Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DIY Laundry Soap revisited

It's been over a year and I continue to make my own powder laundry detergent.

In college it was discovered that I am allergic to Snuggle Fabric Softener  Unfortunately finding that out was no easy feat. It was determined by a process of elimination and suffering with hives for over 2 weeks.

I haven't turned back. Snuggle, is well.....not so snuggly to me!

So I originally wrote about making laundry soap back in April of 2011. I've since then revised my recipe slightly. 

Ingredients needed:
2 Cups 20 Mule Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 Bars grated Ivory (Or Felz Nappa, Zote, etc)
1 Cup Oxi Clean (optional)
3/4 cup Downy Unstoppables scent booster (optional)

First I grated my soap, Ivory is a little softer so it gets a little mushy when grating. No biggy for me, but I've heard that letting the bars air out for a couple days before making it helps.

Too, you can microwave Ivory for about 90 seconds turning it into an airy crumbly texture. It can be ground in a blender or food processor.. Too much work for me-- I'll still grate it. Afterall, it doesn't take THAT long.

This part is especially fun if you have kiddos who want to help. (I don't, but I have plenty of friends' kids I can borrow any time I get that maternal itch)
Next I add in my other powders,  1 Cup Oxiclean (That was the last of my container) 2 Cups Borax, 2 Cups Washing Soda and 3/4 Cup Downy Unstoppables.--I initially added the Unstoppables, then scooped them all back out, pulverized them into powder form via my coffee grinder... and then added them back to the mix. So, 3/4 cup Down Unstoppables. 
Once my ingredients were added to my bowl, I stirred up the mix and dumped it all into my now empty Oxiclean container. (Or a pretty jar, container, etc etc)

So, that's the easy part folks! Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. This is a low suds soap and while you're water may be gray and there won't be any bubbles present, rest assured you're laundry is getting clean!

Now for the hard part, the cost break down, aka math. Not my strong suite but here it goes! 
(Prices based on online listings, of course you can save more by shopping locally, coupons, retailer deals etc) 

Unstoppables : $6.97 per container, 13.2 oz, 3/4 cups used  (.075oz used)  *0.53cents /oz*
20 Mule Borax: $3.38 per container at Walmart 76oz, 2 cups used. (16oz used ) *0.04 cents/oz*
Arm and Hammer Washing soda $3.87 per container at Ace Hardware 55oz, 2 cups used (16oz used) *0.07 cents/oz*
Ivory soap: $1.59 for 3pk at local Kroger 2bars used. approx (16oz used) *.53 cents per bar*
Oxi Clean: $9 per container 56oz,  1 cup used (8oz used)  *16cents/oz*

So total is about 56.75oz of dry powder, which amounts to about 7 cups.

16 Tablespoons per cup X 7 Cups=112 tablespoons or LOADS from one batch. (56 loads if you use 2 tablespoons/load) 

Now for the cost break down: 

Unstoppables= .40cents per batch 
Borax= .71cents per batch
Washing Soda=1.12 per batch 
Ivory soap= 1.06 per batch
Oxi Clean= 1.28 

Total $4.57 per batch of soap / 112 loads= .04 cents a load for soap 
(Again about .08 cents per load if you are using 2 tablespoons per load) 

You can save further on this recipe by making your own Washing Soda.. Yes I said it, you can MAKE Washing Soda. The difference between Baking Soda and Washing Soda is the chemical composition which can be altered by baking, Baking Soda. Don't believe me? Check it out over at Penniless Parenting. Penny describes the process and science way better than I can! 

-- Now, I'm just one person and average 2 loads of laundry a week. (More if I do bedding or dog bedding etc) With that being said, I can get away with about 28 weeks worth of soap, or 7 months on ONE batch! So roughly about .65 CENTS per MONTH for laundry soap! 

Have I convinced you yet to take the plunge and make your own? C'mon, it's easy, cost effective and I HIGHLY doubt you can find commercial laundry soap at this price! 


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