Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap – A Picture Tutorial

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Who doesn’t love to save money?  I know we do!

One of the easiest money saving DIYs we do in our household is to make our own laundry soap! We’ve been making our own laundry soap for almost 2 years and it’s very easy.  The best part – it ends up costing less than a penny per load and works better than store bought laundry soap!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 cup of Washing Soda

  • 1 cup Borax

  • 1 bar of laundry soap such as Fels-Naptha (other laundry/castile soap can be substituted such as Dr. Bronner’s, Linda’s, Sunlight, etc.)

  • A bucket (we use an old 4.54kg cat food pail).

We buy our Washing Soda and Borax at our local No Frills and we bulk purchase the Fels-Naptha when we go to the United States since we haven’t been able to find it in Canada and I love its smell and cleaning power so much!  Laundry soap bars can be purchased in the laundry isle of your grocery store.

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First things first, we grate the Fels Naptha bar.  Here, you can see that I started using our new to us food processor (thanks Pat & Justine) but the bar of soap was too hard and it started smoking a little or as Mike would say, I “let the smoke out”.  I continued grating the bar by hand.

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We brought 16 cups of water just before it began to boil and then add the grated soap. We then turned the heat down to medium stirring until it was completed melted.

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This is what it looks like when it is melted, bubbles are fine.

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We then add the soap water to our pail.

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Then, we measured and added once cup of Washing Soda and Borax each to the soap water inside the pail.

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We mixed them all together using our soaping hand mixer.  Once everything was well mixed and dissolved, we added 32 cups of water to the pail.

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At this point, we used a paint stirrer and cordless drill to mix up our soap but a hand mixer would also work just fine.

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I love this thing but be careful, it’s very easy to stir too fast and splatter your soap everywhere (true story)!

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Once it’s well stirred, cover your pail with the lid or cling wrap and let it sit for 24 hrs.  Make sure you put the pail in a safe place away from small children!

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After 24 hrs, you will see that your soap will have gelled on the top and bottom of the bucket.  Here you can see my wooden spoon standing by itself in the soap.

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We used the paint stirrer and drill again to mix everything up carefully.  It seems that it doesn’t matter how careful I am at this point, there is always a bit of spillage.

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We then used a funnel to fill our old, pre-homemade laundry containers with our own homemade laundry soap.  With each batch, I am able to fill 2 x 2.95 L, 2 x 1.47L and 2 x 1.8 L bottles with enough to spare for a 500ml mason jar.

 How to use:

Shake well before use and use about 1/4 cup of soap per load.  This is a very low/no sudsing soap so it works very well in both top loading and HE laundry machines. Don’t be fooled by the lack of suds – this soap packs all the cleaning power minus the sudsing agents used in store bought detergents.

The best part is coming up, the cost breakdown!

 

Cost Breakdown

  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: 3KG box = 15 cups – $6.99 box = $0.47 per 1 cup

  • 20 Mules Borax: 2KG box = 8.8 cups – $4.99 box = $0.57 per 1 cup

  • Fels-Naptha Bar:1 bar =$0.97 per bar

Total Cost: 

$2.01 for 12.95 L and breaking it down further 1L = 4.22 cups so 12.95L = 54.65 cups @ 1/4 cup per load = less than .01¢ per load

$2.01 compared to the $51.74 I originally paid for the detergent bottles I now reuse!  Not too bad at all if I say so myself!

 

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