Homemade Laundry Soap

Ha!  How’s that for a title?  It’s a good thing this blog is about more than just quilting….. and cats….. and food.  Now I’m turning into Laura Ingalls!

I’d been wanting to try this ever since I found out about it from a blog I read called One Good Thing.  She has so many helpful household tips!  Many of them very, very useful.  I love to see what new thing she has in my inbox every day so I quickly subscribed to her blog.

Meanwhile back on the prairie….. I was just about to run out of laundry detergent so I thought it was time to give this a try.  According to my new BFF Jillee (she doesn’t know it yet, but she will soon), it’s made with all natural ingredients and lasts a whole year if you have a family of 4 or less.  Since Pappy, Panda and Pebbles don’t contribute much to the laundry basket, I figure it will last Dear Hubby and I a long, long, long, long time.  (We better like it, right?)  I’m marking the date on the calendar (or better yet on the cool new detergent container – pics to come) so I’ll know exactly how long it lasts.

Here are all the ingredients. As well as my beautiful new laundry detergent container.  Cool, right?  Apparently it’s the little things that make me happy.  I sat in my recliner last night and ordered them all online.  And although BFF Jillee says it costs $30 to make this, it was just $24 when I got my ingredients input into the online ordering service from my local Superstore.  So I splurged and got the pretty 2 gallon glass jar for $11 too.  (I didn’t add the optional fabric softener crystals to mine.  Perhaps that is the cost difference.  I prefer not to use fabric softener in my detergent.)

And I need to stop here and make sure you appreciate the irony of ordering my supplies online to drive over and let them load them in my car for me to then come home and make soap.  Sort of a computer age meets Little House on the Prairie going on there.  I ordered groceries while I was at it so now I’m good for the week.  We are so spoiled.

Back to the laundry…..

You start with this Fels Naptha soap.  I had heard of this before but I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who used it.  Except maybe my grandma.  And you add Borax.  Remember the old 20 Mule Team ads they used to have?  I think those were common on Bonanza or some shows back in the dark ages of television.  I didn’t even know this stuff still existed!  But there it is…. right on the shelf in the laundry aisle.  Or in the laundry section in your online ordering app.

You chop the Fels Naptha bars into little chunks to throw into your blender or food processor to pulverize them into tiny chunks.  Doesn’t it look like Velveeta cheese?  I don’t imagine it tastes like it.  And it sure doesn’t smell like cheese.

Then you mix everything into two kitchen sized trash bags.  And I forgot to take a pic of that…… oh, phooey.  Just go to Jillee and let her tell you all about how to do it here.  There’s even a video to watch where she shows you how to tumble the trash bags to mix it all together well.

Then you pour it into your pretty new glass jar and put it on the shelf in your laundry room.  With the pretty red coffee scoop that you also bought that measures out the exact 2 tablespoons that you need for one wash load.

Except oops.  My shelf wasn’t quite low enough to accommodate the big jar with the lid on.  Aaaaaackkkkk!  And I also really think I need to replace the shelf liner on that shelf.  I’m in a mood.

Not to be outsmarted, I just turned the lid upside down.  And I can still get it open enough to reach my hand in to use the pretty new scoop.  I figure when the level of detergent gets down to where I can’t quite reach it (which should be about next April or May since you only use 2 Tbsp at a time.  Or even 1 Tbsp if you have one of those fancy high energy washers), I’ll just move the container to the top of the dryer.  Because after all, pretty container.   Or maybe I’ll look for a smaller pretty container to transfer to when the level is lower?  (They have a similar 1/2 gallon jar for just $5.88.  I might really like the space that would give me on the shelf when the level of detergent is lower anyway!  Then I could just keep the big jar somewhere else and keep refilling the smaller jar?  Hmmmmm……. I think I have Fall Organizing Syndrome.)  I also might have to use something with a more airtight lid next summer when the humidity strikes.

Off to the creek to haul in some water for making tea.  Oh, wait.  We have running water here!  I got lost for a moment in Little House on the Prairie.  Maybe I need to go find some clothes to wash.

Turning laundry day lemons into lemonade….. or at the very least, cheaper lemons.

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8 Responses to Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Suz says:

    This syndrome sounds very serious, Laura, I mean Barb!

  2. Cathi says:

    I can’t wait to hear how you think the laundry soap works! Have you done a load of laundry or two yet?



  3. Susan Bancroft says:

    That was hilarious, Barb! I looooved this blog! (My sis, Barbara, told me I needed to run and go read it!) Keep us posted, Laura! xoxo

  4. Cyndie Shindle says:

    I loved your post, lol! I have used her blog and have been making my laundry soap for years using her recipe, then I moved to Ireland and found they don’t have the ingredients here, so I’ve made variations of the original that are ok but not as effective. My washer in Ireland is also unusual. It is a washer and a dryer combined, and it is tiny. I’ve learned it’s the little things that become challenging and cause you to be homesick for USA but I am looking on these things as opportunities to build character, develop patience and ingenuity probably a lot like Laura Ingalls did out there on the prairie……..grin
    Cyndie on assignment in Dublin Ireland xx

  5. I have used the laundry soap recipe but since I live alone and only wash about 1 load of laundry a week figured I would try to save money else where, but it did work great. Of course my clothes are not exactly dirty when I wash them as all I do is clean house and quilt. Not sure how it would work on really dirty and greasy clothes. Hmmm maybe I can get a couple of other old ladies to share a batch with me. Good blog. Thanks

  6. Sandi says:

    I use the Fels. If you get cooking oil on your clothes…rub with the fels and it comes right out. Love your blog Barb. Glad you are back. You always make me smile.

  7. ROBIN L FARLEY says:

    I just love when you tell a story! You know I’ve seen this before but didn’t know if I’d like it. Let us know how you like the way it cleans!
    Although I do prefer liquid, I like the natural aspect of this laundry soap!
    Many hugs!!!

  8. Kay says:

    Wow! I actually remember Borax and Fels Naptha! Am I really that old🤣 Good tip Barb. Course there’s only me and Cami here so whatever’s left may go to my estate😄

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