As mentioned earlier I am on a "Homemade Adventure". I am looking for new ways to save money, be healthier and be more self-sufficient. Homemade Laundry Detergent has always been something that has intrigued me. I love that one of our most basic necessities can be so frugal and easy if we wanted to take the time. I spent hours and hours online searching for the soap I wanted to try. After reading several reviews I decided to try the "Duggar Family Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap". You know the Duggar Family, right? Sure you do, they are on TLC Twenty and counting. I knew that they would be the ones to look for when considering: cost effectiveness, materials and how much product. Let me just say approx. $2 a batch, 10 gallons of soap and 640 LOADS!!!! Sounds wonderful doesn't it?!
Let's get started, here is what you need:
a 5 gallon bucket
1 Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
Now, let me say they made finding these products sound a little easier than it actually was. I found the bucket at our local hardware store. Fels-Naptha I ordered online from a hardware store advertising on ebay, everywhere else I looked I found you had to buy it by the case and I wasn't ready to make that leap yet. The washing soda I have heard people can find at Wal-Mart but I couldn't. I ordered this from my local hardware store. Borax I found at every store I went to in the laundry isle. The great news about these products is most have multiple purposes. I use the washing soda and borax in my homemade dishwasher detergent. All together I spent about $20 and still have tons of product left!
Grate your bar of soap and add to a saucepan with 4 cups- hot water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
This does take some time, I think it took me about twenty mintues or so to get all the soap melted. Be patient and resist the urge to turn the heat up. :)
Fill the 5 gallon bucket half full of hot water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is disolved. This can be hard to tell because the water gets foamy. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
This is what it looks like when you open it the next morning. Its a thick gel. It smells wonderful though! You are thinking, "thats only 5 gallons though?" Well, let me finish. This is a very strong concentrate and is doubled by dilluting it with water in your small container. Stir your gell and fill a re-used, clean container half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. It does form a gel and after you shake it it becomes watery. Remember this is normal and does not effect its power at all.
Top Load Machine- 5/8 cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machine- 1/4 cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
I have used this soap for the last month and found that it removes stains better than my Gain alternative. I had baby clothes with old stains and this was able to remove them. My clothes don't look dull and they smell great. What a wonderful savings I have found. Hope you enjoy!