Monday, April 11, 2011

Laundry Soap Tutorial

Because of my allergy I can't even use store bought laundry soap. Even if I double rinse. Any kind of soap residue and I'm headed for ER and some shots. Ouch! I would rather not. So I looked into making my own laundry soap with the soap I make. It turns out its really easy and cheap!! I can make enough laundry soap for 144 loads for about $2.60 ish. Not bad!! I have tried many different recipes and ways to make it and like this one the best. Most of them get all goopy and you have to stir it up before you use it. Not this one. No solid chunks floating on top.  So this is how I make my laundry soap.


5 gals of water
1 cup of borax (Food City)
1 cup of washing sodas (Food City)
2 - 3 bars of handmade soap
(in this tutorial I used banana scented lye soap)


1. Add one gallon of water to a huge cooker.
I used a deep water bath canning cooker.
It has to be large enough to boil 5 gals of water.

2. Grate the bars of soap.

3. Add grated soap to the gallon of water and heat on high.
Stir often until soap is all melted.

4. After it is all melted and mixed well add 1 cup of
borax and 1 cup of washing sodas. Continue to heat on high.
 Stir until evenly mixed.

5. After it is all mixed well and even add the other 4
gallons of water. It looks kind of milky at this stage.
Stir ever so often. Continue to heat on high. Be sure
to watch it because if it boils too much it will bubble
over!! Found that out the hard way!!! LOL

6. Now its done! See how clear it looks. Turn off heat.
Its heating it to this stage that keeps it from seperating
in the bucket. Let it cool some and pour into a 5 gallon
bucket. Its ready to use.

I don't much care for lye soap made from lard in this laundry soap recipe. It seems to be too oily to me. It may just be me but I prefer olive oil soaps. I have also made it without washing sodas and borax but really like it with it. Seems to clean better.  I haven't added any scent oils just yet to my laundry. The bars do lose their scent after it has been watered down so much. Also the color doesn't get on your clothes unless its super super dark. I've used Kentucky blue color before without any trouble in my whites. Use your own judgement on that one. I have been using this laundry soap recipe for years now and love it. I also use it to clean the house. Mop, wash walls, and counters. If you have any questions just post a comment of send me an email. I am happy to help all I can.

Thanks for stopping by!! :)


Cocobong Soaps said...

Great tutorial!

Melanie said...

Thanks so much!! :)

transyamber said...

Gonna have to try this!

ropcorn said...

Wow. I have never thought about how soap is made or that I can make it at home. So I found this post really cool. Thanks for sharing! :p

Melanie said...

You are very welcome!! I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks so much for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Just linked over from Nifty Thrifty. I have a few questions. First, can I cut the recipe in half and make a smaller batch? Even with the seven of us, it would take a long time to go through five gallons, and I don't know how we would store it. Next, can I use a store-bought soap like Ivory or Dove in place of the homemade bar? Finally, I have an HE washer. Will this work okay in that?

Thanks for the tutorial. I am eager to give this a try.

Melanie said...

Hello and welcome!
Sure you can cut the recipe in half. It will still work great. I have seen some of my friends use store bought soap without a problem. I just use handmade because I'm allergic to others. Some of my friends have HE washers and use it. They say because it doesn't bubble much it doesn't cause a problem. Can you test it out on your HE? I don't have an HE washer and haven't got to try it.

Anonymous said...

I will give it a try and let you know. (Warning: it may be a month before I get to it. We are winding down the school year and it's a busy time.)

Melanie said...

Thanks so much!! Can't wait to hear from you. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie. I made your recipe and it did turn out, It was one solid chunk. Now what do i do,Do i use it like this in solid form. How much per load.It is nice not to stir or shake before each load. Thank-you. Patricia

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie. This really works, It is one solid chunk. Do i use it in this form.No shaking or stirring well be great.Thanks. Patricia

Melanie said...

Hhhmmm Not sure why its a solid chunk. If the solid chunk is sitting on top of the water you will need to stir it up in the water. I've had that happen many times if I don't heat it long enough. When I do heat it long enough it is a thick liquid. If you wanted to use it in the solid chunk form you could just add a smaller amount and let it mix in the water in the machine before adding clothes. :) I hope that helps. Just let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help. :)

Anonymous said...

Good morning Melanie,What i mean't was that it was a solid chunk in my bucket.There was no liquid at the bottom and solid on top.I took my stick blender and gave it a whirl with that yesterday and this morning it had a thick creamy consistoncy. Are u saying that it should have stayed in the clear liquid form. Could i have cooked it to long.(35 minutes)Thanks Patricia

Melanie said...

Oh ok. I see. A thick creamy consistency is ok. You can use that no problem. Maybe just use half a cup instead of a cup. It wont stay the clear liquid but will be about like a thick butter milk. Doesn't sound like you cooked it too long. Sounds good. :)