By Becky Loy
Homemade laundry soap is wonderful if you’re frugal and/or if you have eczema. Compared to about $.14/load for something like All Free and Clear, you can make your own soap for less than $.01/load. And unlike many other so-called easy, frugal solutions, this one rates low for the pain-in-the-ass factor.
You need four things to make your own soap: a 5-gallon bucket, washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha soap. You can also use Zote soap or something equivalent.
Grate the Fels Naptha and put it in a saucepan.
Cover it with warm water and put it over medium-low heat, stirring until the soap dissolves.
In the meantime, put one cup of washing soda and half a cup of borax in the five gallon bucket.
When the soap is dissolved, pour the soap mixture into the bucket and stir until the powders are dissolved.
Fill the bucket the rest of the way with warm water and set it aside. The bucket will be heavy (duh).
In the morning, stir it again. Then, fill an empty laundry container with half water, half soap solution. Give it a shake. If you have a top loader, use a cup of your mix for each wash. Front loaders, use a third of a cup.
Some folks swear by using a little vinegar during the rinse cycle to keep colors bright as well.
Voila! It’s that easy.
If you’re crunchy, you can also pat yourself on the back since soap is more environmentally friendly than detergent because its ingredients biodegrade more readily.