I’ve been making my own liquid laundry soap for about three years partly because it is so CHEAP compared to the brand name products and partly because I believe that it is less harmful to the environment and to me and my family to use a laundry soap that minimizes harsh chemicals. This isn’t to say that borax and washing soda are completely harmless but the commercial laundry products contain harsher chemicals.
The recipe for this homemade liquid laundry soap comes from David Suzuki’s foundation and is similar to others on the internet.
How much does liquid laundry soap cost per load?
The recommendation is to use 1/2 cup per load using cold, warm or hot water. If you make 7 1/2 quarts (7 liters) at a time this costs $2.70 in Canada, If you live in the US you would likely pay even less than this. This makes enough liquid laundry soap for 56 loads .. hmm .. 5 cents a load!
It does take a bit of time to make this liquid laundry soap but most of the time is not hands on so you can get on with other things as you melt the soap granules or wait for the mixture to cool before putting in jars. The catch is that you will need somewhere to store the jars of soap.
Important: fill the jars about 2/3 full because you want enough space to gently shake each time before use. The mixture turns into a bit of a gelatinous liquid that pours easily but does need to be gently shaken.
You can add essential oils if you wish (cost not included in the calculation per load). They provide a lovely scent as well as cutting grease and disinfecting if you choose eucalyptus, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime or melaleuca.
Food to Heal Ourselves
Yields 56 loads
Homemade liquid laundry soap is easy on your wallet and reduces the use of harsh chemicals.
7 liters or 7 1/2 quarts water
1 cup grated bar soap (see note)
1/2 cup powdered borax
1/2 cup powdered washing soda not baking soda
15-20 drops essential oil (optional see note)
3 or 5 gallon plastic pail.
Grate soap (see note).
Heat 1 liter or 1 quart water in a saucepan
Add grated soap to the heated water and stir occasionally until the soap is melted (do not boil).
Remove from heat.
Add borax and washing soda to the pail.
Run tap water as hot as you can get it and add a quart of hot water at a time to the pail to a total of 6 liters or 6 1/2 quarts (you already have 1 liter or 1 quart of water in the saucepan).
Add melted soap/water to the mix and stir well.
Stir once in a while until cool.
Add essential oils if desired.
1. Use a bar soap specifically made for cleaning e.g. Fels Naphtha or Sunlight and grate using a box grater or equivalent.
2. Leave the pail on the floor while the mixture is cooling and stir now and then.
3. Use a large liquid measuring cup (like a 2 cup) to pour the soap into jars.
4. Fill the jars only 2/3 full so that you have room to shake gently prior to use.
5. If you use essential oils choose eucalyptus, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime or melaleuca since they have grease cutting and anti-bacterial properties.
6. It take less than 30 minutes to get this in the pail but it will take a few hours for the soap to cool.