I’ve made a few batches of this laundry soap and decided I just wasn’t crazy about it. I liked that there wasn’t any grating or cooking involved, but I just felt like it wasn’t cleaning quite enough, and it didn’t have a prominent enough smell.
I have a few version of detergent recipes pinned (Don’t we all?), so I thought I’d give another one a shot. I sort of combined this recipe with this one to create my own version. I liked the first one because it included essential oils, which I figured would make it smell good, but I didn’t want to make such a huge batch without trying it first. So, I used the second recipe and combined the Fels-naptha soap and essential oil from the first. Lets hope that was a good idea!
Here’s what I used:
3/4 bar Fels-naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
1 cup Borax
Lemon Essential oil
2 gallons water
Here’s what I did:
Obviously, you start by gathering supplies. Sometimes people have a little trouble finding the borax. TP Outdoors carries it (and the Fels-naptha) if you’re in the area. The essential oils were equally tough to find. I finally found mine at Fiesta Nutrition. Some article suggest to not use supplies from your kitchen, so I dug a pot and grated spoon from the garage sale pile.
You begin by grating your soap. I bought the Betty Crocker grater from the Dollar Tree, specifically to make this soap, but it grated the soap too finely so it was taking FOREVER! I ended up pulling my hand grater from the kitchen and using it instead. One of the recipes suggested using just half of the bar of soap, so the detergent wouldn’t be too thick. I wasn’t sure, so I went the middle of the road and used 3/4 of the bar. However, the detergent ended up being too thick for me, so I’d suggest only using 1/2 of the Fels-naptha.
After grating the soap, you add it to the pot with one gallon of water. I also read somewhere that you have better results from using distilled water, so I purchased two gallons from TP Outdoors, as well. (Turns out that distilled water makes it thicker…that may be another reason mine was too thick.)
Heat the soap and water until the soap melts. I cooked mine over medium heat. Warning: this process took much longer than I expected…approximately 10-15 minutes.
Once the soap is melted, you add in 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax. I also added 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil. (I chose lemon because I like the smell, and because they say lemon kills bacteria, etc.) Mix these ingredients together and bring to a boil. This process took much longer than I expected too. However, when it started boiling, it almost immediately started to boil over, so I’d keep a close eye on it.
Once the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and add the other gallon of cold water. (I put the second gallon in the fridge to chill earlier that morning.)
Ideally, your pot should be able to hold the 2 gallons of water so you can stir them together comfortably. Mine only held approximately 1 1/2 gallons, so I split the remaining water between the gallon jugs, stirred the mixture in my pot, poured it into the jugs, and shook vigorously to mix in the remaining water.
I saved the gallon jugs, so I used a funnel to pour the mixture back in to the jugs. You’ll want to do this over the sink. I made a huge mess and wasted a good bit! Had my pot not been so full, it would have been easier to pour.
So there you have it! The process was less intensive than what I imagined, with grating the soap being the hardest part. You use 1/2 cup per load of this recipe. I am doing laundry today, so I’ll hopefully have an update soon on how well this recipe works. I really like the idea of making my own detergent, so I hope to find a recipe that I like.
If anyone has a recipe that they love, please share. Furthermore, if you try this recipe and love it or hate it, please let me know how it goes!