I dream of Jeannie

Ever walk into your laundry room to wash the clothes and realize that your jug of laundry detergent is empty?  When that moment happened to me, I had two reactions: 1) Fold my arms and blink like I Dream of Jeannie and hope that the jug would fill up, and 2) Wish I were that mom who knew how to make her own laundry soap so I didn’t have to hate myself for not being Jeannie.  Since I think it is no secret that I will never be Jeannie, I decided to learn how to make my own laundry soap.  I will now dispense this information to you.  You.  Are.  Welcome.

Before you start trying to figure out why this is useful (there is PLENTY of Tide at Walmart, right?!?!), think about this: I can make roughly 2.5 gallons of laundry soap for less than $1.40.  And that batch of soap will last me approximately a week and a half.  That means that I can do a month’s worth of laundry for less than $5.00!!!  I’ve also been told that this recipe will be useful in the event of an alien invasion, or in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse.  Do with that information whatever you want….

First things first, you’re going to need a 5-gallon bucket (I use a little trash can because it fits in my laundry room easier), and a stock pot, and I recommend a wooden spoon (the reason is kind of odd, but it will keep your soap from boiling over).

This process is simple, and you can’t mess it up.  I really mean that.

Ingredients:
1/2 bar Fels-Naptha
1 cup Mule Team Borax
1 cup Washing Soda

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First, cut up half the bar of Fels Naptha into chunks and then pulse in a food processor or blender until it is fine grain. DSC01036

DSC01038You can also work on those arm muscles and grate it on a microplane or cheese grater.  As long as you get it ground up, the way you do it is your business 🙂

Add 6 cups of water to the stock pot and heat on Medium heat.

The next step is completely OPTIONAL.  I take the grated soap and put it in a bowl with ¼ c of water, and melt it in the microwave for approximately 1 minute. DSC01047

It will look like warm butter when this part is done, and I just scoop it into the pot of water.
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I do this step because it seems like it makes the soap melt easier, but I haven’t always done it, and it has always turned out fine.  Totally up to you!

Whisk the soap into the water and simmer until it is completely dissolved.  Then add in your washing soda and detergent booster.  Whisk this together, and let it start to boil. DSC01052

**This part gets tricky.  I put the wooden spoon into the mixture and stir.  Leave the spoon sitting in the pot, or rest it across the top.  This will keep it from boiling over.  Don’t ask me how.  It just does. DSC01053

If you don’t have a wooden spoon, you may have to babysit the liquid a little more to make sure it doesn’t bubble up and foam over your entire stove.

Let it simmer for 15 minutes until everything is combined.  Then pour into your bucket. DSC01055

Add 10 cups of hot water, and mix.  Then add 8 cups of cold water.  It will look similar to melted butter. DSC01056

Cover and let sit for 24 hours.  Once it is finished it will be a thick gel.  I use approximately 1 cup per load, and just add bleach or fabric softener as you normally would.DSC01081

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to be frugal, you have GOT to try this!!!  Cheap.  Easy.  And a pretty cool little skill to have.  I’m just sayin.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!