Monday, December 31, 2012

Make Your Own Clothes Soap

Every year for Christmas, my sisters, mom and I try to make gifts for everyone.  Not only does it save a lot of money, but we are big believers in putting our heart and soul into gifts.  In the past, we've made candles, soup/cookies in a jar, decorative potpourri warmer,

pottery, baked goods, just to name a few.  Some of you have read my bust on candle luminaries,

which turned out to be the biggest pain in the rear end that it ended up being a birthday present for my sister.  Ok, that didn't sound too good.  It took about 12 balloons to make 3 luminaries and they still cracked when I looked at them because they were so stinkin' fragile.  The point is that my sister really liked them and I hope they hold up well for her.  Anyway, this year, my bright idea for Christmas presents was to make homemade laundry soap.  Probably one of the best homemade gifts I've made so far.
My kitchen smelled so good for weeks and I actually liked doing laundry.  This recipe, including the jar and scoop only cost a little over $2 per jar to make.  There are up to 56 loads per jar, which came to about 2 - 3 cents per load.  I added Purex crystals to the jar mostly for color but is not necessary.  This recipe will fill four mason jars.

6 cups Borax
4 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Washing Soda
2 bars of Fels Naptha laundry bar soap, shredded
5 capfuls of Purex crystals (optional)

Shred both soap bars in a large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Divide into four mason jars.  You can print this label if you want to give it as a gift.  I've never used Google docs before so if the link doesn't work, shoot me an email and i'll send it to you in an email.

You only need a tablespoon of soap per load.  Believe it or not, it does a pretty good job.  If you have an HE washer, you'll notice that your cycles won't last quite as long.  It's a low-sudsing recipe which gets your clothes clean but doesn't make your washer work hard.  It's gentle enough for baby clothes so you can save a lot of money by not having to buy Dreft.

Fabric softener is not necessary but since it's winter, I add about a half a teaspoon of softener just to avoid static electricity.  You can even put a squirt of vinegar in your rinse cycle and it will make your clothes super soft.  No, it won't make your clothes smell like vinegar.  Try using it on your bed sheets.  Ahh!!!

Baking soda takes the smell out of your clothes, washing soda softens the water and Borax enhances the soap, and of course the soap cleans.

I would love to hear how you like this soap, or if you have a different recipe, leave a comment below.

Happy laundrying!

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