Liquid Laundry Soap

It's official. I'm now one of those people who makes her own laundry detergent. I never would have done it on my own, but my daughter had a baby so we made some for her to use and it was so simple and so cheap that I decided I would be a fool not to make some for myself. The detergent we made for her was a powder, but I have a front loading washer so I made mine liquid. I'm no mathematician, but I've figured out that this detergent cost a couple of cents a load compared to over fifty cents per load of the stuff I bought at the big box store. That adds up! I can spend the savings on something much more exciting than detergent. You should try it. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 bar Naptha soap or Zote soap
  • 1 C Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 1 C 20 Mule Team Borax

Grate soap and add to 4 cups boiling water in a large pan. Stir until all soap is dissolved about 5-15 minutes. Turn off heat.

Mix soda & borax in bowl then add a small amount at a time to the liquid stirring well with a whisk until each addition has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add 1 quart of warm water. Mix well. Let stand about 4 hours. As the mixture cools, layers will form and the soap layer will be very thick.

Now it's time to mix the layers again. I recommend using an emersion blender if you have one. If you don't, you can use a blender, mixing small amounts then combining them.  

As you mix the thickened soap, add water several cups at a time, until you reach the viscosity of liquid laundry detergent. When I made this batch, I added a total of 10 quarts of water. That gave me about 2 1/2 gallons of detergent. If you have a top loading washer, you can make your soap thicker, but I have a front loader so it needs to be thin. 

Pour the detergent into containers and that's it. Use 1/3 cup per load. 

I used Zote when I made this batch but I used Naptha when I made my first batch. They both work great. The only differences I can tell are in the color and fragrance. the Zote is bright white and has very little smell while the Naptha is more ivory and has more fragrance. They both do a great job with the laundry.

I'll keep you posted...