7.12.2010

i did it too!

I know that this is all over the internet, but I'm going to add my 7 cents since someone asked me about it. 

My sister is getting married and is going domestic on us so it was a nice treat when she invited herself and my mom over to make laundry soap. I bought the ingredients several months ago and was glad for the company to complete the task.

I found recipes in several places but decided to go with the one that Tina shared on her blog because it had less Fells Naptha. When I first bought ingredients at Smiths I just bought random amounts of the ingredients and hadn't bought enough Fels Naptha for my other ingredients. 

This picture is of the ingredients in a large batch.
(6 cups Washing Soda, 6 cups Borax, 4 bars Fels Naptha)

BUT I doubled it and made and EXTRA Large batch because if I'm going to make the effort, I'm going to go BIG! 

(My doubled list of ingredients) 
1 4lb. 12 oz. box of Borax  (that has 12 cups)
2 3lb. 7oz. boxes of Super Washing Soda (that has 6 cups).
8 bars Fels Naptha.

Measured out, the recipe is
12 cups Borax
12 cups Super Washing Soda
8 bars Fels Naptha

 (I found all of the ingredients at Smiths on Nellis/Stewart)


"Making" the soap is dang simple. The term making is used loosely because all you are actually doing is combining 3 ingredients. There are only 2 steps.

STEP 1: Grate the soap

This is the most time consuming step by far. 


You can do it BY HAND or WITH A STRONG FOOD PROCESSOR

We did both ways.

My sister and mom got the most exercise and grated their 6 bars (since they were splitting a large batch following a recipe that used 6 bars) by hand.

It's kind of tedious.

See?
 BUT:

If you add a bit of singing, it makes the time pass quicker....even if the 3 year old thinks it a bit strange.


Since I was grating 8 bars,  I used the food processor and 3 very "helpful" children. I had to empty the processor 3 times.

Yes, I we made a BIG mess.

The soap worked my machine hard and made an awful racket at the end of every bar, but it saved me lots of elbow grease. Washing it was a pain so If I was doing a 1 or 2 bar batch I would grate by hand!

My processor doesn't grate on a fine setting so after the initial grating I ran the processor with the "S" blade to grind it up a bit more.

Then it was perfect.

STEP 2: Mix



I used a massive bucket because I made an extra large batch. It needs to be mixed well to distribute the soap as evenly as possible.

It made A BUNCH which will last just about forever, especially since you just use 2 tbs. per load.

I just use a heaping coffee scoop.

Here it is in my soap jar:

I enjoy the light yellow color...
AND the swirly look from the side. 


Here's my review after doing 5 loads:

So far, so good. 
 *****I give it  5 STARS *****

I LOVE that it is dang cheep. I don't remember how much I spent since I'm not so good at keeping receipts, but Tina did a cost analysis and said it came out to only 7 cents per load.

I enjoy the light smell especially since I usually use scent free detergent.

I have a front loading washer and it is working perfectly! It all washes out of the little tray even.

I like that my clothes came out clean for a fraction of the cost.
I will definitely be making this again when I run out. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a while though!


I like that I know exactly what's in it and am using less harmful ingredients next to my families skin.
For my next batch I am considering using Dr. Bronners Castille Soap like my friend Ashley and Soul Mama did since Fels Naptha isn't all that natural (I had already bought it and it's way better than your average detergent goes.)


Has anyone else tried this yet? 
What did you think?

13 comments:

christina said...

i've wanted to do this for years, but my apprehension is whether it will wear my clothes out more quickly? for some reason in my mind it seems like it would be harsher on them and they would fade more quickly? i have no idea where i got that notion, but it's been nagging me for years. maybe i will finally try it out. i'm almost out of detergent!

craftyashley said...

I used the Dr. Bronners soap. The peppermint smell to the laundry. A-MAZING. However, it doesn't work so well with my HE washer. I have to fill up the tray with water then swirl it around to make sure everything is dissolving right or else I end up with a brick of it in the tray after the wash.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was fun working and singing together with my girls an grandkids. Great job!!!! Love, MOM

Angie Larkin said...

I just like saying Fels Naptha. Fels Naptha. Fels....Naptha. That looks cool!

Sam said...

I've made this in liquid form and have only seen recipes for it in liquid form. I've used mine for almost a year. I really like it, but stains do not come out as well and whites start to look dingy after a while. I usually keep an ice cream bucket around filled with water and washing soda. I keep my stained clothes in the bucket until wash day. This helps get them cleaner. I really like the dry detergent idea. I'll have to try it.

Karen said...

I made some and I'm almost out of it. :( I really like it and it seems to work wonderfully!! :)

Chels said...

1st.... DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?!?!?!??!?! WHERE IS THE POST ON THAT!?!?!? I DEMAND MORE PHOTOS! It looks way cute from what I see! Oh cute!

2nd... how is the detergent on sensitive skin? my babe had hives from tide so I use the stuff thats unscented and "free" (cause dreft was gettin $$)
Maybe I can steal a couple cups? That way I can try it on her?

3rd.... I LOVE THE DETERGENT! It's in such a cute glass too! I love Fels Naptha, its amazing on stains!! So anything with that as a primary ingredent is GOOD!

4th... tell me about the color fading (that Christina was talking about) in a few months. (I feel a follow up post comin on...)

YOU ARE SO COOL. Makin your own detergent...
and the tomatoes.... quality all the way mama!

i said...

i am anxious to see how it pans out over the months this batch will last. i will update later. chels: i did not cut my hair, though i'm going to today. i think you are thinking my sister is me. ;0) also, you sure can have some. i bet it will be fine, expecially if you were to use dr bronners as the soap! ;)

stout family said...

I use a mix of borax & washing soda on my diapers (since soap is not that great for them) and love it! they come out so clean and fresh! As for the dinginess(sp?), it is probably because regular detergents use optical brighteners that make clothes brighter, but it isan added chemical. so it is a give & take! let me know how it goes though!

Salena said...

I have been making the liquid version for over a year and have enjoyed it. I did notice some dinginess in my whites too but I wasn't sure if it was my bad water after I had some hot water heater backwash problems. But the dry version sounds so much easier to have on hand. No shaking the bottle to remix. If you use only 2 table spoons for your HE do you think I would double it for an old school washer? Thanks so much for sharing!

Mary said...

I found the stuff at the Smith's on boulder highway. I'm totally gonna try it! Thanks!

Michelle said...

I've never heard of this but it sounds pretty cool. By the way, did you cut your hair?

Paul and Ines said...

Hey you don't have to travel all the way out there...I made the liquid version of this & bought everything (the same as you) at Ace Hardware right next to trader joes....how much do you put into your wash? how long do you think your stash will last ??? I figured my liqid which was halved will last a month & was about $3 to make..crazy,huh? I feel the same way about knowing what's in our stuff & being able to make what I need...i used to make my own baby wipes too...there are great recipes out there!!