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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Edited to add:  This has been a popular post on pinterest!  Thanks for stopping by to read how I make my own laundry soap.  I thought I'd share some questions I am getting.

1.  Does this work in HE Machines?  Yes.  My mom uses an HE machine and it works wonderfully. 
2.  Is it the actual soap for laundry or is it an additive?  I guess it could be used both ways.  But we use it as our actual soap.  I use approximately 2 Tablespoons for our loads.
3.  Does any soap work?  I caution you on this.  My mother uses soap from the dollar store with no problem--but the clothes come out smelling like "little old lady who went too heavy on the perfume."  I like Fels Naptha best.  
4.  Does it dissolve well?  Yes!  As long as you grate the soap fine.  I now use a microplane, rather than the grater shown below.  It also makes a lot more soap!
5.  Does it get out stains?  Honestly, I have a habit of pre-treating stains with a stain stick.  So, my advice is to pre-treat like you normally would.

Good luck!  It works!  Promise!

Just Call me Martha....
I have decided to participate in the "Works for Me Wednesday" blog carnival over at We Are THAT Family. Very cute blog and very fun to read. You must stop over and say hi. You'll be so glad that you did.

My WFMW idea....Cheap Laundry Soap.
That you make from scratch.
For about $7.
With supplies that will last you MONTHS (in a household of about 4 people. If you're the Duggar or Bates family with 18 kids each, probably not so much).


Just to affirm your eyebrow raising gesture, the Big Guy said this weekend, "Are you sure it works?" and when I said, "Well, I found it on Rebecca Jo's blog" he cut me off and said, "Well, of course. If it's on the interweb it must be true."

Little did he know that Rebecca Jo over at Knit by God's Hand had already done the road testing for me. HELLO.....I do my research. Thankyouverymuch.

The Cast of Characters....

1 bar of soap: I suggest something natural. Ivory works too. I used a goats milk soap that I won during our breast cancer online silent auction.

**Edited to Add:  I've been making this since 2008, and have now only use Fels Naptha soap.  I find this at my grocery store.  I've had zero luck finding it at Target or Wal-Mart. 

1/2 cup of Borax: You've seen it in the laundry aisle. The 20 mule team stuff.

1/2 cup of Washing Soda: Not baking soda. You can find this on the laundry aisle too. However, I did not have any luck at Target or Wal-Mart. I actually found this at the grocery.

1/4 cup of Oxy Clean (optional & not pictured): Gives it a little extra boost. Sort of like caffeine in your coffee.

DIRECTIONSGrate the soap on a cheese grater. I used the one in our cupboard and it washed up just fine.

**Edited to Add:  I have now purchased a microplane (used for zesting fruit or for finely shredded cheese).  I have found that the microplane works MUCH BETTER for grating soap and it breaks it up into very fine pieces.  I've found that the larger pieces (seen below) work fine, but can sometimes not disolve all the way.

Of course, once you're done it will look like a pile of shredded cheese. 

I found that I wanted my shreds to be more crumbly, so I ran my fingers through them to break them up a bit. My concern was that I would have more soap than other ingredients when I scooped it out. Breaking it up has helped.

Add soap to a bowl. Mix in borax, washing soda and oxy clean.

When using this in your washer, use 1 tablespoon for normal sized and normally dirty loads.

Yes. Use 1 tablespoon. That's it!

If you have a really large load or a really, really dirty load, you can use 2 tablespoons. The small scoop in our bucket is from the oxy clean. One little scoop equals 2 tablespoons, so I use anywhere from 1/2 a scoop to a whole scoop. You can use this in High Efficiency washers. In fact, according to Ms. Rebecca--it will actually help to clean your washer from deposits and such. WAY COOL.

The Verdict
So far, so good!

I am thrilled with the outcome. I did 6 loads of laundry, including our queen sized comforter, sheets, very dirty socks, etc. They all came out clean and smelling fresh. Keep in mind that this will not be overly "perfumed". Very much a "soap and water clean" smell.

The Big Guy was concerned because he said he has sensitive skin (I think he's pulling my leg because he didn't believe it would work. After 4 years he tells me this now?). I washed up some of his clothes and he said that he hasn't had an issue.

Now....get on over to We are THAT Family for more Works for my Wednesday tips, tricks and all kinds of other great stuff!


suzannah said...

i'm planning on trying this with a bar of dr. bronner's castille soap.

i finally bought washing soda online--but then someone told me they do have it at walmart--not with the laundry but with the pool supplies.

evidently you can also make dishwasher soap with borax and washing soda--and i think citric acid. next on the to-do list:)

oh yeah, we also use Sun brand oxygen clean--$5 for a HUGE tub--way cheaper than oxyclean and exactly the same.

Rebecca Jo said...

YIPEEE!!!! You did it too...

Isnt that amazing!!! i'm still shocked when I just put in ONE Tablespoon!!! Its just the coolest!!

I am going to venture out to find some oils to make the towels have a scent - anything else - I dont care because I douse with perfume anyways! :)

Tracy Griffin - Artist said...

Sounds like a try for me! Wanna sell me a 1/2 cup of mules and soda and oxy? C'mon... you know you wanna. :)

Janice said...

You can find a lot of money saving tips at www.debtproofliving.com.

Thanks for sharing!


The Mommy said...

It's sad, but I'm SO excited about this!!!! We are THAT dirty family around here!

Caren said...

Wow...will try and convince my hubby to do this (he's the shopper in the family). Might save us some $$ with 6 people living in my house right now.

LOVED the blog...powerful message shared in the last entry. Needed to see that today.

Glad you are back!!!

shelley said...

i love when people come up with creative solutions and share them to help everyone! makes us a better world! ;) very cool! stopping by from roll call this am, nice to meet you! come by and see my "preppy" giveaway this week, and just say "hi too!" LOL

Anonymous said...

I have been making laundry soap for about 6 months and love it. Gave some to my mom to try also. I add Purex crystals for added scent and love it.