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DIY Project:  Make Your Own Laundry Soap

There are alot of things that I used to take for granted that you HAD to buy in the grocery store.  Like most everything.  How did people survive before Walmart?  It’s a big mystery…

I have been embracing several DIY projects lately for the following reasons:  1)  keeping the level of toxins in our house to a bare minimum (see my previous blog post  https://muffindiaries.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/the-sweet-smell-of-cancer-and-infertility/), 2)  COST COST COST  (a bottle of organic, natural or less toxic product seems to cost way more than it’s conventional counterparts, and I’d rather spend more money on quality food than pretty shampoo) and 3)  BECAUSE I CAN!!!  (I’m weird that way, it’s a sense of accomplishment to be able to say I made my own laundry soap!!!)

A couple months back, I made my first batch of homemade laundry soap and I haven’t looked back.  Our clothes get clean (keeping in mind that I have some outdoor loving children who frequently get VERY dirty!) and I don’t have to worry about what I’m putting on their skins (or mine or my husband’s) or back into the earth.  Two things to think of if you’re skeptical is that 80% of what goes on the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream in some capacity (it’s not armor, after all!), and that our water sources have enough other pollution (if you don’t believe me, check out http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/executive-summary).   In spite of city water filtering, etc., alot of things that I don’t care for continue to lurk there, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get there magically…

Ok, I digress.  Sorry.  Back to the soap.  This is roughly a five minute project which makes me love it even more with our busy schedules.

You will need:

1 c. Arm and Hammer washing soap (get it here:  http://www.amazon.com/Church-Dwight-03020-Hammer-Washing/dp/B0029XNTEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340482942&sr=8-1&keywords=washing+soda)

1 c. Borax (I have found it at Walmart but I got it here http://www.amazon.com/Dial-Corporation-Borax-Laundry-Pretreater/dp/B000RNBX0G/ref=pd_rhf_se_shvl7)

1/2 c. liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, you can get it here http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bronners-Castile-Liquid-Soap/dp/B0054RS1TQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1340483230&sr=1-8&keywords=dr.+bronner%27s+baby+mild)

a covered 5 gallon pail (check your local hardware store, or a farm store)

tap water

Cook the borax, washing soap and castille soap in about a cup or two of water (I don’t think this is very scientific, whatever amount of water would work) until the soaps and powders are all melted.  Put it in the five gallon pail, and fill the pail 3/4 full of water.  We have just been taking it out to the outdoor hose to fill, which works great.  And that’s it.  I use about 1 c. for a large load of laundry.   Some of the soap seems to get foamy on top which is fine, just mix it back in before using.   I do keep it covered to keep bugs and dust out of it.

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When I bought all of my ingredients, I figured that I spent roughly $30 for everything including the pail.  One five gallon pail lasted us about a month and a half (I am doing at least a load of laundry a day).  The boxes of borax and washing soda will last you for many subsequent batches.  The only thing you would need to restock any time soon is the castile soap – and Dr. Bronner’s does sell larger sizes of it’s soaps, so you could just start with more of that if you wanted.  There are other sites (Vitacost, Swanson Vitamins, drugstore.com) that also sell Dr. Bronner’s, and they might have better deals.  Shop around.

Now if only I had a clothesline to hang my clean clothes on (hint, hint to my husband will likely read this later on…)…

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4 responses »

  1. Thanks so much for the laundry soap recipe, I live in New Zealand, and we don’t have ‘arm and hammer ‘ washing soap here, so I will try to find something to improvise with. I am really really interested in your experience with GAPs diet as I have been thinking about starting it myself, many many ongoing stomach problems including UC. Have you found it to increase energy levels as it is reputed to do? I don’t know how to stick with it when everyone else in the house is eating other food, how do you do it?

    • You’re welcome! I wonder if you could use baking soda instead? We have been on GAPS for five months – I actually just wrote a post that I haven’t “posted” yet about my successes on the diet. My energy levels are much better, as are alot of things. My 3 year old and I are doing it, while my husband and my two big kids are not. It was tough at first for my three year old but now she just knows that she can’t have some of the things her siblings can have, and it is ok. She adjusted pretty quickly. We are restarting Stage 4 of intro today to clear up some issues with her poop, but have had alot of success overall. I hope her good attitude continues today. 🙂 For me, it is fine, it is really what you are used to and you get used to it quickly. Before starting – I read and reread the book, and researched recipes and misc. info for a few months at least just to “get my brain around it all.” I set a start date about a month ahead and when we were there, I was more than ready to start. It isn’t easy but neither is being sick… Good luck!!!

  2. Hi there! I’m a new comer to your blog and am loving what I see!
    I know this sounds silly but you should put a picture on this blog post 🙂 I can’t ‘pin it’ like I have so many of your other tutorials because there’s no picture to put on the pin! 😀

    Thanks!

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