So, here’s a way of making home made laundry soap. And… by the way, I used Fels Naptha for the first 5 gallon pail, and I used lavender goat-milk soap the last time. I think I prefer the lavender soap and so I ordered lavender bar soap from Azure Standard to use in making my next bucketful of laundry-soap next week. Okay, so I started with these: an empty 5 gallon bucket, water, bar soap, washing soda & borax. I got the soap, washing soda and borax at Fred Meyer (you can find these in most grocery store’s laundry products department).
First, I grated a bar of Fels Naptha soap and covered that grated bar with water in a medium sauce pot – on low – on the stove. I stirred it until it completely melted.
Here’s what the grated soap looks like in the pan — and this is what is then covered with 4-6 cups of hot water and stirred until completely dissolved.
Then I filled my bucket one fourth full of hot-hot water and 2 cups of Borax and 2 Cups of Washing Soda
… and then I whisked and whisked and whisked until the borax and soda were completely dissolved.
…and when then I switched to my large-long handled potato masher and used that to incorporate the liquefied Fels Naptha or other bar of soap. It becomes quite gelatinous and thick after blending. I moved the half full bucket to our laundry area and then I filled it the rest of the way with hot water and continued to blend well.
I then snapped on a Gamma Seal lid – a very cool product – especially if you have arthritis and prying off bucket lids is hard. I have slowly switched all of our former lids to Gamma Seal lids (fits most 3.5-7 gallon buckets). The seems-permanent ‘ring’ is snapped on the bucket and the center of the lid spins off to open and on to tightly close the bucket. I use buckets for grains, cereals, honey, raw sugar, granola… and now, soap!
When my soap is finished, I fill a small 1 gallon rubbermaid bucket that sits on my washing machine. And the rest of the soap remains in the 5 gallon bucket for refills. I use about one HALF cup per load – and less than that on lightly soiled clothes – so, essentially there are 160 portions in a 5 gallon bucket. [I had the math wrong here originally — oops]
My 5-gallon bucket is now empty – ready for the next soap making in a few days. One more note… I add a dropper full of Essential Oil (honeysuckle, orange, lavender mixed in a little bottle) to each load’s rinse water – yep, right into the vinegar in the “fabric softener” dispenser.
And… voilà nice clean, sweet smelling clothes! Happy washing!!