Last summer, Matthew’s mother taught me how to can vegetables. In my one-step-closer-to-self-sufficiency effort —and also because with every day I grow older I grow more frugal — I decided to learn how to make my own laundry soap.
And, it’s fun. I promise.
To start, I gathered the ingredients I needed. Because Bi-Lo didn’t have everything necessary for this hot-damn awesome endeavor, I went to Wal-Mart. Next time, I’ll be prepared to look for the stuff in mom-and-pop stores.
- One bar of Fels Naptha soap (this is just a bar of old-fashioned soap. You could just as easily use an Ivory or Dr. Bronner’s bar).
- Box of Arm & Hammer washing soda
- Box of Borax powder
- 10-gallon bucket with a lid
Heat 18 cups of water on medium-high. While it’s heating, grate the soap. A cheese grater does just fine.
When you’ve got hot water, add the grated soap. Slowly now.
Melt your soap. Some folks say to boil the water; some advise against that. I just left the heat at a nice solid 8 and stirred.
Put about 2 gallons of hot water in the bucket. Add a cup and a half of washing powder and a cup and a half of Borax. Mix.
When the soap is melted (when you don’t see flakes, consider it done), add the soap and water mixture to the bucket with the powders.
Stir. Watch the magic happen.
And rejoice. You just made detergent.