We made soap! (WFMW)

I’m so excited! I went over to my mom’s house yesterday and together we made our own liquid laundry soap. We used the recipe that I found before, which we doubled and divided, and the whole process went very smoothly. We used Zote bar soap to create our soap base, which smells like a strong version of Ivory, so the finished product has a nice pleasing scent and a soft pink color to it. (The pink is just a sweet little benefit!) 😛

It was easy and I am pleased with the finished product. It takes about 24 hours to gel, but I went ahead and used a little to wash a load of towels. They came out smelling and feeling very nice. I repeat, I am pleased!

The best part is all the money we’re going to save. When we were done we sat down and calculated our costs. We used 2/3 bar of Zote (53 cents) and 1 cup each of Borax (53 cents) and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (72 cents) to make 4 gallons of detergent for a total project cost of $1.78, or 45 cents per gallon. And one gallon is good for 32 loads.

After all the numbers were crunched, we realized that using a half cup of this soap per load will cost us a penny and a half!!

Just to put that into perspective, I calculated the approximate cost per load for some name brand liquid detergents (naturally prices vary by location–I used Amazon.com for pricing information).

  • Arm & Hammer, 23 cents per load.
  • All Small & Mighty, 24 cents a load.
  • Purex Free & Clea, 24 cents per load.
  • Gain Original, 30 cents per load.
  • Cheer Color Guard Free & Gentle, 39 cents per load.
  • Tide with Downy, 43 cents per load.
  • Dreft, 45 cents a load.
  • Original Tide costs 46 cents per load!

Now, I’m not trashing any of these products. I used Cheer Free for years and I like Tide with Downy and I’m happy with All Small & Mighty, too. But to be honest, I just can’t afford them. Our little store here in town overcharges for these kinds of things and it is 30 minutes to the nearest big supermarket. And at three dollars a gallon for gas, I don’t shop over there very often. So lately I’ve been using cheap soaps from the dollar store, which still runs around a quarter for a load. If I were to wash a load of laundry a day for an entire year with my homemade soap instead of buying…say, Arm & Hammer for example, I would spend 5.48 dollars on laundry soap for the entire year and save over 78 dollars!! Can you tell I am excited?!

Other benefits are that I better know what is going into my soap and also that by keeping these things in stock I can make other homemade products as well. I’ve already seen how useful Borax can be and I’ve also made my own dishwasher detergent which works very well and is also very cheap.

So in case you can’t tell.. I am thrilled!

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Organising Queen (Marcia)
Organising Queen (Marcia)
July 11, 2007 6:10 am

What a great idea – you are so cool.

Your Mommie
Your Mommie
July 11, 2007 11:07 am

this weekend I am sure to have a load or two of dirty man-clothes to wash after we do more cleaning/painting. I will also let y’all know how it does with that load.

July 11, 2007 11:35 am

I have been making my own laundry soap for quite a while. I grate fels naptha bar soap (though any will work) and mix with washing soda and borax. I just use it dry. Works great!

July 11, 2007 8:16 am

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the results. I am very interested to hear how it works on baby clothes!!

July 11, 2007 8:22 am

Ok, I’ll post an update tonight. 🙂 Check back then! 🙂

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Proverbs 31's Mommie
Proverbs 31's Mommie
July 23, 2007 12:25 pm

Well- I have been using the soap for the last 7-10 days. I do have to re-mix it as it tends to separate but that is no biggie. I just give the laundry bottle a shake or two before pouring. I must say that the clothes are clean and smell clean. I think they may be softer also- not sure if that is the soap or the new dryer sheets that I happened to start using. I will have to check that out. So far: making soap is a plus. Mommie

July 11, 2007 12:25 am

How well does it remove dirt? I’d love to try this What a fun *craft*/science project to do with the kids

July 11, 2007 12:48 am

Corrie – It was kind of hard to tell on my dark brown and green towels, but the lady whose website I got this from uses this all the time and swears by it. I figure I’ll wash a load of light baby clothes next and pay attention to how dirty they are before and after. 🙂

I was thinking the same thing though – science project!! 🙂

July 11, 2007 1:40 pm

Good grief, girl! What a bargain! Count me in!

I live in an area with fewer than normal grocery store selections (to put it nicely) so I’m wondering if you can share where you found the washing soda?

And, what are you keeping it in? An old detergent container?

Your Mommie
Your Mommie
July 11, 2007 8:50 pm

I got the washing soda from a website called soapsgonebuy.com They sell a lot of “old time” cleaners. I bought a couple bars of lemon lye soap also, for those times Boo’ful & I get into poison ivy. If I can talk her into it I’d like to try the lye soap but Big Daddy’s mommie would have to keep the kids– GranBat

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