Soap Detergent - A Tutorial with Images and Recipes
Homemade laundry soap is
quick, easy and cheap. What other reasons do you need to make either a
laundry powder or soap for your front loader or top loader washing
I will teach you how to make laundry
detergent and a laundry soap liquid with step-by-step instructions, and
you will never
want to buy another box of expensive, commercial washing powder again.
I don't know about you, but when the
children were still at home I had a mountain of washing to do each
week. And when they became teenagers the washing pile got bigger still.
And not because their clothes were larger, but because they would
change up to 3 times a day!
As a result, one of the most expensive
part of my fortnightly shop was buying laundry detergent. First of all
you get the box home and it is half empty and secondly it just never
seemed to last, but most importantly commercial washing detergents have
ingredients in them that are toxic to us, to the water systems and to
the environment as a whole.
If only I knew then what I know now!
The children have all flown the nest and although my laundry pile is
just a fraction of what it used to be, I still can't bring myself to
pay high prices for something that can be made at home using basically
the same ingredients, and these days my personal impact on the
environment is important to me.
So What is inside Commercial Laundry Soap?
Basically 2 Things:
A surfactant that removes dirt
A builder that softens hard water
There are of course a lot more ingredients in commercial washing
detergents but a lot of them are just fillers which is basically what
you are paying for. In general, laundry detergents contain water
softeners, surfactants, bleach, enzymes, brighteners, fragrances, and
many other ingredients.
We can make laundry soap
at a fraction of the price using the same elements necessary to clean
By using pure laundry soap we
are providing the cleaning agent.
If we include washing soda we
are softening the water.
If we use borax we are
including a stain remover.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
vs Homemade Washing Soap in Liquid Form for Soft and Hard Water
I prefer using a homemade laundry detergent as a powdered form of
detergent because it works better for my soft water.
If you have hard water
you would have to use more than the 2 tablespoons that I use per load.
Using more soap can be problematic all round.
However a homemade
washing soap that is in a liquid form is fine for both
soft and hard
water, and therefore a better option for those of you
who have hard
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent
I make my homemade laundry detergent with just 4 different ingredients.
I will give you a laundry detergent recipe or two so
you can choose the option that suits you best. One detergent recipe has
soap bars that need grating, and the other detergent recipe uses soap
flakes that are already grated, and therefore takes out some of the
elbow grease needed for the first recipe.
Recipe using Grated Soap
This detergent recipe takes some time
have to grate the soap bars, but really, it doesn't take me more than 6
or so minutes to grate the 3 bars of soap. I grate the soap using the
fine side of the grater. I feel that this is important so that your
soap will dissolve quickly in your top loader of front loader washing
You will need the
1 wooden spoon
1 cheese grater
You will need the
2 bars pure soap
1 bar Sard Wondersoap (125g / 4.5 oz) (Any soap used to remove stains,
Zote or similar)
2 cups washing soda
2 cups borax
The 4 ingredients: washing soda, borax, 2 bars pure soap,
1 bar Sard Wondersoap
the bar of Sard Wondersoap, Zote, or similar into the bowl
the fine side of the grater. Now grate the pure soap bars until you
have 4 cups of grated soap in total.
I find that I have a very
small piece left over at the end of grating, which you can see in the
image below. However, as far as I am concerned, grating it in and
adding it to the homemade laundry detergent mix wouldn't harm in the
Grating the Laundry Soap and the Little bit Left Over
Now add the washing soda and mix well. Finally add
the borax. The borax will be very lumpy. You need to get in with your
hands and crumble the lumps up until no more lumps exist.
You can see the lumps here in the borax that still needed
to be broken down
(Not sure why it looks as if there is liquid in the bowl. There is no
liquid in this recipe. Just a bad image. My apologies!)
product! Homemade Laundry Detergent!
now have your very own homemade laundry detergent made for a fraction
of the cost of commercial washing detergent. Place in an air-tight
container until needed.
Quick and Easy Laundry
Detergent Recipe using Soap Flakes - No grating Needed
laundry detergent is just as good as the one above, but instead of
using grated soap you can use soap flakes instead, such as Lux Soap
Flakes. This saves grating the soap if you would prefer and as a
result, this detergent recipe is very quick to make.
Mix all together in a bowl and then place in an air-tight container
How Much Homemade Laundry Detergent per Load?
find that it really depends on the load, whether large or small, but on
average, I use 2 tablespoons of detergent per load for the first
recipe. Because the soap flakes are a little large in the second
laundry detergent recipe I use 3 tablespoons.
You may be
worrying about the lack of soap suds if you have a front loader as you
watch the washing going round and round. Don't panic. This is normal.
This homemade laundry detergent does not foam. And neither would
commercial detergents if they weren't packed with a foaming agent that
is completely unnecessary.
I know that for those of you who want
to make a liquid version of your homemade laundry soap you wouldn't be
happy if I didn't give you one here so here it is:
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
laundry soap is good too, and as I mentioned earlier, it is good for
both soft and hard water. This soap recipe will make 10 quarts (about
10 liters) which will do a heap of washing.
1 10 liter (5 gallon) bucket, or similar
1 wooden spoons
1 cup Lux Soap Flakes
1 1/2 quarts (1.4 liters) water
1/2 cup borax (all lumps removed first by sifting or manually crushing)
1/2 cup washing soda
the soap flakes in a pot and cover with the water. Place on medium heat
and stir until all the soap flakes have melted. This will take just a
few minutes but all flake have to be completely dissolved for the soap
to work well and not separate out later on.
Add the lump-free
borax and washing soda, one after the other and stir in well. Continue
cooking and stirring over the medium heat until the mixture thickens.
Now remove from the heat.
Get a 10 liter bucket ( or 5 gallon bucket).
For those using a 10 liter bucket: Place
the soap mixture from the pan into the bucket and fill it up with very
hot water from your tap.
For those using a 5 gallon bucket: Place
the soap mixture from the pan into the bucket and fill 1/2 the bucket
with very hot water from your tap. You are looking for a
volume of about 2.5 US gallons.
Continue to stir well for a few
minutes and then leave it for an hour or so, before stirring again
every so often until it is cool enough to place in some sort of
container for later use. When I make this recipe I put the soap in
plastic milk containers.
How Much Homemade Laundry Soap Liquid per Load?
Again it will depend on how large the load, or how soiled your clothes
are. However, on average for
each load of laundry you only need to use 1/4 cup per load. Place this
in the soap dispenser section.
Benefits of Homemade Laundry Detergent and Homemade Laundry
you can see, neither the laundry detergent nor the laundry soap are
difficult to make. You only need basic kitchen equipment and a few
ingredients that are readily available in your local supermarkets.
you don't know whether you have hard or soft water I would suggest
using the homemade laundry soap recipe. However, for those who have
soft water the detergent powder will give you a better result.
The other benefit is that it is quick to make. None of the above
recipes will take you more than 20 minutes to throw together.
and I think this is the best reason, not only will it save you a heap
of money, but you are also doing something good for your family and
environment as you will be eliminating a lot of the toxic elements
found in a commercial detergent.