Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Post | Lauren @ Simply Free: DIY Laundry Soap

Hi again! You might remember me from my guest post earlier this month of the DIY Fringe Scarf! If not my name is Lauren and I blog over at Simply Free about all sorts of random things regarding my faith, being frugal, living simply, creatively, and with style! Here I am at our wedding where I married my best friend & have been incredibly blessed to share in this journey with someone so awesome. :)
The husband and I are continually on a mission to simplify our lives. Most times this comes in attempting to be more frugal in our purchasing, shying away from processed foods, opting for locally grown items, and using reusable bottles, bags, etc. as much as possible. We plan on trying something new little by little to be as green as possible while also saving money. Our newest project was to make our own laundry detergent so I wanted to share about it as it was quite a success!

Materials Needed:
  • 1 cup washing soda (it was kind of hard to find in stock, but Walmart & Ace Hardware have it)
  • 1/2 cup borax (Target, Walmart, and pretty much everywhere we looked has this)
  • 1 bar soap (we just used what we had, which was Lever 2000)
  • Approximately 3 gallons water
  • A container of some sort to mix & store this in (we used a five gallon bucket with a lid) & then a more decorative glass beverage dispenser for everyday use
First thing, put about four cups of water into a pan and put it on the stove on high until it’s at boiling, then lower the heat until it’s simmering. While it’s heating up, take a bar of soap and using a cheese grater, "cut" the entire bar until you have little soap curls. When you've lowered the temperature of the water to simmering, start tossing in the soap curls a bit at a time, stirring it until it’s all dissolved. You'll end up with a pale version of the color of soap (ours was white) and a bit of bubbles from the soapy mixture you just created.
Now add 3 gallons of warm tap water to your big bucket. Also add the washing soda, the borax, and the soapy mixture you just made. Mix together and then cover (we used aluminum foil first as our lid had holes in it) and place out of the way to set for 24 hours. The next day when you take off the lid, you’ll find a variety of things depending on the type of soap and the water you used. (Possibly firm or gelatinous, watery, or a mixture of both. Ours was the mixture.) Just stir it up a tad (it will then resemble other liquid detergents) and you're good to go. Use a measuring cup (we used the old one from our retail detergent which was 1/2 cup) and add 1 cup of detergent per average size load of laundry.
We tried it out on a load of whites first and the results were a success! The clothes were just as clean as with our previous commercial detergent (we've been using all free & clear recently) and smelled nice as well (better actually). And it was MUCH cheaper to make our own big batch that will last for a good while even after coupons and discounts. It was really a quick process and we know exactly what is in the finished product. I'm rather excited about this new adventure! The picture below shows the new homemade laundry detergent in its place in the laundry room for easy access.  The rest of the detergent is in the big bucket in a closet to refill later. 
finished product above the washer next to the basket
** note: this is for a traditional top loading washing machine. check out this site for a HE friendly version (dry detergent). **

Please let me know if you have any questions at all! I'd love it if you would stop by my blog and visit! I love hearing from readers! :)

A note from Helen: I use homemade laundry detergent as well! I've actually been making it for over a year and LOVE it! It's a whole lot less expensive to make your own & at smells great too! {see my recipe here for reference, it's basically the same as Lauren's!}


  1. One of my friends makes her own laundry soup! I think it's a great idea! Although I have to admit I'm a little weary of using something I created to wash my clothes.... xD Why? I've no idea.
    xo Deanna | Curly Adventures

  2. Ooh we will definitely have to try this out! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K


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