Homemade (liquid) Laundry Soap

in this post liquid laundry soap has changed my life. (see the crock pot potatoes here)

I shared here how I mixed up some powdered laundry soap for some homemade Christmas gifts. I really like this detergent, and it cleaned our clothes really well. I am a no smell, no fuss laundry soap type person. ALL free and clear was my go to soap (before the homemade powder stuff) and once I saw the price difference I fell in love with Up & Up free and clear. The one scented soap I absolutely LOVE is Tide Original that I used to wash cloth diapers every so often to get rid of stink issues. But I can't stand it all the time, and I much prefer unscented on a day to day basis.

After doing some research after making the powder soap, I was a little convicted by how much hot water we were using to dissolve the powder. Since we are trying to simplify our lives and save money wherever we can, liquid is the way to go. Our clothes get no where near dirty. Even my toddler's. So there really is no sense in using hot water for clothes. Plus, it a big ole' waste of electricity. There is also *slight* research that suggests borax residue in the air can be harmful if inhaled. Although I'm sure there are much more toxic things in the world besides borax residue (and we're not going around and inhaling it anyways), if it was something I can eliminate, I'm all for it.

I turned to the Duggar recipe. I watched in absolute AWE of how they make their own soap. I mean they have 19 kids after all and it cleans their clothes well! I did get a slight desire to wear a long jean skirt and a polo shirt while I was mixing this bad boy up!

Here is the recipe. It's amazing. Yep. But the price break down will absolutely FLOOR you.

1/2 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
5 cups of water (recipe called for 4, but I added more)
1 bar of soap (alot of people recommend fels-naptha- that stuff smells repulsive to me. I stuck with DOVE unscented. It works on my skin in the shower so surely it'll work on my clothes- and it worked great in powder form).

I put the 5 cups of water in a sauce pan, and grated the bar of soap (this sounds like a lot of work- it took less than 3 minutes) into the water and stirred until completely dissolved.

I began to fill up a 5 gallon bucket (a large cat litter bucket is perfect) with war water. In that water I dissolved the borax and washing soda. I then added the sauce pan mixture of water and soap. Mix it all up and fill the 5 gallon bucket until it's full with water.


Stir everything and let sit overnight. It'll turn into a gel (this is seriously cool).

Fill half of an old laundry soap container with the gel mixture. Fill the second half with water. Shake and you're done. This yields TEN GALLONS. 10 GALLONS. Ten GAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's alot of soap people!!!!

Here's the price breakdown (and I took my prices from Amazon which may or may not be the cheapest place to purchase this stuff):

1 box of borax (4 lbs)- $10 (a quick conversion=8 cups)
1 box washing soda (55 oz)- $9 (conversion= 6+ cups)
2 pack bar of soap (of course I used coupons during a CVS deal)- $2 (although I bet this could be free with the right deal). So $1 per bar.
**By the way... a little trick I learned is to let the soap sit out for a month or so in a cabinet. It dries the soap out and makes it easier to grate.

The box of borax will give me enough borax to make 31.5 10 gallon batches, and the washing soda will yield 6 10 gallon batches. Holy cow!

Here it is broken down even farther into the price per 10 gallon batch:
borax: $0.63
washing soda: $1.50
soap: $1

Total per batch (we're talking 10 GALLONS): $3.13!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's about 31 cents a jug!!!!!!Do you know how long it'll take me to use 10 gallons??? I'll let you know when I do. Seriously, if you bring over a jug I'll give you some. We can pretend like we live in the pioneer days and share stuff. My mom is already in and she's bringing her jug this weekend. She makes fun of me for being frugal but she sure doesn't complain with free dawn (out of my 14 bottle stash) each time she visits and free laundry soap (love you mom!!).

To compare it to the Up and Up that I used to buy (that is actually very reasonable as far as laundry detergent goes: $7.99 for less than A GALLON (this is 100oz, or just over 3 quarts). Holy money saving moley!!!!!!!!!!!!! This doesn't even take into account $17 tide liquid detergent or other expensive brands.

My cleaning/maintenance budget has never been happier!

EDIT: I have since done an update to how this is all working for us nearly a year later! Check it out here.

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