Friday, October 28, 2011

Laundry Schmaundry ~ Making Laundry Detergent

My series
Laundry Schmaundry
is turning out to be longer than I thought.
Who knew I'd have so much to say about

And, I never thought I'd be one of "those" women who make their own detergent. 

All those years we lived on a teacher's salary, laundry soap was a luxury.
I shopped sales, used coupons, did rebates and used as little soap as possible.

Once my sweet hubby surprised me and with a gift ~
 a 25 pound box of name brand laundry detergent.

I was thrilled.
I was overjoyed.
I was speechless.
I could look forward to months of laundry without worrying about
the next sale,
the next coupon,
the next rebate.

Unfortunately, I was also allergic.
Days of itchy hives later, I figured  it out.
I hated to break the news to my hubby
that his love offering was ruining my life.
A sympathetic neighbor offered to trade
my box of  soap for her new box.
I'm still grateful for her kindness.

That would have been a good time in my life
 to know how to  make my own laundry soap,
but nobody talked about it,
 there was no Internet, and no way to find out this secret.

Now, I'm  at a time where I don't have to pinch pennies
until boogers come out of Lincoln's nose.
(yea, I made this up)
Now, we're making our own laundry soap.

My daughters wanted to learn,
so I was the support team.
OK, so I'm not  really one of "those" women,
but my daughters are!

 I bought them a bucket.
That was the extent of my involvement.
But, it's a really, really, really special bucket.

I didn't want a traditional bucket with one a lid
 you can't get off without biting your tongue so you don't say a bad word.
I've lost some strength due to health issues,
and I didn't want a lid I needed help to open.
I also didn't want to break a  fingernail.
That's a catastrophe, ya' know!

As I hunted around our local hardware store, asking the teenage worker
a lot of questions, he finally offered this amazing solution.
High on the top of the shelf, they offer this cool lid for their 5 gallon bucket.
You pop the lid down into the can, but the inside piece unscrews easily.

The simple ingredients.

Grate one bar of soap and cook with water until melted.
You don't have to measure the water, just use your biggest pot.

Mix in
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Stir until dissolved.

Dump into empty 5 gallon pail.
Add hot water almost to top.
Let cool overnight.

See how easily the lid unscrews?
I love the lid.

One fresh batch of laundry soap, waiting to be used up.

You're probably wondering what kinda' spiritual analogy
 I'm going to bring up about soap.

While searching my Online Bible for a verse on soap,
I doubted I'd find one. I couldn't think of one off the top of my head.
I was wrong.

Jeremiah 2:22
Though you wash yourself with lye,
and use much soap,
Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,”
says the Lord GOD.

Soap works for bathing and laundry,
not for removing our sins.
Iniquity is a sin committed on purpose,
therefore the consequences are greater
than for unintentional sin.

Trying to remove our sins by cleaning up our own act,
doesn't work.
The Lord calls our "good deeds" filthy rags.

When I was in college, my little fellowship was active in campus ministry.
At the beginning of each year, we passed out thousands of Gospel tracts,
aiming to give each student at the University of North Dakota the good news.
We also had Bible studies, the young men did open air preaching,
and we all shared the Gospel on an individual basis.

I'd witnessed to John and he wasn't interested in the Gospel.
However, the next Fall, he joined our group
and was frantically passing out tracts on a street corner.

I said, "John did you get saved?"
John looked confused, "What?"
Rewording my question, I asked, "Did you trust Christ as your Savior?"
He was still confused and didn't answer.
Finally I asked, "Why are you passing out tracts with us?"

John's answer broke my heart.
"Well, I did some really  @#$%#$ stuff this summer, oops,
 sorry, I mean some bad stuff, and I'm trying make up for it."

No matter how I explained the Gospel, he refused to hear.
He felt passing out tracts would cleanse his soul from stains.
He was wrong.  He was using "much soap" instead of the blood of Jesus.

Go ahead, make your own laundry soap.

Just don't try to cleanse yourself from sin,
go to the Savior.


For some fun tips and recipes for scented soaps,
visit my friend Kimmie's blog,
She delightfully describes herself as
"Mama to 8 children, one homemade and 7 adopted,
married to my handsome Knight and daily following hard after Jesus."


If you still want more recipes try Tipnut.

 You can even make it in powder form.


  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog! At first I clicked on it to see if it was the same recipe for detergent that I have used. It was. I've made it twice and have enough ingredients for a couple more, just haven't gotten around to it.
    I love your Bible quote and your words of wisdom. Going to sleep on them tonight!
    Blessings to you!

  2. Thank you for posting this... I really need to make some!
    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  3. Great blog. Had to laugh at your squeezing boogers out of Lincoln's nose on a teacher's income comment. Haha.

    Also, do you dilute your detergent? I do the same ingredients and a 5 gallon bucket but only 1 c. of both borax and washing soda. I dilute mine or it tends to leave dark spots on laundry from too much soap.... or so says the research I've done. So I'm curious how you do your laundry and how much detergent you use per load and how much you dilute or don't??

    Do you know the Fabric Softener trick? 1 c. softener to 2 c. water. In a container with a lid. Before drying clothes, insert sponge into solution, squeeze the life out of it, throw it in the dryer with clothes - begin dryer cycle immediately.
    Skip the softener in the washer.
    This solution with last for quite awhile.
    I hardly use softener but when I do this is helpful on Lincoln's nose. :)


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