I created this laundry soap a few years ago after a ton of research. It seems everyone has their own idea on how to do this simple thing. Bottom line is nobody wants to run around the neighborhood in dirty clothes and everyone wants to wash their clothes for cheap. I have made many changes to suit my need and have finally come to a recipe that I feel is worth posting about and won’t have you scratching your head wondering what the hell do I do and how much do I need. It is simple and easy to remember.
First things first, you need a clean 5 gallon bucket. If you are in Canada, you might remember what 5 gallons is, don’t you? Me I can not remember metric so you don’t get to see metric. I know what a 5 gallon bucket looks like and that is what I have. Next on the list is your ingredients. I added a photo just in case you need to see what this stuff looks like. I got all mine at Walmart. I did see some people wearing strange clothing while I was there, quite a number were wearing pajamas but they were all clean so I know they sell laundry products there.
#1 – One box of Borax. You will need 2 cups of this.
#2 – Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda). You will also need 2 cups of this.
#3 – 2 bars of sulfate free soap. I have used a couple different kinds and am now using sunlight bar soap. I like it. Just do not get any kind that has moisturizer in it.
#4 – You will need your 5 gallon Bucket with a lid of some sort to cover it.
#5 – A box cheese grater
#6 – A large sized pot and 8 cups of water.
#7 – To make your life easier get one of those long paint stirrers that you put in your drill. This is just optional but you will be up to your elbows in liquid soap trying to get it mixed up on the second day. It does tend to dry your hands out if you are mixing it that way.
#8 – Empty jugs for your soap and a funnel with a wide spout that will still fit to the inside of your jugs and a large measuring cup with a handle on it is nice to pour your soap into the funnel.
OK Let the fun begin! First you need to grate those 2 bars of soap and while your doing that heat up the pot with your 8 cups of water on the stove. You do not want it to boil. Once you have all your soap grated take it over to the stove and start sprinkling it into the hot water a bit at a time stirring constantly. You do not want to pour it all in as it will clump up and you will never get it to melt. Remember do not let it boil so keep the heat down.
While this is melting grab your bucket and fill it about half way with hot water and slowly add your 2 cups of Borax and the 2 cups of washing soda, do not be tempted to dump it all in! I did once and it was not a pretty sight. Stirring well so as to get the lumps out. By the time you get all the lumps out and have been stirring the melting pot of soap at the same time you will be wondering “is all this really worth it”. The answer is YES! While you are at it you might as well sing that little song “This is how we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes, early Monday morning”.
OK now everything is melted in the pot and stirred in the bucket you want to add the melted soap from the pot to the bucket and give it a good stir. You can go ahead and use your paint stirrer attached to the drill here if you like but at this stage I just stir it with a long handled wooden spoon. Once well combined top off the bucket with more hot water, stir some more, then cover the bucket with your lid and let sit overnight.
The next morning when you remove the lid you will see one big mass of gel. The above image is to show you how thick this is. That mason jar could sit there all day and not sink. This needs to be well stirred again to get that glob more liquefied. This is where that paint stirrer comes into play.
That big glob is freaking hilarious. My eyes went as big as saucers the first time I uncovered it.
Start slow and you can gradually increase the speed and if you are doing it by hand just keep squishing it between your fingers. I spend about 20 minutes on it to get it to the consistency of a thick runny pudding. Once you have it really well combined you can go ahead and pour it into your saved jugs. I use these ocean spray pink grapefruit juice jugs that I love as they have a handy handle and the spout is a bit wider than a milk jug. Plus they are nice and sturdy. Do not fill them completely to the top. Leave some space as it will start to thicken up again and you will want to give it a good shake before using. It will seem a bit lumpy as it is very concentrated but it will all dissolve in the washing machine without leaving soap clumps on your clothes. Also when doing this I would recommend during the pouring process to do it on a bare floor so cleanup will be easier.
The photo below is of my wide mouth funnel which is actually one of those ice scrapers you get at Canadian tire to scrape your car windows in the winter. Just pop off that spiky thing and it is the perfect size for this job.
I use one third of a cup in my laundry and clothes come out very clean. Also this is great in those HE washers as there is no sulfates to cause all those suds you do not need, but think you need to get things clean. You have been brainwashed!
There you have it. This is ridiculously cheap. I have had the same box of borax and washing soda for 3 years now and still have some left to make 2 more buckets of soap. An extra bonus is the smaller foot print you have made on our mother earth.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about this in the comment section I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
*UPDATE* *Sept. 09, 2016* I am now making a new batch of laundry soap. My son and I do an average of 5 loads of laundry per week. So that put’s this 5 gallon bucket as lasting me 7 and 1/2 months of laundry soap for just pennies a bucket!