Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nothing Beats "Homemade"...............

I am a believer in "homemade". 

When I was in High School I sewed my own clothes.  In Jr. High, my Grandma Webb sewed for me.  She made me the neatest white fur suit when I was in Jr. High.  She also made a dress for me to wear to a High School dance.  Yes, the guy I am married to was my date that night.  I will have to dig out the picture and show it to you some day.  She sewed many things for me over the years.

The last 40 years I have enjoyed many aspects of "homemade".  I sewed everything when I was first married.  I sewed my husbands shirts.  He wore cowboy style shirts then, with the yoke in the front and the back.....yep, I sewed them.

I really stretched and learned one Christmas when I sewed downfield ski clothes for us.  I have pictures of those, too.  Truly, I sewed the little feathers inside our ski coats.  I sewed matching ski bibs to go with the coats. 

I sewed Easter dresses, flannel pj's, maternity clothes, everything!  Not my underwear, but everything else.  When Jams were the style, my kids had dozens of them.  The girls had flannel nightgowns on Christmas eve, and their new dolls had matching nightgowns on Christmas morning.  I loved doing it.  I saved us lots of money.  I would sew until the wee hours of the morning to be able to accomplish a lot, while my babies slept.  I could get so much more done when they were asleep.

Nothing is better than "homemade" bread, rolls, soup, cakes, etc.  No restaurant can make me feel so healthy as a homemade meal can.  There is pure joy from the beginning to the end, knowing you are feeding your family a good filling meal.

My Grandma Walters taught me lots of homemade skills.
She taught me how to can food.
She taught me how to garden.
She taught me how to be a better person.

Grandma Walters always made "homemade soap". 
I have several bars of the soap she made.
I can see her finger prints in the bars, as she would mold them.

I don't like to use this soap, as it is priceless to me.  And when it is gone, it is gone.
I know she used ashes from her cook stove, and lard to make it. 
I know it would be very time consuming.
I know her hands would be raw for a day or two after she made it from the lye in it.

I have used it a few times.  It works great.  It gets out lots of stains.  Even blood.
But, I mostly just leave it in a wooden bowl in my utility room.
I save it.

So, since I won't use my Grandma Walter's soap, I have learned to make my own.

Yep, I have mastered another "homemade" skill.
I make my own liquid laundry soap.

Don't laugh.

I have.

And I have pictures to prove it.

You aren't going to believe this.....but I can bare/bear my testimony on this skill.  It is a good skill.  It is "Thee Best"!  It is remarkably affordable.  You will save hundreds of dollars if you master this skill.  It isn't hard.  Everyone can do it.  Even my daughters can (and should) do it.

Are you you want me to tell you what it is?  Sit down.  You need to sit down.  You will be so shocked!  You better be sitting down.

I have been using this detergent for a couple of months to be sure it was something I knew worked.  I have put it to the test.  For instance, I have a brown sweat top.  I cooked in it about a year ago and got some grease on it.  I have washed it a dozen times.  I have used the Tide stick....didn't help.  I used Spray and Wash....didn't help.  I have used Oxy Clean....didn't help. 

But, when I washed it with my "homemade" laundry soap it came out!!!!

I put a little of the soap directly on the spot and gently scrubbed.  Just for a few seconds.  Then I put it in the washing machine and did the load just like I always do.  Then into the dryer all the clothes went.  When I took the top out of the dryer to hang it up, I saw the miracle!  The grease spot was gone.  Gone!  After dozens of washings and dryings, it was gone.

Today I did another test.

When we had Thanksgiving I tried a new recipe which called for pomegranate seeds.  My darling husband put on a white apron to wear while he took the seeds out of the pomegranate.  The apron was so splattered with pomegranate juice!  I just shook my head and thought to myself.....*self, this is a real test of the power of that soap!*

I didn't do any pre-spotting....nothing.  I just plopped the apron into the washing machine along with all the other clothes, added my 1/4 cup of laundry soap and prayed for the best results possible.

Prayers are answered!

Here is a picture of that apron after it was washed......with no pre-treatment on the apron, not one bit!

And I am here to tell you that this white apron was covered with lots of red juicy splatters.  Lots!  I tell you, lots!

So, I know you want to know how to do it, too.  You will thank me.  You will put me in your will.  This laundry soap will save you hundreds of dollars on buying other soap, and you will save many many clothes that would normally be ruined from stains.
So, here we go.

Go to Walmart, and if you are lucky, they will have what you need.  If they don't, then call around.  I found it at Walmart, and then they didn't have it.  But Win Co did.  So, just check around.

1 Bar Fels-naptha Soap
1 box Super Washing Soda, by Arm & Hammer
1 box 20 Mule Team Borax

5 gallon bucket, with removable lid.

Here is the good news: The 20 Mule Team Borax cost $2.98 for a box.
                                     Super Washing Soda cost $2.73
                                     Fels-Naptha Soap $1.06

The bar of Fels-naptha soap is wrapped in a paper wrapping.  Unwrap it, and see the yellowish/goldish brick of soap.  For this step I didn't take a picture.  I wasn't thinking about showing you how to make this at that time.  So, continuing on with the recipe.....grate the soap.  Yep, just like you were going to grate cheese.  Just grate it all up.

Get out a pot and put 4 cups of hot tap water in the pot.
Add the grated soap.
Stir until soap is dissolved.  About 5-10 minutes....just keep stirring.

The soap sort of stuck to my wooden spoon, but it eventually all dissolved.  I turned on the heat on low on my stove to get it to dissolve.  Just keep stirring.

I am sorry this picture is blurrrryyyyy.  Does it make you feel car-sick?  A little tippsy....yeah, me too.

So, after the grated soap has dissolved in the hot water you are ready to move on to the next step.

Measure out the 1 cup of Super Washing Soda.

Measure out the 1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax.

You have a 5 gallon bucket.  I put my bucket in my utility room sink and turned on the hot water.  Fill the bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water.

Then pour the Super Washing Soda into the 5 gallon bucket half full of hot water.

Yep, just pour it in.

Then add the 1/2 cup of Borax to the bucket which is 1/2 full of hot tap water.

Don't be shy, just pour it in.

That is the way!  You are doing great.

Now add the melted soap from the pot.

Now just stir and stir until you have all the Super Washing Soda and Borax dissolved completely.

Now, fill up the bucket with hot tap water.  Stir it as it fills, but don't burn yourself.

Now you are ready to screw on the lid.
Get a lid you can take off and put on can thank me later....

I like this container and lid, ALOT!

So, now you wait. 
The soap needs to cool down.
Let is sit over night.

In the morning it will be separated and weird.  Don't worry.  You haven't done anything wrong.  That is just what it does.  So, stir it up.  Stir it up several times throughout the day.  And the coming days.  Stir it up as you measure out you little 1/4 cup of laundry detergent when you do your laundry.

You can add 10-15 drops of essential oils per 2 gallons of soap, if you want it to smell good. 
But I don't mind the way it smells.
So I never add some essential oils.

I don't want to buy oils.
I want to save money and make my own clean smelling soap.
It thrills me.

And yes, you only use 1/4 cup per load for Top Loader washing machines.

If you have a front loader you use 1/8 of a cup per load.

This laundry soap does not suds up.
Don't freak out if you don't see suds and think "oh no, my clothes will not get clean without suds".
They will be clean.  I promise you.  I swear on my Bible they will be just fine.  Don't worry.

So, here is the recipe:

Liquid Laundry Soap

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-naptha Bar Soap, grated
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate Fels soap and add to hot water.  Stir over medium-low heat until the soap is dissolved.  Fill one 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water.  Add soap, soda, and borax.  Stir until dissolved.  Add more hot water to fill up 5 gallon bucket.  Let sit over night.  Then when cool you can add 10-15 drops essential oils per 2 gallon of soap.

Stir it before using for the first few loads.

The 20 Mule Team Borax cost $2.98 for a box.
Super Washing Soda cost $2.73
Fels-Naptha Soap $1.06
Total:  $6.77 for the supplies.

I bought the bucket at Walmart and the lid, which I splurged on, because I wanted the easy on and off kind was about $8.00.

Now, remember you only use 1 cup of the soda....the box is BIG.  It will makes lots of soap.
And you only use 1/2 cup of Borax.  That is a BIG box, too.
You only need to buy the Fels-Naptha Soap when you need to make more.

But, I bought 4 bars, so I will have it on hand, and when I need to make more soap, I have everything I need. 

So, you do the much money am I saving?????

I will tell you that this soap is great!  It is better than Tide, or Kirklands, or Gain, or whatever.  So I am not storing big store bought containers.  I am not clipping coupons to buy some laundry soap.  I have clean clothes, that smell good, and for very little money.

I hope you do the same.



  1. Thanks for saving my New Orleans apron honey!

  2. WOW. I can't wait to try this mom! Thanks for sharing!!! :) and for saving daddy's apron :) hee hee hee

  3. Stopping by via Nikki after making detergent myself this morning. :) I love homemade as well, just never had anyone to teach me. I am thankful for blogs!


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happy, in love, getting closer to retirement, love my family, love my Savior.