I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own soap for a while now. I’ve been talking about it so much that now my mom wants to try it, too! Great! Now we can try it together. It sounds so easy, we’ve just gotta get our ingredients together. I’m compiling a list of websites with instructions for the different soaps we want to make.
First, we want to make our own laundry detergent. I found the instructions on The Family Homestead. The recipe makes two gallons, which I would store in a beverage dispenser with a spigot like this one.
To make laundry soap we need Borax, Washing Soda and bar soap. We could add essential oils for fragrance if we want to. If I did, I’d probably try to recreate my favorite lavender and vanilla scent. 🙂 If this recipe doesn’t work so well, I’ll just try one of these.
Next, I’d like to make my own fabric softener, too. If I don’t add fragrance to the soap, I’d probably add it in the softener. I found these easy recipes, and also directions for making stain remover with my homemade soap and a few other ingredients. I am going to try recipe #1 for the fabric softener and recipe #2 for the stain remover.
Of course, the next step would be to make our own bath soaps. We don’t use much bar soap, though I might eventually try to make a few of those. Initially though, I’d like to make bath gel for bathing. I would definitely add fragrances to those, though I am not sure which. I found some recipes here and here. For these recipes I would need to find glycerin.
Yes, there is more! To go even further – dish soap!! This could easily be stored in a sports-bottle type container. I’m looking at the soap flake recipe, and I would probably just add lemon juice for a good lemony scent! Ahhhh. I would already have the glycerin and vinegar so it would be easy to move from making the others to making this one, too.
Soap for the dishwasher was a little bit harder to find, but I found it! Most recipes, like this one, advise mixing equal parts of baking soda and borax (2 Tbsp per load) and using vinegar in the rinse cycle. Some substituted washing soda for baking soda and some added lemon, orange, or grapefruit extracts. However, this recipe seems appealing since it claims to also work as a good all-purpose cleaner like Comet. However, it requires more work and ingredients, so I may try the simple version first. 🙂 Some people suggested storing this in a leftover butter tub or something similar. How’s that for recycling? 😉 (My mom is cringing.)
**Update: Per my mom’s request I am also adding a recipe for hand soap. (I accidentally skipped over that one!) I found two recipes here and also some good info about what to add to hand soap and why – neat article. **
For all of these things I intend to make them in large batches and store in multiple containers if necessary. By that I mean 3 bottles of dish soap – not 30! By doing that I would be able to put more time between batches and be able to rotate around, making laundry soap this month, dish soap next month, bath soap the next and so on. It sounds like a good plan, right?
So why would I do this? Economic reasons for one. Health reasons for another (no unknown chemicals, etc.) And I would be lying if I didn’t include “a great sense of accomplishment.” Doing something like this will make me feel like I am really being proactive about taking care of my family and being aggressive about saving money. Also, think of the habits I am passing on to my daughters. Ooh, I am positively gooey inside thinking about making these soaps. It’s just soap! Don’t worry, I don’ t limit my gooeyness to cleaning products, I get a little giddy when I think about making my own bread and growing my own vegetables. =P But for now I am starting with soap.