Old Fashioned Homemade Laundry Soap

Here it is, as promised…I’ve been using this homemade recipe for laundry soap for the last two weeks and so far I have liked the results. Now granted it isn’t summer and I haven’t tried to wash any “yard and garden” clothes in it, but so far, so good.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Here are the products you’ll need to make this:

20 Mule Team Borax – Big 4lb box

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – 3lb box

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda – 4lb box

Oxi Clean Stain Remover Powder – 3lb Box

Purex Crystals Laundry Enhancer – 5.50z

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap – 5 bars

The hardest part with all this is grating the Fels-Naptha bars. Some of the sites I found recommend using a cheese grater. Take it from me and save yourself some time and use a food processor. It doesn’t look as pretty when your done, but your arms will thank you later.

Mix all the ingredients in a large container with a cover. You can layer as needed or do the shake method, up to you. Just make sure the ingredients are equally distributed.

I’ve read that in the summer with humidity this stuff hardens like cement. Try to keep it stored in an airtight container someplace dry. I also read that you can put a scoop of rice in some cheesecloth, tie it up and stick it inside with your detergent to help, as well.

What does all this cost? Well, I can tell you that in doing some comparison-shopping here in New Hampshire the cheapest place to find these ingredients (and I hate to say this) is Walmart. Yes folks, even Market Basket was a few pennies more expensive and they didn’t have the large boxes of baking soda.

The first three ingredients should cost you just under $4 each. The Oxi-Clean is the most expensive at $7 and change. The Purex Crystals were only $3.62. So over all I paid $28.08 for everything. It makes about 15lbs of detergent and you only need to use 2 tablespoons per load. You read that right, just 2 tablespoons. Since it is just my boyfriend and I, I am thinking that this stuff will last us a while.

And I have to admit, I just love the smell of the soap. Reminds me of when my mother did laundry in an old tub washing machine that she used to roll up and hook to the kitchen sink.

This summer, my boyfriend has promised to build me an outdoor clothesline. I’m not usually the hang out to dry kind of gal, but if we are going to get serious about this cost-savings/sustainability idea, then using Mother Nature to dry my clothes is the way to go.

The other good thing about this recipe is the Borax. I have been using the Borax to wash the bathrooms, toilets and kitchen sink. I sprinkle some onto a damp sponge and wash away. For the toilet, I sprinkle about a quarter cup (give or take), swoosh with a brush and then let it sit. I like that it doesn’t have that strong chemical smell you get with other cleaners. It is very clean and fresh.

The only downside I have seen so far is with the shower. We have well water, which leaves hard water stains. With chemical cleaners, you spray, wait and then wash. You have to do a little more scrubbing when using the Borax, but it does come clean.

It worked really well on my stainless steel kitchen sink and I even used it on my counters. Granted I only have laminate counters at the moment, but I think it would be find on other surfaces.

The back of the Borax also states you can clean rugs with it. Might have to try that.

If you keep an extra bar of the fels-Naptha soap, you can rub a little onto stains you may have in your clothes before washing them. Every knows you can use baking soda to clean grout and pour a little down your drains to keep them smelling fresh.

So, there you have it, inexpensive laundry soap where you can also use the ingredients for cleaning other rooms in your house. And did I mention how good everything smells?

Check out my Pinterest board on Ways to Save here http://www.pinterest.com/antiquecouple/ways-to-save/ where you can find a link to the laundry soap recipe and other cleaning recipes using everyday items.

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