Making your own Homemade Laundry Soap is very inexpensive and a good choice for those concerned about quality, health related benefits, the environment & living frugal. It’s good to first understand the difference between the words Soap & Detergent. Virtually all laundry “soap” on the market today is a petroleum-based detergent (which is a cheap and synthetic copy of real soap) and the vast majorities contain dyes and perfumes that can irritate or fade clothes & they also contain optical brighteners that make you think your clothes are clean. Detergent was created during World War I when a shortage of fats (main ingredient in soap- either animal or vegetable derived) occurred and as an alternative; companies developed the first synthetic version of soap called detergent… much like margarine was chemically created to mimic butter. You can make better & less expensive soap for your clothes right at home and cut your costs down dramatically… one person spent $12 and made enough Homemade Laundry Soap to last her an entire year!!
There are lots of different combinations & recipes for Homemade Laundry Soap, but there are 4 common ingredients among them all: soap, washing soda, borax & vinegar. If you have a HE (high efficiency) washing machine please know that homemade laundry soaps are naturally low in suds which should accommodate these machines well. Trial & error will most likely be the case- as with anyone making their own customized laundry soap. Below is a description of each ingredient found in most Homemade Laundry Soap recipes. This should help you understand how to tweak your laundry soap based on whether your water is hard or soft in order to give you the best outcome. For those that wash in cold water, it is best to put your homemade laundry soap in with the washer’s hot water for a minute so it correctly dissolves, then turn the water to cold & begin adding clothes.
1. Soap: Use soap bars marketed for laundry such as Zote, Fels Naptha or Castile soaps or you can also use regular body bars as well as homemade soap bars too! Just choose plain bars of soap without a lot of additives. Beauty & deodorant bars (which contain extra oil, perfumes & moisturizers) are great for your skin but not for clothes or machines! If you’re searching for eco-friendly or more gentle & natural homemade laundry soap I would suggest something like Castile soap. It is perhaps one of the gentlest soaps to date- a fact that makes it the choice of many mothers when choosing a first soap for their babies. It’s made with 100% pure olive oil (which is one way to tell whether or not it’s a true Castile soap) and is naturally very mild. Also look for Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Unscented Baby-Mild Pure Castile Soaps.
2. Washing Soda: Not the same as Baking Soda. Environmentally safe household cleaning product that helps to remove laundry stains such as: perspiration, collar & cuff, mustard & even motor oil. It also serves as a water softener as well as a laundry booster. Use more Washing Soda if you have extra hard water; use less if you have a soft water. Safe to use on all washable fabrics & colors. FYI: brands Planet and Seventh Generation (reputable for being environmentally friendly) both contain Soda Ash
3. Borax: A natural deodorizer, detergent booster & stain remover. Don’t go crazy with the Borax… more is not better in the case of Borax.. If you’re not getting the cleaning you desire, try just a little more Borax, but remember it’s a booster, not a soap. Borax, baking soda & oxyclean are all alkaline which also soften hard water.
4. Vinegar: The ingredients in Homemade Laundry Soap are considered alkali. Vinegar is an acid and will help restore the pH balance of your wash load so that your clothes, your machine & pipes rinse clean & do not build up with soap residue much like what happens in with soap scum in showers. Vinegar also works as a great alternative to fabric softener! Your clothes WILL NOT smell like vinegar. Add ½ cup of distilled vinegar to the “fabric softener” part of your washer or put in a Downy ball. Some have also suggested putting a few drops of essential oil in with the vinegar to give clothes a scent (rumor has it that Bergamot essential oil gives the Mountain Fresh scent). DO NOT use vinegar with chlorine bleach!
Add Mrs. White’s Liquid Bluing or oxyclean to your Homemade Laundry Soap as a safer & less expensive alternative to bleach. The whites come out wonderful, the colors are bright and clean and best of all, it is better for the environment. You may also find the need for a spot treatment and there are several recipes & ideas for homemade ones as well or you can use any store bought brand.
The following recipes are for either powder or liquid Homemade Laundry Soap. If you do not want to bother with the melting of soap and having gallons and gallons of goop (not like store bought liquid- more like egg drop soup) then the powder recipes are best. Just make sure to shred your soap using the fine section on a cheese grater or food processor for the powdered recipes… large lumps of soap will not dissolve quickly in your washer. If you decide you like the “liquid” version best but are concerned with bacterial growth or spoilage then you may consider adding Grapefruit Seed Extract. It is a natural preservative that contains powerful anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, E and C!
Powder Laundry Soap
3 bars of Soap
3 cups Borax
3 cups Washing Soda
Put chopped soap in food processor until fine.
Pour into a large bowl with the Borax and Washing Soda and stir until combined.
Use 1/4 cup (same as 2 TBSP) in HE front loader, use 1/2 cup in a top loader.
Liquid Laundry Soap
1 cup grated soap
4 cups water
1/3 cup Baking Soda
1/3 cup OxiClean
1/3 cup Borax
5 gallon cleaned, recycled paint bucket
Place water in boiler pot
Place grated soap in water
bring to boil & then turn down to low simmer… simmer until all soap is melted
Keeping heat on low, add dry ingredients… stir
continue stiring until mixture thickens & then turn off heat
Pour about 4 cups hot tap water into paint bucket
pour mixture into water that is in paint bucket, stir
allow to settle overnight
Use 1/4 cup for washload & if needed soak load overnight
Spot Treatment & Stains
for extremely greasy or very smelly clothes (excellent for removing pet odors or urine odors) clothes:
add 1/4 cup Borax
soak overnight in the hottest water safe for the fabric
for blood, catsup, etc:
add 1 scoop of OxiClean (use the scoop that came with the product, then soak overnight in cold water)
mud: 1/4 cup added borax & overnight hot water soak
Source : http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/