A few months ago I shared a post about tackling the dragon in my life called LAUNDRY. I’ve discovered one reason this chore didn’t excite me. You see, I enjoy creativity, beauty and special moments. And although doing laundry certainly adds many desirable things to anyone’s character, it didn’t ignite the “artsy” side of me. So, it was boring.
Enter; Homemade Laundry Soap! Why do I get excited about this? Because I can create my very own, exclusive, hand selected laundering concoctions. For the 20 minutes or so that it takes to create this loveliness we call laundry detergent, my kitchen transforms into a perfume maker’s chemistry lab of creativity and scented delight. The excitement carries over into my laundry routine, as I can’t help but smell the soap and smile every time I wash a load of dirty clothes, linens or towels! And the bonus is a giant savings over supermarket “natural” detergents.
I modified a basic recipe I found on Pinterest, sourced from “The Frugal Girls”. I purchased a canning kettle which I use exclusively for laundry soap making, and then I store all my supplies in it when I’m finished. This recipe makes 2 gallons of beautiful, fresh, delicious-smelling homemade laundering soap. *Note I use this in my front-loading washing machine, and works beautifully.
Homemade Laundering Soap Recipe
1/2 bar castile soap, grated
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
Water: 6 cups hot water, then 6 cups hot water, then 1 gallon + 6 cups cold water
Grate your soap, place into large pot and combine with 6 cups hot water (from the faucet). Stir and heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and add washing soda and borax. Keep this mixture on the stove (low to medium heat) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, turn off the burner. Add 4 cups hot water. Stir. Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups cold water. Place in empty laundry detergent containers, a bucket, or you can do as I did, and purchase your very own special gallon jugs. Your laundering soap will thicken into a gel-like consistency in about 24 hours. That’s it! You made your own laundry soap. We use 1/2 cup per load, always shaking well before each use.
Now comes the fun part; adding scents!
Our favorite are “Lavender & Rose”, and “Melaleuca & Citrus”.
For the first, I add 25 drops each of Lavender essential oil and 50 drops of Rosewater essential oil to one gallon of laundering soap. I also like to add a few drops of Young Living’s “Thieves” essential oil. For the second, I use 25 drops each of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) essential oil, Lemon essential oil and Grapefruit essential oil per gallon. I also add “Thieves” to this mixture. Then I label the gallon container, and make sure to shake well before each use. (Note: I also experiment with different scents of castile bar soap. My favorites are Lavender, Tea Tree and Citrus.) There are many great brands and scents when it comes to essential oils, and you can certainly experiment with your own likes, preferences and ideas. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do.
~ Justina Dee