- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
I used a hand-held cheese grater to do the soap, took maybe 3 minutes to complete. A food processer or grater could also work on this semi-soft soap.
You'll want the soap to completely dissolve. The Fels-Naptha bar takes approximately 12-15 minutes of continuous stirring!
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
If the bucket is too heavy to hold, try using an extension from your facet or adding the water slowly.
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)So this bucket will come out to around $0.01 per load, and the nice thing is....the next load, I'll you'll have to get is another soap bar, running you an additonal $1.50 at most. In our home, we do maybe 4-5 loads per week (being generous) so this bucket will last a long, long time.
A few tips I learned:
Use a funnel to move the gel soap (once cooled) and place into the gallon containers. If you don't have the space to store a 5-gallon bucket, you can split it up into 10 milk jugs that you'll need to collect for a few weeks. But, it will keep for quite some time, you'll just need to give it a good shake and stir. Mine turned out REALLY thick and even a funnel couldn't do the job, so I slowly poured the mixture in by hand, using the cap to an old laundry bottle. It took some time, but the savings make it all worth it in my opinion.
But how did it work you asked? In our family, we have a LOT of sensitive skin. Previously, I couldn't use much besides Tide Free and Clear, and our little one could only use Deft. We gave this homemade batch a try on some towels, and they came out soft and smelling great: but the best part? No rashes! There has been a little debate on using borax to clean, especially with small children, though I feel confident with how diluted this recipe becomes, and the fact that it will be double-rinsed at the end of the cycle. The truth is: worse chemicals are in your store-bought cleaners, and half the time you won't even know what they are! Now that's REALLY scary.
What are some other recipes you'd like to learn about?