|All you need is a 1/2 cup each Borax and|
washing soda, plus 1/3 bar Fels Naptha,
grated finely, and water
© L. Kathryn Grace
Blogger Crystal Miller furnished the recipe, which is nearly identical to several others I found around the web. I link to hers because she offers additional information about the ingredients and answers a lot of questions.
It's so easy! In this post, I'll show you how I did it, share the amazing cost savings, and tell you how it it worked.
First, collect the ingredients and utensils
All you need are three low-cost ingredients, a bucket and a lid. We used our old kitty-food bucket, which is a little big, but works fine. No new plastic! Here's the complete list.
- 1/3 bar Fels Naptha*
- 1/2 Cup washing soda*
- 1/2 Cup Borax*
- Grater (To grate the Fels; a food processor is said to work well, but I don't see the need)
- Large sauce pan
- Extra large measuring cup or jug for measuring the hot and cold water
- Wooden spoon
- Two-gallon bucket with lid
Make the soap
Isn't it pretty? Smells good too!
© L. Kathryn Grace
It's very easy to make. Took about half an hour, start to finish. Here's what you do.
- Measure the ingredients and assemble your utensils.
- In a large saucepan, melt 1/3 bar finely grated Fels Naptha in six cups water, stirring frequently.
- When the soap is completely melted, add and dissolve the 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup washing soda. Set aside.
- Carefully measure 4 cups (one quart) hot tap water into the bucket and add the hot soap mixture.
- Mix thoroughly, then stir in an additional gallon of tap water (cold is fine), plus 6 more cups.
- Mix again, cover and set aside for 24 hours.
- On laundry day, give a quick stir, scoop out half a cup, and toss in with your clothing as you usually do, according to your machine's instructions.
How well does it work?The good news: Many stains on our kitchen linens, some of which we use in place of paper towels these days and which get a real workout, were gone. They came out sparkling white without bleaching, a first. Darks and colors? We see no difference from commercial product laundering after several loads.
On the other hand, our most difficult load--stained, sooty, old cleaning rags--came no cleaner with the homemade soap than with any of the commercial brands I've used over the years. No worse. No better. You might say it's a wash.
How much does it cost?I was shocked at the difference in cost per load: 2¢ for my homemade soap, versus 36¢ for Seventh Generation, the commercial brand I use.
Miller's costs, at just 1¢ per load, were half mine. You will find a cost breakdown on her recipe page.
Coming upNext Monday I'll show you how I arrived at those figures, how much we expect to save over a year, and how the cost stacks up when we factor in my labor. You might be surprised. Best news of all, we'll keep an estimated eight 100-ounce plastic bottles from the waste stream over the next year. And we don't have to buy any plastic to do it!
Disclosure: Should you click through on the kitty-food bucket link in this post and purchase something during your visit to Amazon, there is the possibility I might earn a few pennies. Wouldn't that be a thrill.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.