April 13, 2011

Laundry, Laundry, Laundry...Soap!

Over the weekend I made my very first batch of laundry soap. Ever! It was not that hard (once I figured out how I needed to shred the bar soap-trust me, it was harder for me than I think anyone else!) either. I will be doing this again and again. I don't think I will use store bought laundry soap anymore!

My failed attempt to grate the soap in my processor

This is better! after I used a cheese grater (this is the key word!) I used my fingers to make the soap pieces even smaller!

With making our efforts to become more green and eco-friendly I figured instead of buying a box of soap that costs around $30 for a 33 oz. box, I can definitely save money!

Here is the recipe I used:

2 cups bar soap- finely grated ($4.64 for 10 bars at 4.5 oz.)
1 cup Washing Soda ($4.19 for 55 oz. box)
1 cup Borax ($11.99 for 76 oz. box)

(I used Ivory soap, but Fels Naptha Soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, and Zote will work too. DON'T use heavily perfumed soaps!)

All you do, is mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight plastic container! Use only 2 tablespoons per full load. *The soap will not produce suds, but rest assure it is doing the job....and well!

Finished laundry detergent! I also sifted the bigger pieces outta this batch. 

So far with B's diapers, this detergent is, by far, better than the store bought brands- leaving her diapers smelling like Spring! It works amazing on our clothes too. 

I just can't wait to try different soaps with different smells... Perhaps in keeping with our eco theme I need to buy organic or eco-friendly soaps! 

I haven't figured out my cost of everything, and how many loads I can get out of each purchase, but I found a site that had a detailed breakdown of her costs just to give you an idea:
Here are my calculations: The cost of making the above recipe of laundry soap was .71 cents.  That was amazing to me!  With this 2 gallon size recipe you will have enough to do 64 loads of laundry.  That translates to about .01 cent a load. 
 How Did I Figure This Out? Here is the breakdown of my costs and how I came up with those numbers (I am using the prices I paid for these items and you may find your price varies some based on what you pay): Fels Naptha: $1.12  for a 5.5 oz bar.  The recipes says use a 1/3 of a bar.  I calculated 2 oz. just to make the math a little easier.  The cost of the Fels Naptha per batch is: .40 cents

Washing Soda: $2.23 for a 55 oz. box.  This came to .17 cents per batch.  I calculated how much per oz (2.23 divided by 55) and then weighed a half cup of washing soda (4.2oz.) and multiplied my per oz. price by 4.2 Borax: $3.27 for a 76 oz. box.  This came to .14 cents per batch.  Did the same calculations as above, however a 1/2 cup of borax weighs 3.5 oz. For the final numbers I have .40 + .17 + .14 = .71 for 2 gallons of laundry detergent. 

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