Sunday, August 26, 2012

Isaiah-Friendly Laundry Soap :0)

I posted this recipe a while ago, but I had a few people asking me for detailed instructions on how to make this stuff . . . so, here it is. :0)  I really like this stuff and it lasts a lot longer than a regular bottle of laundry detergent (and it can be cheaper, too).  

This soap is great for people with skin sensitivities (like Isaiah) because you use the soap that your skin tolerates.  Most of the time I use Vanicream, but recently I am trying Fells Naptha (just because it cleans the clothes a bit better).  The Vanicream cleansing bar used to be a bit pricier, but it's now only about $3.49 per bar at Walgreens.  Fells Naptha is $.97 at Walmart . . . and you use only half of the bar (it's a big bar).  Vanicream has no perfume, so there is no scent to your clothing - you clothes come out of the wash smelling fresh.  With Fells Naptha, there is a bit of an odor, but (surprisingly) your clothes don't really pick it up (especially after a second rinse).  I have also used Ivory, but Isaiah breaks out from the stuff - you can use whatever bar of soap you prefer.  I do not recommend anything with olive oil - your clothes smell good at first (and are amazingly soft), but you will smell like B.O. after a while.  You can even use liquid soap (about 2 cups of it), just make sure to reduce the boiling water from 6 cups to 4 cups.  
 To protect Isaiah even further from anything that might be irritating to his skin, I also put our laundry through an extra rinse cycle. 
product imageFels-Naptha

Okay . . . so on to the recipe.  Here's what you'll need:

A 2 to 3 gallon bucket with a lid (I found mine at Walmart for about $5.00).  I found a lid with no writing or decorations on it so that I could write the recipe on the lid with a permanent marker - that way you'll never lose it, even if you have to rewrite the recipe from time to time.

1 bar of soap of your choice (or 2 cups of liquid soap of your choice) - we use Fells Naptha ($.97 at Walmart) or Vanicream ($3.49 at Walgreens).

1 box of Borax.  The only brand I have found is 20 Mule Team and it costs maybe $3 to $4 at Walmart or Target (yes, one of Isaiah's favorite stores carries this stuff)

1 box of Washing Soda.  This can be difficult to find, but it works MUCH better than baking soda.  Our local Walmart has finally started carrying the stuff - it's about $5.95 per box (it holds about 5 1/2 cups).  If you cannot find Washing Soda (by Arm & Hammer - it is also called soda ash), you can make your own using baking soda (fill a wide baking dish/pan with baking soda, heat it at 400 degrees in the oven - stirring occasionally - until it becomes soda ash . . . you will notice a difference in appearance - by the way, I found this neat trick here).  Or, if all else fails, use baking soda (a large bag/box can be found at Walmart for approximately $3.00).  :0)  

Lots of water.  Yes, tap water - it will be just fine to use tap water. :0)  You will need about 2 gallons of water for this recipe (6 cups boiling water, 4 cups of hot water, 1 gallon plus 6 cups water).

1 large, tall pot.  It will need to be large and tall so you have more time before the mixture boils over. :0)  

Essential oils or fragrance of your choice - this is completely OPTIONAL. Isaiah doesn't do well with fragrances, so we omit this ingredient.


1 bar of soap, grated (or 1/2 Fells Naptha, grated / 2 cups of liquid soap)
6 cups of boiling water (or 4 cups, if you're using liquid soap)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda (or baking soda . . . it's up to you - there is a difference)
1 to 2 Tbsp essential oils or fragrance (OPTIONAL)
4 cups of hot water
1 gallon (approx. 16 cups) plus 6 cups of water


Make sure you have your bucket ready with 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water just in case your mixture starts to boil over.  Trust me, you will be glad you have that bucket ready when the foamy laundry soap monster rears its ugly head . . . :0)  Laundry soap scorching on the hot eye of your stove does not, in any way, smell good . . . just so you know.  :0)


1. Grate the entire bar of soap (or 1/2 the bar of Fells Naptha).  Sure, you could stand there forever waiting for the entire bar of soap to dissolve in all that water . . . grate the soap. :0)  I have used an onld fashioned hand grater, but who wants to do that?  I have found that my hands are much less achy when I use a food processor.  :0)

2. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil.  Turn off the heat and dissolve the grated bar of soap in the water.  If you want to use liquid soap, boil 4 cups of water, turn off the heat, and mix the liquid soap in the water. :0)

3.  Once the soap is completely dissolved and mixed with the water, add 1 cup of Borax.  Stir until completely dissolved (you can add up to 2 cups of Borax if you'd like, but 1 cup does just fine).

4.  Slowly add 1 cup of Washing Soda (soda ash / baking soda) to the mixture - SLOWLY.  Make sure it dissolves, but at this point you may notice the mixture expanding quickly, so have that bucket ready.  It makes a huge mess if you're not watching it.  I haven't noticed this quite as much with Fells Naptha, but I have noticed it with the Vanicream-baking soda mixture (it's a lot like mixing baking soda and vinegar).  Boy, is that a mess and half to clean up!  On the bright side, you'll have a nice clean stove when you're finished. :0)

Super Washing Soda Booster Large

5.  Add 4 cups of hot water and mix.  OPTIONAL: Add 1 to 2 Tbsp of essential oils/fragrance to the mixture and stir.

6.  Add the soap mixture to 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water (if it hasn't already been added at this point because it has turned into the puffy laundry soap monster).  Mix well (that laundry soap monster will behave after being added to the bucket).  

7.  Let the laundry soap set overnight or for 24 hours before using.  You will need to stir the mixture before using it because it will either be one big gelatinous blob (with washing soda) or a thin layer of blob on top of a bunch of liquid (if you used liquid soap/baking soda).  I usually mix it the first time with my hands to make sure I get all the clumps.  After this, you will need to mix it with a spoon before using.  If you use the washing soda, the mixture will be a thick liquid - almost a gel.  If you used baking soda, it will be a thinner liquid.

Use about 1 cup for a large load of laundry (3/4 of a cup for a medium load, 1/2 cup for a small load).  For extra large loads (depending on what your washing machine can handle), I have used up to 1 1/2 cups of laundry soap.  

Have fun! :0)

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