Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | By: Lynny Prince

Homemade Laundry Soap and Other Musings!

Hello friends! I am going a bit off topic of my regular blog to bring you my adventures in soap making. Lots of people are asking how I made my own laundry soap and fabric softener, so I am posting it here for all to see. It was quite an experience and took a couple of hours, but when I think of all the money I will save, I think it's well worth the time put into it. (which really isn't that long.)

So, as I stated on my FB page yesterday. I made my own homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener. Yes, in between everything else I have going on, I did manage to find time to do this! I am tired of overpriced laundry soap and wanted to give this a whirl. It is nice to know exactly what is in the stuff I am washing our clothes in, and who needs all the chemicals anyway?

Before I begin, it is important to note that you need to do this on a warm day so you can open the windows. You also need to be aware that its a good idea to pour the powder into your container outside in fresh air. If not, I recommend a face mask for sure! I was lucky enough to enjoy unseasonably mild weather in my town yesterday, so I had the windows open and was out on the porch when pouring the powders into my container.

With all that in mind, here's how I did it:

1. I purchased 2 bars of Fels Naptha soap, a box of 20 Mule Team Borax, a box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, a half gallon of distilled white vinegar and a 22 oz. bottle of Suave lilac hair conditioner.

I didn't take pics of everything I purchased, but everyone knows what the products look like, I think, and it is all found in the laundry isle. I found the stuff for the laundry detergent right together on the same shelf, in fact, all at Walmart!

First step is taking the Fels Naptha and cutting it into 3 equal pieces:

Put one piece into a paper bowl, and microwave on high for one minute, NO LONGER OR IT WILL BURN! If your microwave sits above your stove, turn on the exhaust. Open windows in the kitchen, too. The soap does not have an unpleasant smell, just a strong one. I nuked my soap one piece at a time.

When it comes out of the microwave, it will look like this:

Let this "blob" cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes. It is quite hot and you will be putting this in a big ziplock bag, so you don't want to melt it!

Next step is putting it in that ziplock and squeeze all the air out of it. Begin to "squish" it so that it crumbles inside the bag. I got it to crumble so far, and then I took a glass with a flat bottom to continue smashing it down into a powder.
<------This is just about done here. I gave it a few more smashes just for good measure. It's quite easy to work with once it cools down.

Once I was done with that, I started to transfer it into my container. I just used an old pitcher type of jug I had gotten from the Dollar General Store a few years ago. I worked great.

At this time, I also went ahead and measured out the washing soda and Borax, 2 cups each. I took them onto the porch and poured them into my container, then stirred it all up with a wooden spoon, alternating as I poured so it would mix evenly.  I read where others put it all in a garbage bag and mix it that way. However you do it, mix it well, and do it outside or with a mask on.

That's it for the laundry detergent. You only use two tablespoons per load. It's working great so far!
The clothes look clean and smell fresh.

For the fabric softener, you use two cups each of the distilled white vinegar and the hair conditioner. Add to that 6 cups of hot water. Mix well, but don't shake too hard or it will suds up a lot. I used an empty Gain detergent bottle to put my fabric softener in, not the bottle in this picture. It didn't work out well in the bottle pictured, and is much easier to shake in the Gain bottle.
I use two Gain capfuls per load, but it does not leave much of a smell. It is pleasant, not strong. I will say that our clothes are very soft, more soft than they have ever been, probably because the vinegar is helping with our hard water.

All in all, we are happy with the homemade versions I created. The clothes are clean and come out smelling fresh, not perfum-y. Other blogs I have read on this subject say you can add a few drops of essential oils into the fabric softener and I do plan to do that, too, just don't have any at the moment. I think I will try sandlewood or lemon. Will keep you posted!

If you have any questions about this, please write me on my FB page or through my website. 

Til next time, I wish you love, peace, and homemade detergent to get the frybread grease out of your clothes!! LOL