Sunday, July 26, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap--Three Months Later

Back in April I posted this about making my own laundry soap.

Can it be possible that I have been making my own laundry soap for that long? I had no idea! I have used at least 4 Fels Naptha bars, so that means 4 batches. I need to make one in the morning. I still have PLENTY of Borax left in the original box I purchased back in April. After this batch I will have to buy more Arm and Hammer Washing Soda BUT we used it for something else and that is the only reason we are almost out.

Boy, talk about savings!!!

I'm totally rounding here, but all this means that I have washed my family's clothes for 3 months for a measly, what? Fifteen bucks? I can't really remember how many bottles of fabric softener I've used but that's a pretty good estimate. And this savings will continue as I still don't need to buy some of the ingredients.

I've found out a few things along the way:

1. WalMart sells refills of fabric softener that come in a cardboard container (like a milk carton). They are cheap and you just pour them in your fabric softener bottle.

2. I dilute the fabric softener. I don't use the Downy Ball anymore because we got a new washer and it's a front loader (clearance aisle baby!). So I just keep a little cup of water on top and after I pour fabric softener in the little drawer, I give it a shot of water. No, I have no idea the measurements.

3. If you have a "high efficiency" washer, this is going to save you money, because it doesn't foam up. I have not once purchased high efficiency laundry detergent.

4. Yes, you can use vinegar instead of fabric softener and that would be really cheap. I don't know how that works exactly but you could find out easily.

5. Honestly, the Fels Naptha smells good. I like how the kitchen smells after we've made a batch of detergent. But the fabric softener smells wonderful!!!!

6. I started throwing the grated Fels Naptha bar into my old blender and it works great. Then I mix it with the other ingredients.

Now that we feel all empowered with making our own laundry soap, S and I have gone a little crazy making some other things. If you are needing to cut the budget a bit---may I suggest giving this a try?

I'll share about those other recipes this week as well! It'll be a FRUGALFEST!!!!! :)


  1. I have been totally wondering about this, and I'm excited to you posted an update!

    One question: Would you recommend this for baby clothes? Right now I use All Free and Clear(no dyes or fragrance, perfect for sensitive skin) for all of our clothes, including baby's. Would this fit that bill?

    And, I can't wait to see what else you guys are making! HEY! You should do a bloggy event. With a Mr. Linky and everything!

  2. I love Fels Naptha! I have used it on stains that didn't come out in the wash (still using liquid tide because I want the empties to put the homemade in). I just took the bar of soap rubbed it on the stain and washed as normal. It even took out the red spots that came from washing a new red shirt with normal clothes (thank goodness because the shirt that got red on it was Hubby's new shirt).

    I made the liquid laundry soap using ivory before I knew that Kroger carried fels naptha (thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning that by the way). When I run out of tide this time, I think I will have enough bottles so I don't have to store it in a big bucket.

  3. Karly, I always used special soap for baby's clothes too. I don't know--to me this is gentle. Does anyone know about that? I would use it on my baby's clothes--I know that.

    Christi--I'm glad you mentioned that. I forget that Fels Naptha is for stains. Right now I have my girls "squirt" their own clothes with a bottle of Oxi Clean when they have spilled something. When that bottle is all gone, perhaps we will start using a bar of Fels Naptha. That might be good to know too Karly, for baby!

    One more thing. That large coffee can I use is not even half way full with one batch of this soap. I could make 2 or 3 batches at a time and they would still fit.

  4. Thanks for telling us about the Walmart fabric softener, I've never seen it in a cardboard carton. I will have to look for it next time we go to get some.
    Hooray for Frugalfest !

  5. I want to echo the sentiments of the first commenter. You need to make Frugalfest into a bloggy event complete with Mr Linky or McLinky. :D

  6. I think it would be great to have a Frugalfest, but lets remember all that Brenda has to do and how quickly a stay at home mom's/homeschooling mom's day fills up. She is extremely busy just like the rest of us and I wouldn't want her to feel she "had" to do something that would take more time from her family.
    I look forward to seeing the rest of the things you and S have been doing/making. : )

  7. Don't worry G----I'm already itching to have one!!! :) I just need to look into the MckLinky b/c Mr. Linky--he is dead to me.

    But it won't be this week. Maybe next? Who is in?

  8. MckLinky is so easy to use, you can register pretty easily and they have tutorials they send to your email as well.
    I would participate if you have one : )

  9. Oh no! I wasn't trying to put more on your plate, Brenda! (Not that I have that kind of pull with you anyway!) :) But, I love making my own stuff, and I would love to see what else other moms make!

    Hmm... I'll have to try this out for detergent. I am spending WAY too much right now for what I'm getting!

  10. Is there a homemade liquid detergent? The septic guy, AKA my new best friend, tells me not to use powder. I don't really know of those sewer mysteries that will remain a mystery. Ha. I am looking forward to more frugal recipes and whatnot. Do Tell!!!! :) Laura

  11. The 20 Mule Team Borax always reminds me of my great aunt who always always had a box of that near her washer. She'd probably been mixing her own laundry soap since the 30's.

    I've been contemplating making my own as well since I made some wool dryer balls to get rid of my dryer sheet need.

  12. What's with these wool balls? I never heard of such a thing!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)