Wow, I guess I am lazy. I keep reading posts regarding the making of laundry soap and I am tired before I even finish. It doesn’t have to be as much work as so many people make it out to be. So instead of high jacking someone’s comments, I will let it all out here.
First off, I might grate the soap, or if I have time because I didn’t let my soap run out, I just place the bar in a pot of water, put it on the back of stove, and wait for it to melt all by its lonesome self. I have no qualms about waiting a few days if I happen to forget about it, and if somewhere along the way during the melting process, I decide to pick up the pace, I start a low flame under the pot and speed up the process. The thing to keep in mind is that you are transforming the solid ingredients into a solution, and things must fully dissolve, so have plenty of water in your pot, and keep in mind that heat is your new best friend.
Anyway, with the soap fully dissolved, if I haven’t already turned on the heat, I start the burner on medium low, and stir when I remember to. Then when the soapy water is clear and mildly steaming, I add 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda, being sure to stir enough in the beginning, to keep the powder from sticking on the bottom.
After I have added the borax and soda, I stir occasionally as I remember, (my kitchen is in the center of the house so I pass through it frequently), then when the solution is clear and syrupy looking, I pour it into my home depot bucket by the washing machine. I stack two together to not have to reach to the floor as the bucket empties.
Wait! I forgot to add, I fill my large soup pot with water, and begin the process of bringing it to a boil somewhere along the way. I cannot say for sure where, since it all depends on how much of a hurry I am in. You will need the boiling water when you are done with your solution.
So now I have the solution in the bottom of the bucket, and if I remember to start my water boiling at the right point, I pour the pot of boiling water in on the top of the soap solution and stir well, briskly. If I forgot to start the water on time, I keep the soap solution on the stove on low until the water boils.
Now, my daughter is not like me and boils a second pot of water to fill the bucket up the rest of the way, but I am too lazy, and anyway, I keep our hot water heater really hot, so instead of more boiling, I just fill up the pot I cooked the soap in, with my don’t let it touch my skin hot water from the tap. I do this a few times to finish filling up the bucket, and briskly stir again. This has the added benefit of cleaning out the soap cooking pot, and I also use the water that runs from the tap until it runs hot, to fill the sink for dish washing.
So, it cost a few dollars to make five gallons of laundry soap, along with the initial expense of two home depot buckets, a long handled spoon for stirring, and a twist on lid that fits the home depot buckets. I leave the lid a bit tilted and unsealed because I like to leave the long handled stirring spoon in the bucket so I don’t have to look for it, and because the solution will separate from the water with temperature changes and such, so just stir it back together again.
For a boost I will add a cup or so (I don’t measure) of washing soda to the bottom of washer tub when doing a load of whites, it helps with brightness. I also add a cup of white vinegar to every wash cycle and 1/2 cup to the machines fabric softener dispenser, so I don’t need fabric softener and it completely eliminates odors. The smell of vinegar disappears when the clothes dry, and they are softer than I have ever achieved with store bought stuff.
I use this homemade soap for delicates, as well as heavy dirty loads. I just let the water fill a bit and then pour the vinegar and soap directly on the damp clothes where the water comes in, and so far, nothing has faded or fallen apart.
There is an added plus with the homemade stuff and vinegar, when I hang clothes on the line, they never stiffen and get rough like they used to with store bought detergent, but they do smell.
Like warm days and sunshine…..sigh.