Written by Dorice Baty
Two years ago I became intrigued with the thought of making my own soaps. I was trying to invoke new household rules of simplicity and trying to take steps to improve my own little environment. Researching is very easy on the subject as the internet has many courageous people who are doing the same and their websites are opening doors to knowledge that was thought lost from our grandparent’s time. My own grandmother had her lye soaps, Fels Naptha , and white vinegar.
The thought of stepping back has given me new motivation to improving all aspects of my life. Most people say why would you do this when you can go down to the local market and have such a great selection of products? The answer is detergents and cost.
We are poisoning our earth with toxins used in the name of cleanliness. The detergents are made of synthetic materials discovered and synthesized early in the last century. Soaps are made of fats and lye (soda ash) both natural ingredients. As for cost the Fels Naptha (5.5 oz bar) is $1.25 and I use 1/3 of a bar so 42 cents, Borax 76 ounce is $4.99 so 15 cents per ounce, and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 55 ounces at $4.99 so 11 cents per ounce. The total cost for my recipe is 68 cents to make 2 gallons of soap for approximately 40 to 60 loads. Essential oils can be added for your favorite scent.
1/3 to ½ BAR OF FELS NAPTHA 5.5 OUNCE BAR
½ CUP OF WASHING SODA (NOT BAKING SODA)
½ CUP OF BORAX POWDER
1 TABLESPOON OF ESSENTIAL OIL (OPTIONAL)
2 GALLON JUGS – I USE RECYCLED WHITE VINEGAR JUGS
Grate the soap and put it in a large sauce pan with 6 cups of water over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the soap melts (about 20 minutes). Add the washing soda, borax, and essential oil stirring constantly until all has dissolved. Let it set for 5 minutes over the heat stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let set for another 5 minutes. Using a funnel put half the mixture in each gallon jug. Fill each jug halfway with hot water and shake well. Continue to fill the jug to the top with hot water. Shake again then put aside for about 24 hours. This gels up and looks like egg whites.
Use ½ to 2/3 cups per load. This will not suds up like most detergents but the clothes smell wonderful. I also add ½ cup of white vinegar to soften the clothes in the rinse cycle.
Email me with your comments or hints to [email protected]
Originally posted @ Sharing Sustainable Solutions