Friday, April 4, 2014

Fresh from the Clothesline...Homemade Laundry Liquid

 Hey yall! Don't you just love freshly laundered quilts? Warm from the sun. We had a gorgeous spring day and I took the opportunity to wash my Scrappy Many Trips Around the World.

When I went to the laundry room I realized I was almost out of my favorite homemade laundry liquid. So I set about making a new batch and thought I would share the recipe. It is super simple to make and All Natural. Plus it is very economical!  Here is what you will need:

1/2 cup Borax ( I use Mule Team 20X)
1/2 cup Washing Soda ( This is different from Baking Soda but is also made by Arm & Hammer)
1 cup soap flakes ( You can use Zote Soap, Lux Flakes or Fels-Naptha. I personally do not like the smell of any of those. I would not recommend using Oil of Olay, Tone or any of those bar soaps that have alot of added ingredients. Stick to a natural, pure soap product. I like to use my homemade soap but all I have left  are some Oatmeal bars,and since I didn't want Oatmeal in my laundry , I used an old bar of Ivory. )
8 quarts of cool water
2 quarts warm water
2 pots ( I use a small, old stock pot and an old, large canning pot)
A potato peeler or grater
A Measuring Cup
Something to dip your liquid soap with ( I use a large plastic measuring cup)
A large Funnel ( I make mine out of soda bottles. Just cut off the top about where the wrapper starts)(Oh, and save the cap. You can put it back on your funnel to keep stuff from dripping everywhere :))
Wooden or plastic spoon
At least 3 large containers to store your detergent in.
And a hot pad to place the pot on when you remove it from the heat.

Start by grating your bar soap. I prefer to use a potato peeler instead of a grater. It's easier on my knuckles!  You will need 1 cup of grated soap.You made need to lightly pack the soap down . You want a full cup.I use the whole bar!

Put the 2 quarts of warm water in the smaller pot and heat over medium heat. Then slowly add your grated soap and keep stirring gently until the soap melts. I like to use a wooden spoon. You will see small bits of soap floating around, that is ok.

Remove from the heat. Now slowly add the 1/2 cup of Borax and the 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Stir until it all dissolves.
Now, pour the other 8 quarts of cold water into the larger pot. Slowly add the hot liquid to the cool water. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken as it cools.

Using a funnel, fill your jugs to within a few inches of the top. (You will need room in your container to shake your detergent before using it.)  I use a large plastic measuring cup to scoop up the liquid instead of lifting the heavy pot. I also use a cut off Soda bottle as a funnel. It works great! 

 See how the mixture kinda thickens and clumps up.

Be sure to leave a little room in the top of your containers for shaking. I also have a small container handy that will hold the last little bit.

As it cools and settles, it will seperate a little from the extra water. That is fine. Just give it a good shake before using.

 You only need 1/2 cup per load!!! If you have extra dirty laundry, like I do sometimes after we have worked cattle all day, then you can use a full cup!

Now a couple of notes to mention:

You will NOT see suds in the washing machine. This does not make suds. And bubbles are NOT what cleans your laundry. Also, I don't have to use Downy! So that's another savings.

 If you want to add a scent like lemon, rose, lavender or whatever. You may add some using an essential oil. I like the smell of the Ivory or my homemade soaps, so I do not add anything. Plus I don't think my handsome farmer hubby dude wants to go around smellin' like a rose, (although I'd probaly prefer it)  Or you could seperate the liquid before pouring it in your jugs and add a few drops of an essential oil to a few quarts and just write "Smells good" on tha jug!  Or write "His" on one and "Hers" on tha other.

Also, depending on whether you have hard water or not, your whites may not appear as white as normal after a few washes. If so, then the next time you make a batch you can add 1/2 cup Oxy clean to the mix. I do not use the stuff and haven't had any problems. I like keeping it gentle enough to use on my quilts. If you have really stubborn stains, like a cow pattie, just pour a little on the nasty spot and let it sit a few minutes before washing!

If you have little ones around, I would not use a container that normally would hold a beverage item. They may think they can drink it. Instead use old Downy bottles or something of the sort and keep it put in a safe place like you normally would.

Cost Comparision: 1 to 2 cents per load! Yes .01 cents to .02 cents per load depending on how much you use! Most popular well known liquid detergents are approx. .45 cents to .52 cents per load!

The savings alone should make your laundry smell a little sweeter! Plus you know that you are helping to do your part to keep this world a safer, greener place to live!

Well, I hope that yall have enjoyed this little tutorial on how to make Liquid Laundry Detergent! We are expecting rain tomorrow, but I can't wait until the next sunny day to launder a few more quilts!
Thank yall for stopping by! I hope that Spring is making an appearance in your neck of the woods.
  I would love to give a shout out to a few of my newest friends and followers:
Mara  and lomaquilts! Welcome to the farm ladies! I am so happy to have yall plowing along with me!
Have fun yall! Enjoy makin the bubblies!
xo jan


  1. Thank you for the tutorial and wow your quilt looks fabulous! I love the photos of it too, especially the last one. Just beautiful. And the photo bombing cat looks like he likes it too!

  2. I'm too lazy to make my own laundry soap but I do admire you for doing it. I use Liquid Free & Clear All and it isn't too expensive only 10 cents a load so I will stick with that and have time for other things. With just two of us in the house I don't use so much.
    Love your quilt and to hear that you wash them too - I know some quilters do not want to wash quilts they just want that flat look to them - I love the washed and dried look to quilts.

  3. Thank you for the laundry soap recipe. I am definitely going to try this out. I love that it is more natural. I really like your trip around the world quilt. Glad you got to hang it out. The best scent on clothing etc is when they are air dried outside.

  4. Your quilt is so beautiful!!

    I use that same recipie, except I leave it dry and use 1 to 2 tablespoons of power in my wash. I have been using it for years and years!

  5. What a great post! Thanks for the detergent recipe tutorial...interesting! Love that quilt of yours.

  6. Your quilt looks so fresh and happy - great photo of it too! I hadn't thought of making my own laundry soap - interesting to read your tutorial!

  7. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I have heard of this, but love the pics and instructions. Love your scrappy trip too! I really want to try this quilt sometime, it looks fabulous out there on the clothes line:)

  8. Jan thank you for the tutorial on laundry soap. I have the ingredients to make it since I found the recipe on facebook months ago. Thank you for the incentive to follow threw on making it, besides the fact that we are almost out of laundry soap!

    Love the outdoor photo of your trip around the world. I love the look of freshly washed quilts!

  9. This article help me. Thank your for sharing.


Hey yall!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! Your words mean so much to me. Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment and if you have a blog, feel free to grab a tractor button from the sidebar and plow along with me! Ain't no tellin what we'll get in to.
xo jan