Monday, August 30, 2010

Laundry soap on a dime!

With a little help from...The Duggars!

In our home we are always on the lookout for ways to save money but about a year ago when my mother in law suggested we "make" our own laundry soap I was quick to turn the other way. Sometimes it feels like people go to extremes to save a buck or two and since my mother in law is one of those people that go to said extremes I have a tendency not to hear her when it comes to things like this. Not to mention that I am a little weary when it comes to putting just anything into my precious front loader washer. But while searching through a website for the incredibly large family "The Duggars" I came across a different recipe for this laundry concoction. One that has all kinds of details from how much you would save to how many loads a batch would serve up. It was also very clear that this particular recipe WOULD work well in a front loader machine which was all I had to hear to move forward with my science experiment.


hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.

-Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Total Cost for ME: 14.26 cents (we had a bucket but it broke so we had to spring for a bucket which we got at the hardware store)

Price per LOAD? Front Loaders: About 0.3 cents Top Loaders: 0.12 cents per load

How many laundry soap purchases? 20 32 load containers

Savings? $ 185.54

Savings per Year? (I buy twice a month) 205.52

Did you notice that a front loading machine gets up to 640 loads out of ONE batch of soap? When I saw that I absolutely knew that there was no way in the world I would ever be purchasing expensive front loader soaps ever again if this worked half as good as I have heard. And frankly if I did not have a front loader the difference in quantities would almost be enough to purchase a front loader had I not already had one. The recipe was very easy, although the ingredients were a little challenging to find. I first went to Wal-Mart who I knew at one time carried Borax but apparently they are quite a bit unreliable when it comes to buying things a second time around. I did end up finding both the Borax and Arm & Hammer at H.E.B. but had to go a hardware store for the Fels-Naptha which seems to be the place to go to find ALL of the products. Besides those challenges the only other issues I had was having to wait a full 24 hours to try it out and the fact that the soap smells so good and CLEAN on it's own there is no use to add any type of oils. My house was a mess but could have easily fooled anyone who came to the door because it smelled like laundry heaven before I ever put a load into wash. Speaking of wash, I would not be hard-pressed to say that I actually like this soap better than my normal laundry detergent. It did a really good job getting the kids filthy clothes clean and left them smelling fresh and wonderful. I definitely give The Duggars laundry soap recipe a big fat universal THUMBS UP! Now as far as Jim Bobs tuna fish recipe, well, there are not enough thumbs down in the world to show how much I truly detest this slop worthy concoction. Sorry Jim Bob, The Bramlett's love you but don't quit your day job!

(IE: Tuna mixed with BBQ sauce..ACK!)

HINT: If you cannot find "Fels-Naptha" You can use Zote Soap & Ivory soap leaving me to believe that you can use just about ANY bar of soap. I bet Ivory would smell wonderful and since it is a natural soap bar it would be choice for sensitive skin. Miriam has sensitive skin, I will get back to you on how this soap effects or doesn't effect her.

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  1. I'm a top loader, so I use a little more, but still, the savings alone is ASTOUNDING!!!

  2. I am telling you! You cannot go wrong either way. Everyone should make their own soap, but then again, the products for the soap would probably go up in