Friday, June 7, 2013

Good Clean Fun

Hey guys!
Wild hairs. Sometimes it pays to go with them. This one hit me this week when I went to the store to get laundry soap and decided $14.99 was just too much, so I made my own!

Not long ago, my pal Tara posted about making her own laundry soap. I'd heard of people making their own soap, but figured it was complicated and/or time consuming, but I'd told my husband about it and we decided to give it a shot. The supplies for this project are pictured above, 1 box of Arm & Hammer WASHING Soda, $3.24 (not to be confused with baking soda), 1 box of Borax, also $3.24, and 1 bar of Zote, $1.09. Grand total: $7.57 (plus a little tax), and based on what I've read, this one batch will last us approximately 2 months, and if I'd made it all at once, a whole ONE YEAR! The recipe that I used can be found right here,  But since I love you so much, and I did make one small change, I'll write out how I made it as well. 

Powdered Laundry Soap
1 bar of Zote
2 Cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
2 Cups box Borax

Two bars of this Fels-Naptha soap is what the original recipe calls for, but I used Zote (pictured below)... because I like pink.  I'll use this Fels-Naptha for my next batch.
Fun Fact: If you hand your husband or significant other a little pinch of this soap, which has been run through the grader of a Cuisinart, and say "try this new cheese I picked up at Trader Joes" he will immediately put it in his mouth because he trusts you. That is a mean abuse of power. And also, funny. In my defense, I didn't think he would move that fast. Behold the power of cheese. 

Ok, so let's get to it! This is such a simple process, the whole thing only takes about 5 minutes. Like I mentioned above, the original recipe calls for 2 of the Fels-Naptha bars, but the bars are small (5.5oz.), this bar of Zote is 14.1oz., I know that's more soap than was called for, but for a penny, in for a pound. Seems ok.
In the picture above, the Zote (which I chopped into three chunks to fit into the top of the food processor)  has been run through the cheese grater of my Cuisinart.

And then the chopping blade. Kinda looks like Dippin Dots at this stage. 

I dumped the soap out on to a paper plate then added a little at a time with the other ingredients back into the food processor until it was all ground into a pretty fine powder. 
The powder ingredients really help pulverize those pieces of soap. 

Hey look, a batch of soap! It's really that simple. And here's the kicker, you use TWO TEASPOONS per load of laundry. Yes, 2 tsp.! Crazy right? I've tested this already with a large load of Sean's work clothes which can be pretty dirty, and they came out just as clean as they do with the All Free & Clear that we've used for years.

Pretty neat, aye? I'm curious to see how we like this over time, but as it stands, I'm pretty happy. Have any of you made your own soap? Do you do anything different? Do tell!

If you have any questions, I'll try to answer the best I can, and I'll answer in the comments this time around, so check back if you have a burning Q.


Beedeebabee said...

Hey Sweet Pea! The bit about the "cheese" was really funny! :) I made laundry soap once...I want to do it again soon. I always added way more in with each wash than needed, but I do that with the store bought stuff too! Love that pink Zote. I'm using that this time around! Thanks Lisa! xoxo

Chrissie said...

We tried this recipe a couple of years ago, Lisa. Made and used two batches of laundry soap. We found that over time, the clothes became dingier..colors no longer bright, and didn't smell as clean. Now, I don't mean that perfumed Gain smell, I just mean didn't smell as clean. I hatehatehate spending so much for laundry soap, and haven't the foggiest what other ingredient is in it that makes a difference. Anywho, went back to the commercial brand, and a couple of times through the machine and everything looked and smelled better again. Are we spoiled by our modern soap and conditioned by it's use to expect our clothes to look and smell a certain way? Probably. I imagine this soap recipe is similar to one used by our great-grandmothers...and since everybody then used it, well, you get my drift.

Kath said...

Heh, I want to try this almost solely for the cheese part. :P

TheMistressT said...

Well, I hope it works for you as well as it has for me over these last 3-4 years. I think one's water and probably one's washer make a difference in the results. I never noticed dinginess, even in the white, but a friend of mine with different water and a different washer did. Even our dog laundry comes out bright and scentless. Also, my skin doesn't break out from the industrial detergents.

TheMistressT said...

Oopsie! I forgot to mention that I've always done the gel or cream version which could make a difference in results, of course.

Angela McRae said...

OK, the cheese thing is hysterical-you naughty child! (I knew I liked you for reasons beyond tea and crafting!)

Bobbypin Bandit said...

I am totally going to try this! Thanks for sharing!

The trickery about it being cheese is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Já fiz sabonete para banho, shampo para os cabelos e sabão liquido para o lavabo. Nunca fiz sabão em pó.
Um abraço!


Lisa said...

Oh girls, that cheese incident was too much, poor hubby! He had a really good sense of humor about it though :) So far so good with the soap, it's been almost a week. It's weird not seeing suds, I'll admit. I keep thinking I'm not putting enough in, but everything is coming out clean thus far. Chrissy, I'll be keeping an eye out for dingy results, maybe I can head it off with some Oxyclean added to really dirty loads, thanks for the heads up!