Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade laundry soap - Not a Fan!

** Read to the bottom for my 6 month update**

I've been beyond derelict in getting around to fulfilling those New Year's resolutions, one of which was to explore means of "greening" my life.  So today I decided to try my hand at making my own laundry soap.  I found a recipe online and headed off to the local Rural King in search of various detergents.

It's really very simple to make. One large box of baking soda, another of borax, Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, one tub of Oxi Clean, and 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap.

Unwrap and stick the soap in the microwave for 2.5 minutes at half power (it puffs up like a marshmallow).  Then spin the bar soap in a food processor to create soap powder.

Put everything in a 3.5 gallon bucket, mix well and voila.

You use much less of this since there are no fillers.  Each load gets 1-2 tablespoons of soap, depending on its size.  It took minutes to put together, and the cost is about half that of the cheapest liquid laundry detergent on the market.  Here are the figures.

All  Free & Clear Laundry Soap, 150 oz.
Tide 2X Ultra, 150 oz.
Product Cost

 $               11.97
 $            17.97
 $            2.99

Baking soda
 $            3.99

Oxy Clean, 96 oz.
 $            4.00

Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
 $            3.24

Fels Naptha Soap (X3)
 $            4.47

 $            1.40
 $                 0.90
 $              1.35
 $         20.09
 $               12.87
 $            19.32
# of Loads
Cost per load
 $            0.08
 $                 0.13
 $              0.21

After using this for a week or so, I've decided that there is too much filler and not enough soap in this.  So I'm going to add two more bars of the Fels Naptha and see if that doesn't improve its performance some.  Check back for more updates!

OK, after using this for a while I have some feedback.  First, unless you wash in hot, hot water, anything but the completely powdered fels naptha soap fails to melt.  Unmelted soap can't do it's job. In fact, even in hot water, I sometimes find little balls of fels naptha soap in the dryer vent screen.  So, I have to say, in many instances, I'm washing my clothes in softened water without soap!  So no, I can't say that I'm a fan of this for everyday use.  I now use it as an additive to my laundry soap.   Softened water does allow the soap to do a better job, but I've returned to using store-bought liquid laundry soap as the main cleaning agent.

And no, I won't be making this again.  I can always add a little washing soda toand borax for much less $$.

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