Homemade Laundry Soap

If I had written this post a year ago, I would not have had anything nice to say about laundry.  Just the word overwhelmed me.  It was a constant reminder of the fact that I could not keep up.  There was forever a huge mound of laundry, overflowing out of the laundry hampers.  There is something about that huge pile that made me feel inadequate about my homemaking capabilities. 

We had a small (teeny tiny) Spanish washer that held maybe 4 towels at the most.  It took over 2 hours to wash a load and another 1 1/2 to dry (unless I hung them out on the line).  For our family of 7 (at the time), I had to keep the washer going all day, every day.  On Sundays I didn’t wash, leaving an even larger pile to start my week off.

Needless to say, I am feeling sooo blessed these days.  I get up and wash a couple of loads in the morning and I am all caught up with laundry.  It is such a great feeling! 

Only one piece of the pie is missing…I miss using my own homemade laundry soap.  There is just something about making your own soap and being self-sufficient that just makes me smile. 

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 bar “real” Soap (You can use Fels Naptha if you can find it or Ivory, but I prefer my own handmade soap.  Don’t use Dove or any of the other store bought brands as they are not real soap, but detergent.  They don’t work well for laundry soap.)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax (You can find this in the laundry section of the store.  It is a naturally occurring mineral called sodium borate.)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Again, you can find this in the laundry section or you can even order this online.  Make sure you buy washing soda and not baking soda, same company, different products.  Washing soda is sodium carbonate, while baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.)
2 gallons Water
(Opt.) 1/2 to 1 oz. Essential or Fragrance Oil

1) Grate the soap into a large pot.  Add 1/2 a gallon of water and heat until soap melts. 
2) Add in the Borax and Washing Soda, stirring until dissolved.
3) Pour into 2 gallon bucket.
4) Add remaining 1 1/2 gallons of water.  Mix thoroughly.
5) Add in essential or fragrance oils.
6)Let sit for 24 hours.  Depending on the weather and location, the soap will range from a solid gel to an “eggdrop soup” consistency.

I use about 1/2 cup per large load of laundry.  This soap doesn’t lather up like commercial detergents, but remember, it’s not the bubbles that do the cleaning!

I would love to hear back from some of you.  If you make your own soap, please do tell!