anyone make homemade laundry soap?

This topic contains 129 replies, has 38 voices, and was last updated by  ReadyMom 1 year ago.

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  • #56702

    IceFire
    Moderator

    Thanks, Victoria…that’s good information to have. Might be a while before I can make it…so far haven’t found a local source for Fels-naptha…I might have to mail-order it. Took me a while to find the ONLY store in town that carries washing soda! No one else does (we’re lucky the china-mart even carries borax…ask them about washing soda, and you get the “deer in the headlights” look….”Huh? Washing soda? What’s that?” I’ve pretty much stopped shopping there, because the few things that I DID go there for, they’ve stopped carrying.)

    #56703

    victoria
    Member

    It should work ok for you. Try a load and if you have a few clothes with goop on them just add more water to your soap and make it more liquidy. I actually did a small test in my sink and the homemade soap required less rinsing because it’s not sudsy and I had to rinse the commercial stuff longer to get all of the soap out. I know I stuffed my machine once on a day where I was just being lazy and I still had some soap on my clothes that didn’t get dissolved, but that’s the only time I ever had a problem with it, the rest of the time it’s great! And if you hang clothes on the line during summer those whites are sparkly.

    #56704

    Slaw901
    Member

    @icefire wrote:

    One question…how well does this mixture work in a high-efficiency front-load machine that uses “minimal” water? I know that a lot of soaps/detergents work differently in them than they do in a top-loader that uses way more water. Figured I’d better check on this before I made a bunch of my own. (of course, if TSHTF and we don’t have electric, I’ll be using a laundry tub and my Grandma’s old washboard!)

    Actually as I said these have worked for me and my washer is a HE front loader.

    #56705

    IceFire
    Moderator

    @slaw901 wrote:

    Actually as I said these have worked for me and my washer is a HE front loader.

    Nice to know that you’re using it in an HE front loader…that’s what I have and wanted to make sure there wouldn’d be problems. Thanks.

    #56706

    roolu
    Member

    Thanks for all this info. I’ll start shopping for the ingredients myself. Being allergic to most commercial, I can’t wait to see if this works better for my allergies.

    #56707

    roolu
    Member

    I just wanted to add, I checked ebay for Fels Naptha, can’t find it around here, and a ton of stuff came up. Including kits (everything that is listed in this recipe). I just purchased a kit for $8.48 which includes shipping. May be a great way to get the stuff for those not finding these ingredients locally. Just FYI!

    #56708

    D_Loki
    Participant

    Recipe for tanning hides submitted by a gentleman in Indiana
    Did you know that Fels-Naptha makes a great leather tanning solution??? It’s much safer than almost any other (chromium or solvent) method for tanning. In 1980, a friend and I tanned 30 deer hides….some for leather, and some with the hair on for rugs, with great success! The hides with the hair on, STILL retain the hair to this day! Use 1 bar per gallon of liquid….we reduced the bars to shavings first, over low heat (we did this in a big cast iron kettle over a campfire), then allowed it to cool. It turns into a runny “gel”. Then the hides need to be fully immersed for 1-2 months, depending on ambient temperature. Just thought I’d pass this along, as I’m preparing to do some tanning again just now.

    Oh I’ll give the rest too:

    Poison Ivy Prevention: Fels Naptha Soap has been used for over 100 years for the treatment and prevention of poison ivy, sumac and oak rash. My family has personally used it for over 10 years. If you think you have been exposed to poison ivy, oak or sumac, shower immediaetly with Fels Naptha to remove the resin from your skin. This will greatly reduce and in most cases, prevent any skin reaction to the poison ivy oil. Make sure to launder your clothes in some shaved or grated fels naptha (about 1/16th of the bar) to remove the resin from your clothes. Poison Ivy resin can stay on your clothes for over 1 year even if the clothes have been washed with normal detergent.

    Poison Ivy Treatment: If you are exposed to poison ivy and you have a reaction, simply shower with Fels Naptha to remove any resin left on the skin and it will help to dry up the rash as well.

    To clean your shower, rub a non-abrasive scouring sponge with a wet bar of Fels Naptha and start cleaning. It will take a little hard work the first time you use it but it will be a breeze after that.

    Washing with Fels Naptha
    can greatly reduce the itching and discomfort from bug bites. Though it is NOT a hand soap, it can cut even the grimiest of messes. Wash hands with Fels Naptha to remove ink, grease, or a variety of other nasty stains. Again, remember that this can be a skin irritant and should be used carefully and only after reading the warning label on the soap.

    To clean paint brushes, simply drag the wet brush through a lathered bar of Fels Naptha and work in. Rinse well with warm water. The brushes stay soft and supple using this method.

    Spring and Fall Lawn Tonic

    *1 cup of fels soap solution 1 flat beer, 4 ounces of liquid dish soap, household ammonia and a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer. (*Fels soap solution is made by shaving 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha Soap into a quart of very hot water to dissolve. Add 4 ounces of liquid dish soap as an emulsifier. You can store the solution until needed. Shake well before use.) Mix the 1 cup Fels solution, 1 can of beer in the sprayer. Fill the remainder of sprayer with ammonia. For spring and fall garden spraying, add 2 oz of molasses.

    Spray aphids with 3 tablespoons grated Fels Naptha Soap dissolved in 1 gallon of hot water. Mix well and let cool. Spray as needed.

    Insect Control:
    Prepare Fels Naptha Solution first. (Solution – shave 1 inch of Fels Naptha bar in a nylon stocking and place it into a gallon of boiling water along with 4 oz. liquid dish soap(Ivory). Store as needed and shake well before use. It will have a gel-like consistency.) Mix 1 cup of Fels Naptha Solution with 1 cup antiseptic mouthwash (mint flavored if nematodes are a problem) and 1 cup chewing tobacco juice. Spray with a 20-gal hose-end sprayer with a golf ball in it to keep mixture mixed. Follow-up with an application of Dursban or Diazinon, if needed.

    For Black-spot fungus on roses
    : Make the Fels Naptha Solution by shaving 1 inch of Fels Naptha bar into a nylon stocking and placing it into a gallon of boiling water along with 4 ounce of liquid dish soap (Ivory). This will keep nicely and you can use it as needed. It will have a gel-like consistency so mix well before using. For the black-spot fungus, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of Fels naptha solution and 1 gallon of water. Spray as needed.

    IMPORTANT***** In recent years soap manufacturers have added degreasers and antibacterial ingredients to their products. These are VERY harmful to your plants and most likely will burn or kill them. When a home gardening technique calls for liquid dish soap be very careful that you use only Ivory or Fels Naptha Solution. You can also use the original liquid lemon type detergent which has no additives, just be careful that it does not contain a degreaser or is antibacterial.

    #56709

    IceFire
    Moderator

    Gee, I wish I’d known about the Fels-naptha for poison ivy a few months ago! I was a mess! Yet another reason for stocking up on it!

    #56710

    Alaska Rose
    Member

    Hi, We always made soap, starting with the fat when we butcher. Make homemade lye from hardwood ashes or use storebought lye, and then add other stuff if you want it. Not a super gentle soap, but it works well, make bars if it turns out firm enough, or use it with some water added, to make soft soap for doing laundry with. I could write out the directions later if anyone is interested.

    #56711

    IceFire
    Moderator

    Found the Fels-naptha soap today! The ONE grocery store in town that carries washing soda ALSO carries Fels-Naptha. The sell it for 99 cents a bar, which is HALF what the mail order place wanted for it (and that was BEFORE shipping was added). So, picked up 2 bars of Fels-naptha and a box of washing soda today. Now that I know they have it, I’ll be stocking up regularly!.

    #56712

    victoria
    Member

    Congrats Icefire! When you start making it and see that it works very well you will see how much it saves during the year on laundry soap. I kept track of my savings one year and couldn’t believe how it added up! I also use it in my carpet cleaner and you can use the borax to clean the toilet. Check out the uses for it because it has quite a few also. I put my savings from not buying laundry soap each week into a jar and bought a new washing machine. Didn’t need a dryer yet because I hang clothes on the line when it’s warm enough out so the wear and tear on it isn’t as much.

    #56713

    kymber
    Member

    Alaska Rose – pleeeeez share your instructions! we could all learn! and then we could all copy and paste it into our binders. yes Lady…pleez share! start a new thread even! thank you!

    #56714

    IceFire
    Moderator

    @victoria wrote:

    Congrats Icefire! When you start making it and see that it works very well you will see how much it saves during the year on laundry soap. I kept track of my savings one year and couldn’t believe how it added up! I also use it in my carpet cleaner and you can use the borax to clean the toilet. Check out the uses for it because it has quite a few also. I put my savings from not buying laundry soap each week into a jar and bought a new washing machine. Didn’t need a dryer yet because I hang clothes on the line when it’s warm enough out so the wear and tear on it isn’t as much.

    I probably won’t be making soap for a while, since I have over a year’s worth of laundry detergent on hand (stocked up whenever the store had it on sale at 2 for $5), but that will give me time to stock up on the Fels-Naptha and washing soda (already have the borax, so that’s no problem). When I do start making it, at least I have the buckets to keep it in.

    #56715

    Alaska Rose
    Member

    You can use any fats to make soap, from used cooking fat, as long as it isn’t burned, to the trim from butchering. Animal and vegetable fats together make a superior soap. You can clean cooking fat or used oils by adding an equal amount of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat stir and add cold water, 1 quart to each gallon of hot liquid. The clean fat should float to the top, and youcan skim it off or wait until it is firm and carefully peel it off. If it has an “off” odor, add 5 cups water and 1 cup vinegar to 6 cups of fat. Boil for 15 minutes, cool, skim clean fat. Pure lye purchased from a store makes the most uniform soap, but you can make your own lye by placing a barrel or tub a few feet above ground on a rock or platform. Bore some small holes in the bottom of the tub. Cover the holes with small rocks to slow drainage. Fill the tub with hardwood ashes. (Hardwood trees lose their leaves in Winter.) Pour hot water over the ashes, catching the runoff in a bucket. Add more ashes as the ashes settle, and pour the drained water over the ashes a second or even a third time, the longer the water takes to soak through and drain out, the stronger the lye will be. It should be stroing enough to float a fresh raw egg. You should use soft or rain water to make soap with, so no other minerals or contaminants get into your soap. Heat the lye water you have just made. In another container, glass or graniteware, melt the fat you are making into soap. Slowly add lye water until the mixture is completely combined, not too hot, or you will have a mess, while doing this. It is best to set up and make soap outdoors. Use a wood or graniteware spoon to stir slowly while mixing, in one direction. The whole mass should be clear, when you have added enough lye water. To test, place a small amount from the center of the kettle on a piece of glass and allow to cool. If soap continues to be clear, it is ready. Add scent if you must. Soap should remain clear and may be too soft to hold bar shape. You may try placing in molds for bars, or store in glass jar crock or plastic container. Will not lather like detergent, but will clean well.

    #56716

    Alaska Rose
    Member

    Just a note, you may use your fat from butchering to make candles, also. If you use too much lye in the soap, it will be a hard flinty soap, if too little lye, it will be a greasy feeling soft soap.

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