I’ve been using DIY laundry soap for two years now. There’s not one thing I don’t like about it–clothes get clean, and gone are the days of hefting the Costco-sized tub of detergent, which my lower back appreciates. It’s so cheap it’s ridiculous–I’d say I spend maybe $15 a year for laundry soap.
There’s plenty of recipes online for this stuff–I really don’t need to be adding to it. But, I just need to put this out there: YOU DON’T NEED TO GRATE OR COOK THE SOAP. OK, the recipes actually call for melting it, but that qualifies as cooking to me. And that’s AFTER you GRATE it. GRATE IT. Ugh. You also don’t need to make up a massive 5-gallon bucket when you have no place to store it other than the bedroom closet or the middle of the back hall.
Simplify and reuse, I say. Put some Borax in an old jar or tub (like the kind Costco stuff comes in). Grab another similar container and dump in some washing soda (laundry aisle, not baking aisle). Take your old laundry container and rinse it out…or, if you’re short on storage, just grab a pitcher. Plop in a bar of Fels-Naptha soap (laundry aisle)–an old laundry container will require you to cut the bar into strips just wide enough to fit in the opening. Fill with warm water. Shake.
For a full load of clothes, start the water running BEFORE you put the clothes in and toss a tablespoon of EACH of the powders right where the water hits the bottom of the tub. That way the powder has a chance to dissolve. Toss in about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the Fels-Naptha/water concoction. Add the clothes, close the lid. Ponder your own cheapness and rejoice greatly.
So why don’t you have to grate the soap?? As the Fels-Naptha dissolves, it saturates the water. Once the water is fully saturated, the soap stops dissolving. Yes, I know it sounds weird–that’s why it’s fun to use a transparent container the first time so you can actually see what happens to the soap. When there’s no more liquid to pour, just add more water. With fresh water, the soap will start dissolving again and saturate the water. Repeat, repeat, and repeat–for 9-12 months. I’m not kidding. It’s a beautiful thing.
And I’m not a fan of grating much-loved cheese, so why on earth would I grate soap?
Go forth and grate no more.