Friday, November 30, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap facts

I started making my own laundry soap a few years ago. I just love that it is not only inexpensive to make, and it cleans great!

After awhile of  using the recommended amount of 1/2 to 1 cup per load, I thought: if one cup is good....1 1/2 cups would be better! or even 2 cups! Sometimes I would just guess and pour some in!

Ya.....well....there is a reason why there is a recommended amount. 
And noooo.......
as I found out first hand, more is not necessarily better. 

In an article I read recently, Marilyn from, explained why. Although it is talking about laundry detergents you buy in stores I believe it also applies for homemade laundry soaps as well, seeing I experienced what she explains:

Ask Marilyn: The Right Amount of Laundry Detergent Nov 25th 2012

Marilyn: My wife doubles or triples the recommended laundry detergent amounts to get more suds. How can I rationally argue that she should use the indicated amount per load?

Marilyn responds:
Ask her this question: Why would any manufacturer ­direct consumers to use less than the optimal amount? Their laundry might not get clean, and the company would sell less product. That doesn’t make sense!

Consider a bubble bath. Do you get any cleaner? No. And your dishes get clean in the dishwasher with few suds, don’t they? Yes. But Americans love suds so much that manufacturers use high-­foaming formulas whenever they can. Shampoo is a good example. The froth does nothing but make a mess in the sink that takes time and effort to wash down the drain. These cleansing agents all work differently, of course, but they do have something in common: The suds they ­produce do not reflect their cleaning action.

In fact, using too much ­detergent can make laundry a bit dingy and stiff. Also, the suds can cause problems with the machine long-term. Some washing machines even have software designed to overcome our tendency to use too much detergent. They sense the ­excess suds and add extra rinses!

Now homemade laundry soap does not suds like store bought laundry soap, which makes it very good for low suds-sing washers.  But if you use more than the recommended amount you will have the same problem, over a long period of time,  with your clothes becoming dingy and stiff.

I actually had to go to store and buy laundry detergent just to get my clothes clean and whiter again. I am slowly going back to my homemade laundry soap again, but this time I am using the  recommended amount and no more!

Here is a link to homemade liquid and powdered recipes.


Homemade Laundry Soap

I know that this recipe is out there on the web. It is a great recipe, but I add one more ingredient to it that enables you to forgo using dryer sheets! The ingredient? Homemade bars of soap! Yes, homemade bars of soap. 

I use a 19 Century recipe which has Tallow, Olive Oil, and Lard in it. I add 1/2 cup finely grated soap per each recipe batch I make.

Here is the recipe

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

This simple laundry soap recipe will leave your clothes clean and fresh and only comes to about 3 cents per load!


1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap $.97 per bar at Walmart, so $.33/recipe( Ivory and Zote will also work)
½ cup washing soda -  $2.77/55oz box at Walmart (13.75 ½ c. per box), so $.20/recipe
½ cup borax powder -  $2.99/76oz box at Walmart (19 ½ c. per box) (20 Mule Team), so $16/recipe
½ c grated homemade bar soap (scented or unscented) 

2 gallons water

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 1/2 gallon of water and heat it until the soap melts. Make sure all the pieces melt! Only stir occasionally. Too much stirring will cause too many bubbles. Let soap melt slowly on it's own.

Add the washing soda (NOT baking soda) and the borax. Stir until all is 
dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour into a 2 gallon bucket. Use warm tap water and add the remaining 1 1/2 gallons of water to the melted soap. You can add about 10 drops of fragrance of your choice or leave it the scent it is.

Cover and let sit for 24 hours.

It will look like and have a consistency of a big bowl of jello once it has totally cooled. This is normal. Break up the mass with a big wooden or plastic spoon. You can store in the bucket it was in, or use empty milk jugs, or Hawaiian Punch containers, or Walmart's 1 gallon fruit punch. They have a nice handle on them and are easy to use and carry.

Use 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid laundry soap per load. No more or your clothes will have a grayish tinge to it because of the build up of the soap!

Homemade powdered laundry soap recipe

If you prefer powdered laundry soap, then follow this recipe.


2/3 bar Fels Naptha - grated
1/2 cup Borax 
1/2 cup Washing Soda 
½ cup homemade bar of soap (scented or unscented) - grated

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whirl until well blended.
Store in air tight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Both recipes are low-sudsing  so they work especially well in high efficiency washing machines.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cupcake Soaps

These cupcake soaps were a lot of fun to make.

For oils I used:
Sweet Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, and Sunflower Oil.

For color I added natural  Titanium Dioxide (for whitening), and  'Ultramarine Violet' pigment from

The fragrance I choose,  Tropical Vacation, was also from Bramble Berry

I made my own melt & pour base soap thanks to Bonnie at Good Earth Spa (EdentialFarms, on YouTube) and her recipe on EssentialDepot  web page, and made small purple flowers to go on top of some of the cupcakes.

I also bought some little plastic star confetti at Walmart in the holiday ornament section. The sugar sprinkles, and little white ball sprinkles came from Walmart also. I added a touch of pretty glitter over all.

I heated the oils in the microwave enough  to melt all the oils and left them to cool.

I used half & half, goats milk, and rain water as the liquids to put the lye into.
I froze the half & half,  milk, and the rain water ahead of time so the lye would not scorch the milks.

When all the lye was dissolved  in the milks & water I took the temp. It was about 70 degrees. The oils were about 89 degrees. I wanted the temps a bit higher than this, but decided to work with it.

I brought the batter to  medium trace, and then separated it into two buckets. One bucket for the Titanium Dioxide to keep the batter white, and one to have a purple color for the bottom of the cupcake, and some of both for piping.

The fragrance oil was supposed to  speed up trace, so I added some to the purple batter, for the bottoms of the cupcake first. I was very much surprised to discover that thick trace never happened!

While the bottoms were setting up in the silicone liners I added he rest of the fragrance to the second bucket with the Titanium Dioxide. I used the stick blender to bring it up thick enough to pipe. When it did not thicken I just left it for awhile and kept checking it for the right thickness.  Almost two hours later, and still at medium trace, I decided to pipe anyway. I had my day care kids coming and I couldn't wait for thick enough trace!

I had to work the piping pretty fast because the batter was still a bit too soft.  The idea of freezing the milks is so the lye would not heat up too fast and scorch the milk, but the rain water did not need to be frozen. That would have helped the lye get a bit warmer so thick trace would have happened a lot faster.

I had some batter left over so I made 6 little guest size star bars. They are really nice.

Tea anyone?

 Thanks for stopping by!