As you get to know me, you will learn that I love being frugal and getting a great deal. So when my friend suggested that we try making laundry soap together I was excited to give it a try, but to be honest I was skeptical at the same time. My son has eczema and has reacted to a number of different laundry soaps that I have tried. We found that Tide free and clear has worked the best for him, and I did not want to be the cause of another reaction.
With 3 kids we have LOTS of laundry, and commercial laundry soap is not cheap! We have been making laundry soap for about a year and our family has had no problems with sensitive skin. It cleans our clothes really well and I love that it is inexpensive. The recipe we use is from the Duggar Family Website.
Liquid Laundry Soap
4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. It takes a bit to get all the soap to melt.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken, it will be a thick gel. Once it has set overnight I use a long hand drink mixer to stir the gel to a liquid consistency, but a long paint stick will work as well.
Stir and fill a clean used, laundry soap container half full with soap concentrate and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use since the soap has a tendency to gel as it sits.
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. Since you are mixing the concentrate 50/50 with water. I use about ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads). Add a bit more if the clothes are really soiled.
*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” is found in the laundry isle. Baking Soda and Arm & Hammer Detergent will NOT work – It must be sodium carbonate!!
Vinegar Downy Ball
Instead of commercial fabric softeners, I use a Downy Ball filled to the marked line with white vinegar in my washer. The vinegar works similar to commercial fabric softeners and it is a fraction of the cost. Our clothes don’t come out smelling like vinegar either. I love not using fabric sheets in my dryer! I buy vinegar at Costco in a large container.
All Purpose Cleaner with Lemon
2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Liquid Dish Soap
1 T Baking Soda
1 tsp Borax
Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. I use this cleaner mostly in the kitchen, but it works great in the bathroom as well. I reuse the spray bottles from commercial cleaners, just make sure to rinse out well.
Fruit and Veggie Cleaner
1 Cup Water
1 Cup White Distilled Vinegar
1 Tbsp baking soda
20 drops grapefruit seed extract
Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray onto your fruit, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off. I use a new spray bottle since you are spraying on food.
I would love to hear what your favorite cleaners are and any recipes that you have found to work really well.