Homemade Laundry Soap

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Laundry Detergent Making Ingredients

I’m pretty thrilled with my homemade laundry soap!  This is an incredibly easy recipe, works like a charm, saves you money and is environmentally and vegan friendly!  (I’m not a vegetarian, but I do appreciate being kind to animals.)

You should be able to find all the ingredients at the grocery store, but I did have to order the Dr. Bronner’s soap.  (My grocery store carries Fels Naptha laundry soap, which will work in this recipe but uses cow and pig tallow.  Seriously, I don’t want that in my clothes. … Please don’t tell me what was in my old laundry detergent, OK?)  Here’s the recipe I used:

1 Bar of Dr. Bronner’s Organic Bar Soap

1 Cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Cup Baking Soda

Grate the bar of soap using the finest side of the grater.  (You can also chop up the bar and drop it into a food processer.)  You’ll want very fine soap flakes especially if you use cold water for laundry, so it’s worth the time it will take.  Then simply add the other ingredients and mix until well combined.  Use one Tablespoon per load, two for a very large or heavily soiled load.  This recipe makes enough laundry soap to fill two pint sized canning jars.

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap

Dr. Bronner’s soaps come in a variety of scents, even unscented for baby laundry or for those with sensitive skin.  I used peppermint just because it smelled so fresh and clean.  Love it!  I’ve also stopped using fabric softener in favor of vinegar.  Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but my sheets are so soft and comfy!  You may have a faint scent of vinegar when you open the washer, but by the time your clothes dry any hint of vinegar is gone.

This is very low-suds soap, so remind yourself that bubbles are not required to clean.  The low-suds action means that it will work well in HE washers which need low sudsing detergents.  (Be familiar with your warranty — it may require that you use specific detergents.)

A couple friends volunteered to test out my new soap, so I’m sending them little laundry starter sets of soap, a couple lavender dryer sachets and six “bubble” clothespins.

Samples of Laundry Goodies for My Two Volunteer Testers

Wouldn’t these make nice housewarming or hostess gifts?

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Snowball Soap

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Snowball soap is a quick easy craft to do for or with children.  (I’ve also given snowball soaps to adult friends who seemed to like it.)  Start with bars of soap, one bar for each snowball you’d like to make.

Ivory Soap

Use a cheese grater to shred the bars.  I like Ivory because it’s less dense than most soaps and grates so easily.  (This part should be done by an adult or a careful older child.)  Looks like cheese, doesn’t it?

It's Not Cheese, It's Soap

Add water, a little at a time, and stir it around with your hands until your soap foams a little and is easy to form into balls.  You can make plain snowball soap if you like, but if you want to add a little extra fun (or encourage the kids to wash their hands more often), you may want to add a little prize.  Little balls work well, of course, but I like to hide little toy animals or dinosaurs inside.  I found these at Tractor Supply.  They were a little more expensive than what I might have found elsewhere, but the models were so well made I couldn’t resist.

Soap "Prizes"

Form the shape of a ball with your sudsy, shredded soap, starting with your little prize if you want to add one.  Then set them out on a rack to dry, which may take a day or so.

Snowball Soap

If giving them as a gift, once they’re dry you can wrap them in plastic wrap and tie them with a pretty ribbon.  This is an easy, inexpensive gift for kids to make for friends, classmates and relatives – and since it’s soap it’s a really easy craft to clean up after.

sarahsigres