Since the beginning of civilization, mankind has been using some sort of washing solution to clean self and/or clothing, but it wasn’t until very recently (1946) when the first surfactant/builder detergent took off, according to the Cleaning Institute website. They tell us, “The surfactant is a detergent product’s basic cleaning ingredient, while the builder helps the surfactant to work more efficiently.” Before this breakthrough, the soap and detergent industry had been building up to the monumental discovery which now affects our everyday lives (and budgets), and which we now lovingly refer to as ‘laundry soap.’ Today, detergents of all sorts compete on the market, and we Americans are forced to pick and choose which of these pricey products to purchase, as our income grows smaller and our budgets grow tighter. Well, America, there is an old-fashioned solution. Are you prepared for a little DIY?
Homemade Laundry Soap: You Can Do It Yourself
Yes, you can make your own laundry soap. All you need are a few ingredients, all of which are available at your nearby supermarket or grocery store, and about 10 minutes of your time.
Here’s a list of the ingredients:
– One ½ cup of Borax (I prefer 20-Mule-Team brand of Borax, but pick whichever brand you want, or buy different brands and compare – however you want to do it; all borax is really the same.)
-One ½ cup of SUN Oxygen Cleaner (or any other OxiClean knockoff)
-One ½ cup of Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda
-One bar of grated Ivory hand soap (One bar makes about one cup when grated)
Powdered Laundry Soap: Combine Ingredients First
Combine all of the ingredients above in a plastic container with a lid, and mix thoroughly. (I use a recycled yogurt container) Once you’ve mixed everything together, you’ll end up with 2 1/2 cups of powdered laundry detergent.
Ready to Wash Your Clothes? Don’t Use Too Much!
This laundry soap is much more potent than your grocery store brand! Don’t use the huge cup measurement that came with your last box of Tide – break out something a little smaller. Like a Tablespoon. (No kidding)
-For one small load, use 2 Tablespoons of detergent.
-For one medium load, use 3 Tablespoons of detergent.
-One large load, use ¼ cup of detergent.
If used properly, this soap should, on average, clean about 48 loads! Now that’s a deal you won’t find in 3 cups of regular store-bought detergent!
Laundry Detergent Additions: Optional
Do you like your clothes to smell pretty? To add fragrance to this otherwise scentless detergent, simply add one ½ cup of your favorite fabric softener to the mix – it’ll give your laundry a nice aroma and a softer touch, at a wildly reduced cost. However, if you prefer to go completely natural, just use a few drops of skin-safe essential oils in the batch of laundry soap to liven up your laundry.
Tips and Notes:
You may be tempted to use more than the above amount for each load, because it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough, but resist the temptation! I can say from personal experience that putting too much soap into your laundry loads does not make them cleaner – it simply makes them slimy. (Yuck)
To make more than this size of a batch, simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe until you get the desired amount. I like to stock up, personally, but it also makes great gifts for frugal friends and neighbors!
If you don’t want to use Ivory soap, you can use Zote, or Pink Laundry soap in place of the Ivory. (Find it in the laundry section of your grocery store, or Wal Mart.) Beware, thought – the laundry bars are really really hard to grate.
Laundry Detergent Conquered!
Are you worried by the questionable ingredients and chemicals in your laundry detergent? By following this all-natural recipe, you know what is going on your clothes, so worry no more. Memorize this formula, keep oodles of spare ingredients in a closet, and maybe even make little baggies full of pre-made laundry soap to put in your Bug Out Bags (B.O.B.), and you will be the perfect example of a mom that prepares!