Saturday, March 10, 2012

2-Gallons Homemade Ivory Laundry Soap

Just made my second batch of liquid laundry detergent.. The first one I made with Fels-Naptha, Washing Soda, and Borax. This one the same except I used a bar of Ivory instead of the Fels-Naptha. I made a 2-Gallon batch. So far I can say I love this stuff... I hope to never buy liquid laundry detergent again! Money saver, as-clean results, and control over the ingredients is very satisfying.. AND.... I use white vinegar for fabric softener instead of using the store stuff... I just fill up the receptacle for fabric softener with vinegar.

2-Gallons Homemade Ivory Laundry Soap
  • 1 bar grated Ivory Soap (If you use Fels-Naptha only 1/2 bar)
  • ½ cup washing soda (not baking soda) (Can increase, see note below)
  • ½ cup borax powder  (Can increase, see note below)
  • a small bucket, about 2ish gallon size 
  1. Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
  2. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.
  3. Once the soap melts simmer gently for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.
  6. Now add your soap mixture and stir.
  7. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.
  8. After an hour or so it will gel. But it's better to just let it sit undisturbed overnight or about 24 hours.  Mix it well to break it up and liquefy with hand blender, whisk, or even your hand.
  9. Put into containers of your choice.  I prefer clear empty milk jugs as I can see the separation.  Shake before using so don't fill your jugs to the top or you won't be able to shake them well.  
Give this a good shake before each use.  Use about ½ cup per average front loader load. Heavy dirty loads need more.  Since I don't have a top-loader the only advice I can give is top-loaders require more from what I understand.  I would guess that you would start with 3/4's of a cup and adjust to your needs.  This is low-sudsing so don't gage the amount you use on the suds. 

** If you have hard water increase the amount of Borax to 1 cup. Borax is a water softener.  You can also increase the Washing Soda to 1 cup or a 1.5 cups for more cleaning power.

Update 28 April 2012 -  I just made another batch of this and chose to increase the Borax and Washing Soda to 1 cup each.  I did this because I live in an area that has hard water and I have some laundry challenges.  For my really dirty dirty loads I was using 1.5 cups of the original recipe.  1/2 cup in a pre-wash cycle and 1 cup in the main wash cycle.  I will add another update to this to see what impact the increase has on my changes.

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