Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

Grinding homemade soap for use in laundry soap.

I've been making my own laundry soap for several months now. I've tried two different ways of making it, the first one wasn't as good as the 2nd. I like the 2nd, although it does have trouble with harder things like hubbies tractor grease. I've been trying to stay away from borax, because of not really understanding what it is, and a few places I read when I was studying up on making my own laundry soap mentioned that it wasn't really good for us...and since I was trying to get away from the nasty things they put in the soap, I didn't want to use borax if I didn't have to.

Since it was time to make some more, I thought I'd try a little bit, with some borax in it, and see if it cleans the harder stains better, without bothering my skin, if it doesn't seem to clean any better, I'll go back to my other formula with oxiclean in it (not that I couldn't add oxiclean too, but in trying to save money I don't want to if this cleans just fine the way it is).

With the store bought laundry soap, I had trouble with my back itching a lot, (and that was with buying the scent & dye free stuff) but since I've stopped using it, my back doesn't itch nearly as much. Course I also stopped using the dryer sheets (for the most part) then too, but I don't dry my shirts (just hang them to dry) so it wasn't the dryer sheets causing my back to itch. It's sure nice not having to get my back scratcher out and scratch my back so often!! :)

Grinding homemade soap for use in laundry soap.

Anyway, since I had to do laundry today, and I didn't think I had enough soap left to do all our clothes, I spent yesterday afternoon grinding up the bars of soap I had made, to use in my laundry soap. I put them through an old grater a friend sent me several months ago (Thanks again Rena!), to make the pieces smaller.

Grinding homemade soap for use in laundry soap.

Then I fed those smaller pieces into a food processor, and chopped them up really tiny. I put them into gallon Ziploc bags, and ended up with 2 1/2 of them full of ground soap, that I can now use in my laundry soap. I think the smaller the pieces are, the better so they melt easier in the wash...but who knows, maybe they wouldn't have to be that small.

Grinding homemade soap for use in laundry soap.

This is the finished powdered soap, with borax. (It looks the same as the last I made without borax but with oxiclean. LOL)

I used equal parts of borax, washing soda, baking soda, and my ground up homemade soap. If I go back to the old recipe, it will be equal parts oxiclean, washing soda, baking soda and ground up homemade soap.

I just used a cup of each this time around, to see how I like the borax...if I need to do more because I can't decide if I like it or not, I can, since its easy to mix it up when I have everything all ready.

The homemade soap I use in my laundry soap, is just plain milk soap made with tallow, with no scents added. The reason the color is different on the bars in the first photo, is because some of them were made using Jersey milk (cow) and the lighter ones were made with goat milk. Frankly, when I was grinding them up, I liked the Jersey milk soap better, it seemed creamier. I think I will stick with our Jersey milk, for the laundry soap from now on.

I will be using goat milk, for the next soap I make, just because I have some, however it's not something I'll probably go out of my way to get, just cause I think the Jersey milk makes a nice bar too. Course, I could change my mind down the road, once I've used it for a while...but for now, I'm happy with the Jersey milk soap, especially for the laundry soap. :)

Another thing I do, is put white vinegar in a downy ball in the wash, as a fabric softener. Someone gave me a recipe for homemade fabric softener, using Vinegar and baking soda, however I got tired of trying to make it and having a volcano erupt in my kitchen so stopped doing that and went back to just plain vinegar.

Seriously, have you ever mixed baking soda and vinegar? No matter HOW slow I tried to mix it and stir it, it would foam up and out of the bottle all over the counter, floor, and anything else that was in it's path. SO not worth the hassle to me! *giggle*

I think the vinegar helps get rid of some bad smells and germs in the clothes. If I wasn't trying to save so much money, I'd add a bunch of tea tree oil to my soap when I made it, as it would help get rid of some bad stuff too.

I read somewhere that you can make your own oxi-clean with hydrogen peroxide and washing soda (1 cup HP and 2 tablespoons WS...let sit for a day before using, then spray on stain and soak for 10-20 min.) so have considered trying that, but haven't yet. I have to admit, I'm not a good one for searching for stains, before I wash. I'm wondering if just adding hydrogen peroxide to the wash would help at all with whitening and stains, instead of using oxi-clean. Maybe eventually I'll try it and see.

If anyone else makes their own laundry soap or other laundry products, I'd love to hear how you make it, and how you like it!! I'm always willing to try to improve the recipes I use. :-))

***Update*** I've decided to not use Borax, cause while I was using up what I made here, I had times when my hands would itch after I touched it, and my back was even more itchy, although not near as bad as it used to be with store bought laundry soap. No idea if it was the Borax that caused it, but between that and the socks not seeming as white, I decided to go back to oxiclean instead of borax in the mix.


  1. So, did the new soap get the greese (greece?) out?

  2. Hmmm not sure, I don't think we had any fresh grease in this batch of cloths, so can't tell what it will do with fresh...the old set in grease is still there on his old jeans. Guess I'll have to give it a few weeks of washings before I decide for sure. (I'm slow on making decissions. LOL)

  3. You have me oo'ing and aa'ing right now. Are you using this in a traditional loader or HE?

  4. I'm using mine in a traditional washer, however it's low sudsing, and I've read online about other people making their own, and they use it in their HE washers without any trouble. No promises with this, but a lot of the soaping forums have people making their own, who have those kind of washers. :)

  5. I have been really curious about making my own soap as the stuff they have out just doesn't seem to cut the grime well enough in the HE versions.

  6. Well what I like the most is that I know what is going into it, and it doesn't bother my skin like all the other soaps I have tried...the cost can be better too, depending on what you put into it. My clothes smell clean after I use it too, although I have had trouble with the heavy grime on hubby's clothes in the past.


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