While I wish that I could say one of my main reasons for making my own laundry soap is to be more environmentally savvy, that really isn't the reason at all. When I started to stay home full time, this summer I decided that I wanted to be creative in finding ways to cut our budget and save money on things that I could save money on. This was one of them. I'm still very early in the process, and I will see if this has actually saved me money, but I thought it was at least worth a try. The original post of how to make your own laundry soap is here. But I thought I'd show you what I did.
DIY Homemade Laundry Soap
You will need the following items below. I got all of these at my local Dillons.
1 large box Borax
1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels Naptha soap
1 large box or 2 small boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1-2 containers of Oxy Clean (I like it b/c my family needs the extra stain fighting power, but it's optional)
The next things you will need to do is to grate the Fels Naptha soap. You can use a cheese grater, or potato peeler, or even a knife. Whatever works to get the soap shaved into tiny pieces. My daughter was fascinated with this part, and kept wanting to help. She didn't understand why I was grating soap. I ended up grating all 3 bars into a Tupperware bowl shown below.
Next, I decided to do things a little different from the original recipe and mixed everything into a Rubbermaid, or plastic container with a lid. The original recipe says to mix in a 5 gallon bucket, but I just could not find one at our house that didn't have paint in it. So I used the largest plastic container I could find and a very large spoon to stir everything with. You can see what I did below.
This part will really start to smell good!!! Once I had everything pretty well mixed, I used the scoop from the Oxy Clean container as my measuring spoon and started to do my laundry. You only need to use 1 scoop on smaller loads and 2 scoops on larger loads. I've been using it now for almost a month and I notice that my clothes don't have a very much smell to them, but they come out clean and soft.
I also like that this laundry soap is very friendly for people who have sensitive skin. My daughter had really sensitive skin when she was born and I had to buy the special soaps with no dyes, perfumes, or any of the chemicals added. I ended up using that for all of us so that I wasn't buying two different kinds of detergent. This has not bothered her at all.
So I'm going to see how long this lasts and if it is really saving me money in the long run. I paid about $20 for all the materials to make this soap, and I will update you as to how long it lasts before I need to make another batch. For spending about an hour making it I think it has worked pretty well for us.
Oh and just a side note. Because I was making my own laundry detergent, my handy husband decided that I need a place to put my new creation. So he made me a shelf just above the washing machine to store the rather large container. How thoughtful!!! I guess he thought that since I was doing what I could to save money, he would do something nice for me too.