Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soap, Soap & More Soap! Part I (Laundry)

On my journey to becoming the Proverbs 31 wife, there are many ideas/things that I have just needed to "get over".  It may sound silly, but making my own laundry detergent was one of them.  In the past, I have been a VERY brand loyal person.  I find a brand of something that I absolutely adore and that's it, I'm usually purchasing close to their entire line of products.  For instance Dove; shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap.  You get the drift.

So here I am at 38, very stuck in my ways, and there is no one who is going to convince me that making my own laundry detergent is a good thing.  Here were my arguments against even trying it;

  1. It does not clean as well as the stuff I use now.  (Wrong!  It cleans way better than the national brand.)
  2. It will take to long to make.  (Wrong!  Normally one batch can be made in five minutes.)
  3. Only those weird homeschool people do this.  (REALLY!?!!?  I think most of my girlfriends are homeschool moms.  None of them are any stranger than me.)
  4. I really will not save any money.  (WRONG!  this stuff is way less expensive than my precious Tide and Oxy Clean.)
You can see where this is going.  Long story short, after having three friends and one sister-in-law tell me how great this stuff works, how easy it is to make and how little cost goes into it...  I had to see what all the fuss was about.  Wow!  The clothes have never been cleaner.  And the money I save!  We do alot of laundry around here.  We are a family of five and hubby/daddy is a mechanic, you can imagine the stuff that gets ground into his uniforms.  I need something GOOD and this is it.
Three Simple Ingredients

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top Load Machine


  • 1 Bar Fels-Naptha Soap
  • 1 Cup Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
Grate soap or cut into small chunks and process in the food processor until it is as close to a powder as it can be.  Do not use the blender.  I tried it once. Something about the shape and the heat from the blender, kind of melted the soap pieces and they got really sticky and clumpy.  Next, just mix all the ingredients, place them in a container that will seal, and GO DO SOME LAUNDRY.
For a light load, use 1 TBSP of detergent.
For a heavy or soiled load, use 2 TBSP of detergent.

This detergent will not foam like the national brand does.  It contains no phosphates and phosphates are what foams up in regular detergents.

*  Use Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda", not regular baking soda.
**  You may replace the Fels-Naptha with; Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castle or Zote.  Do not use heavily perfumed soap.

I still use bleach in the bleach load.  Call me old fashioned but, bleach=clean/white.

All these ingredients can usually be found in the laundry isle at major grocery stores or Wal-Mart.  I order the Fels-Naptha by the case (24 bars) at my local Do It Best hardware store.  I get the case discount so the soap ends up costing me $1.19 per bar.  They have it shipped to the store and I pay no shipping.

Also, keep a bar of the Fels-Naptha unwrapped next to your laundry sink.  It is the best stain remover EVER.  Just dampen the stain, scrub with the Fels-Naptha bar, rinse, repeat & rub with the soap again.  Let the garment sit or throw it into the washing machine with the extra soap still in it.

This recipe cost around $2 to make and will wash around 40 loads of laundry.


  1. Let's try 1 cup of lemon juice in stead of bleach...I just researched this...we'll see!

  2. Is there something that I can use instead of borax because it gives my daughter hives??

  3. Stacie, I'm not sure about the borax replacement. Let me do some research and get back to you.