A trip to buy groceries and household necessities usually includes laundry detergent. The September 2009 price of a 50-ounce jug of Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent2X is $11.99. This will wash 32 loads of laundry at 37 cents per load. The natural and pure ingredients in this laundry soap are comparable to those you can use to make your own liquid laundry soap for about one cent per load.
Laundry detergent is petroleum-based and contains toxic chemicals. Laundry soap is made with pure and natural ingredients that are safe for the environment, as well as for humans and pets.
Liquid Laundry Soap
A typical recipe for natural ingredient liquid laundry soap contains pure soap, borax, washing soda and water. Use a pure soap, such as Fels-Naptha or Kirk's Castile. This laundry soap is non-sudsing and contains no fragrance, color or filler of any kind.
20 Mule Team Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda are nationally available brands. Borax is sodium borate, a mineral that is mined mainly in the western U.S. and Tibet. It is environmentally safe but should not be ingested. Buy it as a white powder in a box in the laundry aisle.
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda is sodium carbonate, not to be confused with baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate. It is a degreasing agent and stain fighter. Washing soda should not be used on silk or wool fibers because it can strip the natural oils from the fibers. Buy it as a white powder in the laundry aisle.
Fels-Naptha and Kirk's Castile are bar soaps also found in the laundry aisle.
To make liquid laundry soap, grate 1/3 bar of either soap and dissolve it in 6 cups of boiling water. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax and stir until dissolved. Pour 4 cups of very hot water into a large plastic bucket (at least 2 gallon bucket). Add the hot soap mixture and stir well. Add 5-1/2 quarts of water and stir. Let this set for 24 hours. It will form a liquid-gel that resembles egg-drop soup texture when it is done. Use 1/2 cup liquid soap per washload. Adjust the amount by the size of your loads or by how dirty the items are.
Cost Per Liquid Load
Borax is available in a 76-ounce box for about $4.29. This is about 20 cups of borax and costs about 11 cents per 1/2 cup.
Washing soda is available in a 55-ounce box for about $3.79. This is about 12 cups and costs about 16 cents per 1/2 cup.
Fels-Naptha soap and Kirk's Castile soap are about $1.09 per bar. This is about 36 cents per 1/3 bar.
63 cents per batch of 2 gallons with 64 half-cup uses per batch equals about one penny per batch.