I was just going to make a quick little run into Walmart a couple weeks ago. I don’t even remember anymore what I went there to get. What I do remember was an “endcap” display that took me totally by surprise. There at the end of an aisle all nicely merchandised together were the three ingredients most often used to make homemade laundry soap – washing soda, borax, and Fels Naptha bar soap.
This had to be intentional. Usually washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha soap are more obscure items to locate and there will only be a few boxes or bars available on a very top shelf or very bottom shelf. They don’t usually get prime shelf space. And here they were, in large quantities, in a very obvious spot! This was so unexpected to me that I even took a picture.
So there I was, standing, and thinking, and staring, unaware that another shopping was standing and staring . . . at me. Finally I turned around and that’s when she asked me, almost in a whisper, “Do you make your own laundry soap too?”
“Yes I do!” I answered, “and Walmart must know what we’re doing to have made a display like this.” She went on to tell me how much she liked making her laundry soap, how much money she was saving, and that she had no plans to go back to the ready made stuff. We had a nice little chat and then parted ways, having enjoyed that brief moment of running across a Make Your Own kindred spirit.
From there I headed over to the checkout with my washing soda, borax, and Fels Naptha. The cashier said to me “Oh so you’re making your own soap too!” I said that yes, I was making my own laundry soap and it was cool to see that Walmart was making it nice and easy to find the ingredients. The cashier shared that she had no idea what was going on when people started coming through her checkout with those same three items. She started asking and kept getting the same reply “We’re making our own laundry soap!”
So somebody in Walmart management has been alerted to this growing movement of making your own laundry soap mixtures. I was encouraged to see these ingredients being made more readily available as often times finding the ingredients can be the hardest part of the recipes for some folks.
There are more and more homemade laundry soap recipes out there now, all of them using slightly different ratios and measurements. But I think every one of them uses washing soda and borax, and then adds some kind of bar soap or liquid soap. A few of them add some baking soda too. Since I first tried and wrote about this homemade liquid laundry soap recipe, I have been quite happy with it and continue to use it.
I’ve also enjoyed my Big Batch Powdered Laundry Soap recipe. It lasts a long time and does a great job of deodorizing. I have wondered though, if the borax ratio is a little high in that recipe. So when I needed to make a new batch of powdered soap today, I decided to give the following recipe a try. I liked the combination of my two favorite soaps for laundry, and the washing soda and borax ratio seems about right too.
Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap Recipe
1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap – grated
1 Bar Ivory Soap – grated
3 cups Washing Soda
3 cups Borax
Combine all ingredients. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load.
*Note: For the first time I used my food processor to grate my soap instead of using my hand grater. I cut the bars of soap into smaller chunks and then whirled a few handfuls at a time until they were crumbly. I then did a second processing with some washing soda in with it too. This seemed to help break the soap down a little more and make the pieces smaller. It worked pretty well and was sure a lot easier than all the grating by hand (the most tedious part of making your own laundry soap!)
Do you have a favorite homemade laundry soap recipe or method? And – do you have any problem finding your ingredients?