Friday, July 8, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

The first question I usually get when people find out all the crazy things I do is "Why?" My answer is usually "Because I can!" Case and point: homemade laundry soap. Why would I make my own when I can go to the store and buy it? The big reason: it is cheap. And I mean dirt cheap. Before I get into the cost, let me show you my way of making it.

The supplies: Borax soap, washing soda (NOT baking soda!), and soap. I used Zote because that is what I can find easiest, but you can also use Ivory or Fels Naptha soap. All these things you can get in the laundry aisle at the grocery store, I even can find it at the commissary here. I also add some essential oil, so you can add that to the list of things you need if you so choose.

Grate 1/3 of the bar of your soap into a big ol' pan. Then you have what looks like pink cheese. How fun!

Add 6 cups of warm water and heat until the soap is all melted. Add 1/2 cup of the washing soda and 1/2 cups of the Borax and add to the mixture. You can then add the essetial oil if you would like, 1/2 to 1 oz. I used mint eucalyptus in this batch.  Remove from the heat. Put 4 cups of hot water into another huge stockpot or bucket. I used the pot I use to water bath when canning for this part. Then pour the soap mixture in. Add another gallon (yes....gallon) and 6 more cups of hot water and stir until it is all mixed.

That's it. For real. Let it sit about a day and it will get a gel-like just like the store bought kind.

So let's talk the real important reason for making your own soap (aside from that you get pink laundry soap, I mean, come on, would you NEED another reason?! :) Ok, so the biggie...the money factor. Here is a kind of cost breakdown:

Zote: about a dollar
Borax: $2.39
Arm and Hammer wash soda: $2.29
Water...yep, that's still free! Well for us in base housing it is at least!

So altogether It was about 6 bucks to buy supplies, plus the little bit of essential oil I already had. That would be cheaper than a lot of soaps right there. And this makes enough to do about 64 loads. Woah. Plus you will still have enough Zote for 2 more loads, and enough of the other 2 things for about a bajillion more. Plus you can use Borax for so many other things, so it is totally worth it to have on hand. Ok, so the one batch if you figure it out per load ends up being about 1 cent a load. 1 little penny. Plus I get to have yummy smelling soap. Try finding eucalyptus soap at the store. You can do seasonal smells too! Goes perfect for me with my holiday obsession. And I made it myself, which pretty much rocks.

And THAT is why I do it.


  1. Just be very careful with Borax with little ones. It is extremely toxic.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the info Amy! It seems that they flip flop on Borax's safety, doesn't it?!