Saving money is on everyone’s mind lately and there are a lot of things we can do without too much effort to keep money in our pockets. In some of our how tos we will look at learning how to can your own food, cook a great pizza so you don’t have to order out and buy in bulk to save money on other items.
Today we are going to look at making liquid laundry detergent. Laundry detergent is a pretty expensive product and if you have a family it can cost you a lot of money to keep your clothes clean.
What if in about an hour total work you could make 10 gallons of laundry detergent for under $10 on average?
Now this process doesn’t require a lot of hard labor but it does mean you will need a few things to mix it all up. You will also need storage containers to keep your soap in and a clean 5 gallon bucket that has never been used for chemicals.
So to prepare for making your soap it will probably take you a little while to save containers. While you are doing that you can buy the required ingredients at your local super store or online. We want to keep this as inexpensive as we can so don’t run out and buy containers for this.
Another thing is if your skin is sensitive this might not be the best thing for you. The products that we will use are common concentrate soaps and are used by people for general clothes washing but if you have reactions to products and are under a doctor’s care you already know you are limited to the products you can use. For everyone else the results should be tested just like you would a new brand of soap. Wash some towels or other items first and not your most delicate expensive designer dress.
The formulation we will put together is commonly available on the internet and many people have the same or similar formulas for making liquid laundry soap. I suggest that you look at the process we discuss and then do some searching and find something that fits your exact needs.
What you need to make homemade laundry detergent
The products you will need are commonly available and are general purpose soaps.
You will need
Safety Glasses and Rubber Type Gloves
One Large Bar of ZOTE SOAP cost about $2 for 14oz bar
2 Cups of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 Cups of Borax – 20 Mule Team is a popular brand.
2 to 6 tablespoons of a scented oil available at some dollar stores.
Now other people will add other products to their soap such baking soda, Oxyclean and maybe a dollar store bottle of hair conditioner that has both scent and will soften your fabric but even without the scented oil that I suggest you can make great soap for washing your laundry.
Mixing up the Laundry Detergent
To mix up the soap you will need very hot water. A large stainless steel pot will do well. I suggest you don’t try anything else but stainless steel. Aluminum is likely to turn black in reaction to the soap. Porciline pans may not work well. If necessary buy a cheap stainless steel pot at the store. One big box store sells them for about $10.
Add 8 quarts of water to a 12 quart pot and bring it to a very hot simmer. you do not want this to boil or there could be problems.
Grate up the bar of Zote Soap and slowly add it to the steaming but not boiling water to melt it. This should take about 15 minutes.
Turn off the stove and add the two cups of borax slowly while stirring.
Once the mixture is dissolved pour it into a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
Add the Arm & Hammer Soap and mix until dissolved.
Add hot water from your sink until the bucket is about 80% full.
Allow the mixture to rest as it cools. This process will thicken the soap.
Once cool mix the soap to break it up and then fill your one gallon containers with 50% water 50% concentrated soap.
This should make about 10 gallons of full strength laundry soap.
Making soap is a somewhat dangerous job and should be done by an adult.
Wear Eye Protection not just your normal glasses.
Wear gloves and old clothes while working.
Always test your soap on clothes you know can take a little bit of a stronger soap.
Adjust your concentrations as necessary. A Half Cup of completed soap should be enough for one large load of clothes.