Saturday, November 17, 2012

Frugal Choices - Homemade Laundry Soap

I found my way to blogs when I began searching the internet for frugal alternatives.  Looking for recipes, how-tos and general articles to help me save a bit.

One of the first places I found was the Hillbilly Housewife site.  Although not every recipe met with my families approval, at least two - homemade syrup and biscuits - is a constant in my home now.  Another great site, Katy's The Non-Consumer Advocate, has shown me that you can cheerfully live a less complicated life while doing your part to help reduce your footprint on our planet.

One of the things I've learned from Katy's site is how to make my own homemade laundry soap.  Of course, anybody who knows me knows that I had to do a couple days research to read through the various recipes and figure out the best combination.  The recipe I use is for powdered laundry soap.  It takes me about 30 minutes to create enough soap to last us 2-3 months.  It keeps our clothes clean ... although I'll admit it doesn't make our whites stunningly white.  Clean?  Yes.  White?  Sometimes.

Here's the recipe:
  • Bar Soap (I like Sunlight's laundry bar soap that comes in a package of two)
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (not baking soda)
Measurements for the Borax and Washing Soda depend on how much grated soap you get from your bar(s) of soap.  For every cup of soap that you grate you need 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing Soda.

1.  Begin by getting out your grater and using the smaller grater side to grate your bar of soap.  Then measure the grated soap and put it into a large mixing bowl.

2.  Next, measure in your Borax and Washing Soda, based on how much grated soap you produced.  Remember - for every 1 cup of grated soap you'll want to add in 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing Soda.

3.  Now, sit down in front of the TV with your big bowl and using your hands blend everything together.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Yes - 10 minutes!  You want to use your hands to "grind" the pieces of grated soap into the Borax and Washing Soda.  Some people use their food processor for this step.  I don't own one, so I use my hands.  It doesn't really take that long in the scheme of things.  Less time than me getting into a car, driving to the store, finding a box of laundry detergent, standing in line to pay for it, and driving home.  When you add all that time up sitting in front of the TV and mixing your own laundry soap doesn't really take that much time.

4.  Finally, put it in a pretty container.  I found mine at Canadian Tires.

That scoop?  I picked it up at London Drugs - it's meant for coffee, but it's perfect for soap - 1 to 2 scoops into my front loader and I'm set.  (For top loaders I've read you'll likely need 3-4 scoops ... you'll need to test it a bit to figure out what works best for you.)


  1. Saves a tonne of money I'm sure! We have a HE washer, so not sure if this would work in it or not...?

  2. I have an HE washer and this soap works great as it's low sudse which is what you are looking for.