I’ve been making my own laundry soap for several years now, using a dry version consisting of a blend of Washing Soda, Baking Soda, Borax and grated Zote soap. I don’t know where, exactly, I first found this “recipe”, but the one over at Heather’s Blog-o-rama is (almost) the same:
1, 4-lb box of 20 Mule Team Borax
1, 4-lb box of Baking Soda (Arm & Hammer brand)
1, 4-lb box of Super Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer brand)
1 bar ZOTE soap, 14.1oz/bar
1 air-tight container large enough to hold all this laundry powder. I used an old bucket that originally contained store-bought laundry detergent.
A month or so ago I saw a post on Facebook about a “liquid” Laundry Sauce. I’ve seen instructions for liquid versions before, but all of them involved heating the concoction to melt the soap and this whole cooking process just looked more time consuming, and MESSIER, than I liked. What caught my attention about this particular version was that it was a no-cook version and was made directly in two mason jars in which it would then be stored – LESS mess than my current dry formula. I decided it was worth trying!
1 – 5.05 oz Bar of Fels Naptha Soap
3 C water (boiling)
1 C Borax
1 C Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)
2 (1 qt) Mason Jars
For the boiling water, Liss’ instructions tell us that she just ran the water through her coffee maker. I don’t have a coffee maker, but I do have an electric kettle, which is probably even faster! So that’s what I used, and it was simple.
Two of the most notable differences, other than the finished product being “liquid”, was that this recipe completely omitted the Baking Soda and also used Fels Naptha soap. In dry versions I’ve seen both ZOTE and/or Fels Naptha being used, but I had only ever used Zote. Being the first time for me to try this liquid version, I decided to follow the recipe EXACTLY and use the Fels Naptha. Before I even unwrapped it, I noted how strong it smelled. Not an unpleasant smell, but definitely a clean, almost antiseptic scent. Strong scents are a big no-no ’round here as they often trigger migraines in my hubby. However, he was home when I made this first batch and it did not result in a migraine.
In the instructions (click on the photo to go to the original website!) it very clearly states to be sure that the rim of your jars is not wet and does not have any of the ingredients on it or your gasket will get sucked into your soap and chopped into bits. It’s TRUE, don’t ask me how I know, I thought I had wiped the rims carefully, but on the second jar it happened. I was extremely DIS-pleased, to put it mildly, as we had just bought this blender the day before and now it was useless! Thankfully our local Walmart carries a replacement set and I didn’t have to buy a whole new blender or wait for a mail-order replacement gasket. In the future, IF I find that I like this liquid version better than my DRY version, I will NOT be using my full-size up-right blender, but rather my trusty blender WAND. I have to use wide-mouth jars, but I’ve got cases of canning jars, so finding two wide-mouth quart-size jars shouldn’t prove difficult!
Time will tell if I prefer the old DRY method or the new “liquid” version.
It’s also too soon to note if the Fels Naptha CLEANS better than the ZOTE. I’ve thought about doing a comparison between the two, but apparently that’s already been done, too: Budget 101 – Fels Naptha Vs. ZOTE. However, it comes down to personal preferences, so I might still do my OWN comparison in the future! Also, my washing machine is a small, front-load HE, so it washes differently than even a top-load HE.