I am going to make an admission: I have never made my own laundry soap. Like ever. Like never ever.
Before anyone gets twitchy at me for sharing a non-food recipe, I am going to tell you now that what you put into contact with your skin is as important as what you put into your body. Skin contact matters. Harsh chemicals matter. Perfumes and fragrances matter. And, hey. There’s always the fun of making something yourself!
Why? In short, I thought I had too many other things to do to fuss over laundry soap.
1. Tell the dog to stop chewing my bras.
2. Have a staring contest with the cat.
3. Try to perfect a bread made from chicken paste.
4. Make pirate faces in the mirror.
5. Answer emails, pay bills, do taxes, other stuff.
Benefits of the laundry soap
- Easy to make
- It’s less expensive.
- It smells just as pretty
- So many scent options
- My clothes are soft
- Clothes don’t get moldy when forgotten
- Clothes aren’t fading fast
- Products used can be applied directly to the skin
Disclaimer: The product is not in any way, shape or form Sanrio-approved. I just seriously love Hello Kitty. I am a high-bling girl when it comes to my homemade stuff, so Hello Kitty had to adorn my bucket.
I like my laundry soap super-scented, so I make sure all of my products have the same smell, from the Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap to the bar soap, to the essential oil. You can go with Jojoba, Hemp, Fresh Cotton, or even mix and match scents. I love lavender, and for my first foray into the world of scented products, I went 100% lavender. I based my process and recipe from these amazing peeps, so visit their site!
What you’ll need
- Find a 5-gallon bucket. I bought mine from WalMart because I wanted a white bucket, but you can buy yours from anywhere, from Home Depot, to Lowe’s, to Target.
- Mod Podge. This is like random, but seriously, mod-podging the instructions right to the container you plan to use is an important tool for not losing the instructions and for protecting them on the container itself. I use Mod-Podge to first glue the instructions to the container. Then I brush Mod-Podge over the top of the instructions to seal them from water damage. Don’t have Mod-Podge? Use Emler’s white glue instead to glue and to protect.
- A stir stick. It doesn’t matter if you grab one of the taller ones Home Depot offers for free in the paint department or you use a clean dowel you have laying around.
- Borax: I bought mine at a local big box seller. You can also check out the Borax site and locate stores.
- Washing Soda. This was the hardest for me to locate, and it was cheapest to purchase online. I think Ace Hardware also sells it.
- Dr. Bronners: I found mine at Walgreens, but it’s also sold everywhere, from Krogers, to Sprouts, to Super Target. You can also buy it online.
- Essential Oil: Buy this anywhere essential oils are found. I typically shop online at amazon.com, but I’ve seen it at Sprouts, too. Sometimes soap suppliers also sell it (I’ve seen it at the larger craft stores in the candlemaking/soap supply aisle).
- Water. It’s essential.
- A large stock pot. I use one that is vastly huge and holds a spankload of water.
- A 1/2 cup measuring device. I typically use a leftover liquid measuring cup from other laundry detergent products.
- A container for easy dispensing is optional. I use a leftover laundry dispenser that allows you to press a bulb to release liquid into the cup. It works well, has a handle, and is easy to store in the cupboard. You can also use milk jugs, soda bottles, old bleach bottles (just be sure to obviously mark your bottles so people know it’s laundry soap. A ribbon tied around the neck or through the handle is a good indicator that your once-time bleach bottle is no longer bleach.
Ooh La La Lavender Laundry Soap
2 cups Borax
2 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/3 Cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap
20 drops Lavender essential oil
½ bar Shredded Dr. Bronners Bar Soap
Fill a stock pot ¾ full with water. Dissolve Borax and Washing Soda in the water. Add Liquid soap, lavender and bar soap. Stir occasionally until almost at a boil. Remove from heat. Pour into a 5 gallon bucket. Add hot water to the bucket until the 5-gallon bucket is nearly full. Stir. The mixture will gel overnight.
Use ½ cup detergent per load.
As a fabric softener, add ½ cup white vinegar + enough water to the center fabric softener receptacle to fill it.