Homemade Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener

This is a recipe we’ve been using for a good 3 or more years, we started using it to save some money because at the time we had my niece and nephew living with us and adding 2 kiddo’s under the age of 3 and potty training them – this added ALOT of laundry to do. We were spending at least $30 a month on just laundry detergent at Costco not to mention the fabric softener. So we searched and searched and searched for something cheaper and worked just as well as the stuff you buy at the store and this is what we found. This is very similar to the recipe the Duggar’s use, it could be the same one so I’ve added the link just in case (I”m not going to rob someone of the credit they deserve – I didn’t make the recipe up I just copied it). This is a very low suds detergent so don’t expect to see much.

You will need-

5 gallon bucket with a lid – we got ours at Fred Meyer, I’m sure any home improvment store has them

Laundry soap dispenser – the last one you had to buy

1 bar of soap – I have heard many different brands most people swear by Fels-Naptha, I was concerned about skin sensitivity issues that Meimei has so we went with Zote soap – we found it at Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer’s in the laundry detergent isle

1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda – not baking soda – also found at Fred Meyer in the laundry detergent isle – I’ve not seen it anywhere else but I know it can be ordered online thru Arm and Hammer as well

1/2 cup Borax – I have seen this at every place we have gone that has a laundry detergent isle

Essential oils – (optional) any scent that you happen to like is good

How to make it –

Grate the soap in a sauce pan and cover with hot water. Heat of medium -low heat stirring until the soap dissolves. Put the washing soda and the borax in the 5 gallon bucket and pour in the hot soap mixture. Mix until the powders are dissolved. Fill the bucket with more hot water. Stir and cover with lid tightly and let sit overnight. The next morning it’s ready to use, stir the mixture and fill the old laundry soap dispenser half with water and half with the soap mixture. (We fill ours about half with water then 1/4 with soap – I shake the heck out of it to mix them then add some more soap, shake and keep adding until the dispenser is full. I always leave a little room in the dispenser so you can shake it because it will seperate as it sits).  Also each time you need to fill your dispenser you will need to mix the soap in the 5 gallon bucket before you put it in the dispenser.

We used to use the big soap dispenser that you can get at Costco – but I was having such a hard time shaking it before I used it we went down to a smaller sized one. Now we are using an old bleach bottle – 60 oz size – and it is good for about a 7-10 days of laundry before we have to refill it.

You use 1 cup for the typical top loading machines and 1/3 cup for the HE/front loading machines. I know lots of people question weither or not it can be used in the HE washers but that’s what the Duggar’s use and I know lots of other people that use them also and use this sort of laundry detergent without any problems with their HE Washers.

This will make about 10 gallons of soap or about 160 loads worth.  Tim did the math and this equals about 2 cents a load.

Here’s a link to my husband’s facebook page – he posted a video on making the laundry soap for one of the classes he was taking.  But don’t mind the disary of the kitchen — we were in a much smaller place and had to stuff stuff where ever we could.

Fabric Softener

This is so super easy and we love it.  We use — sit down for it – WHITE VINEGAR – yep we do and no we don’t walk around smelling like Easter Eggs 24/7 . I also put some Lavender essential oil (about 20 drops for a gallon bottle and shake it a bit to distribute) in the bottle. We  usually get it at Costco – two 1 gallon bottles for $5. I use anywhere between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load — just depends on what I’ve got in the load and if there’s alot of static cling at the moment. The more the static cling the more I put in and usually for towels they get 1/2 cup. I don’t pour it in the bucket I use the bleach dispenser.

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