Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missy' Homestead Part 9 - Homemade Laundry Soap

Missy's Homemade Laundry Soap

The ingredients in the basket
 (along with my dinner that night)
Something that I feel all good homesteaders do is make their own products in bulk.  Helping you save on packaging, time, money and it gives you the power to know exactly what is in the products you are consuming.  Now besides making large batches of zucchini soup or giant amounts of homemade pesto I really haven't made any other types of bulk homemade products before.  So I decided that my first attempt would be Laundry Soap.  Why not! Laundry soap can be pretty expensive.  Especially if you buy it at the grocery store and the Eco-Friendly brands can also be pretty pricey.  So I went through my local grocery store and bought the following items:
Getting Ready.  The Work Space

1 Box of Borax (An all natural Laundry Booster)
1 Box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (Who doesn't love Arm and Hammer)
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap (which is kinda like an oldey timey stain remover soap)

I got a nice plastic box (that I now keep on top of my dryer) and combined the box of Borax and the box of Washing Soda.  Now came the hard part.  You can't just put the bar of soap in every time you want to wash you cloths.  So in order to incorporate it into the mixture you have to crush it somehow.  Now some people put it in the microwave and flake it off, some people put it in a food processor but I decided to do it the old fashion way.  I grated the whole bar of soap on a cheese grater.  

Grate Your Soap Away

This portion of the project took the longest by far.  I would say it took me a good 20 minutes, 3 finger scrapes and a lot of sweat to get that whole bar grated.  But I finally did it!  (btw I used the very fine grate side and not the long cheese grate side).  After it was all grated I mixed everything up really evenly into the plastic container.  

Delicious Tasting Soap Anyone?
You can use whatever amount you want but it is usually recommended as a tablespoon or two depending on your preferences.  Right now I am using about 2 tablespoons of laundry soap per batch and everything seems to be coming out very clean.  The biggest thing that I need to get use to is that the laundry comes out without a scent.  It just smells clear and fresh.  I am currently keeping track of how many loads I get out of this first batch of soap.  I am thinking I can get anywhere from 60-75 loads out of this batch and I only paid about 10 bucks for all the ingredients.  When I know exactly how many loads I can get out of this batch I will be able to calculate exactly how much per load this product is. (I will report back later)

The Final Product.  Laundry Soap!

Overall this was a super easy experiment and not only was it fun it is always very practical.  I am excited to try some other projects.  We will see what else I can come up with.  Until next time remember that if you consume more and buy less you can help change the world and make it a better place.

Also don't forget to check out our current You Can Do This Campaign. We are almost half way to our goal of $50,000 dollars in 50 days to help Shelter Animals with and The Animal Rescue Site.


This is freaking hard!
Part way through grating all that soap.

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