Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dirty Laundry

These are the 3 basic ingredients in making your own laundry soap minus the water.
To be truthful this is only really fugal if you can manage to buy the components on sale or with coupons. Fortunately over a year ago a local M&P chain grocery store went belly up so I was able to stock up on the washing soda & borax. I have yet to find any store brands of these two. The Fels Napa can easily be replaced with a pink laundry bar soap from Mexico named Zoot, if memory serves me right. Check out any of the $ stores in both the cleaning & body care sections.
I used Fels because I was able to find it for a buck. Yes, I stocked up buying 12 bars.
Or if your really a hard core homesteader you could render your own lard (provided if was obtained cheap) and saved up a year's worth of wood ash to filter your own lye (storage & effort issues). File that effort under "Good to know in case".
I have a front load washing machine which after 4 years hasn't suffered from this old fashioned laundry detergent. I don't add any essential oil because well that would add to the cost which this time around works out to 3 cents per load. Also once the fabric softener is added can't say I can smell the essential oil.
On the subject of fabric softener - tired vinegar while it is great for a rinse cycle removing soap residue it isn't fabric softener. Softner takes on a whole new meaning when your machine spins like a jet engine & the clothes are line dried.
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
2 cups Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
Cut up the Fels, combine with 2 cups water in saucepan heat until soap is melted. Add this to a 5 gallon pail with 4 gallons of warm water. Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed. 1/8 cup or less works for us in my front load washing machine.
~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. Hi Palenaka
    I cut costs even further, I grow the soapwort plant, boil the leaves and stems and then bottle. Just a wee bit does the laundry, I add oatmeal to make the soap with a drop or two of essential oil.

    A very cost effective way to have soap without lye, I have alays had an issue about that stuff LOL


  2. Thanks for the tips on the soap (both of you).

  3. Soapwort plant, hmm now that sounds like an interesting google search! Any chance that you've tried it washing dishes? My stash of dishsoap is about gone & with our looming recession doubt I'm gonna buy a botle for 89 cents any time soon. Won't my scullery maids ahem I mean children be surprised to know that I can grow soap, (insert sinister laugh)!
    ~~ pelenaka ~~

  4. Hi again

    Yes I do use it for dishwashing, altho I do water it down a little. I have one of those dish scrubbers that you fill the handle with detergent, thats where I put works well :)


  5. fyi...i make this recipe with ivory soap. works great and I like the smell better than fells.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest