that does not use conditioner. I am testing it out and will report on it in a future blog.
 
I pray that you will  try these recipes. Looking at the cost: 1 bar Fels-Naptha is .97cents, Washing Soda is about $4.00, and the Borax is about $3.50. I purchased all three (3) of these things from Walmart. A gallon of liquid laundry soap lasts about two (2) months; the powder formula lasts a little over two (2) months. When it is time to make more soap, you won't need to re-purchase anything but a bar of soap.  The borax and washing soda lasted one (1) before I had to re-purchase them. For the fabric softener: 1 gallon of vinegar is about $1.90 at Walmart, the hair conditioner is .99cents at the .99 Cents only store. One (1) batch lasts about one month. So, you will save a ton of money and still get your clothing clean and fresh. But, more importantly, you won't have to worry about all the harsh ingredients, that are found in regular laundry detergents, irritating your skin. Please, don't forget to comment and let me know how you like it!
 
I am SUPER excited about my next "living natural" product!! I can't wait to share it with you. Any guesses? Okay okay, I will give you a hint....on second thought, I am going to make you wait!! Stay tuned! Until next week, may God continue to bless you.
 

2 comments:

  1. wow! we are all going to go green after this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is my prayer! Healthy temples for God and a healthy environment! Thanks for your support....God bless.

    ReplyDelete