Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lavender Orange Powdered Laundry Soap

I've been making my own laundry soap for quite a while now, and while I've been content with it, I have missed the lingering scent of store-bought soap.

What I don't miss is the chemicals.

My go-to recipe for laundry soap is this liquid soap. Many people use this recipe. My only problem with it is the mess. I have a space between my counter and washing machine that is too small to place a shelf unit, but too big to miss with the soap dripping from my scoop. In fact, that space is the perfect size for a folded step stool, which is usually gummed up with gunk.

I'm not a fan of gunk.

When researching alternative powdered soap recipes, the formula seemed to be the same in all. Borax, Washing Soda, a low-suds bar soap, and Baking Soda. Most used Zote, Fels Naptha, or Ivory. But I was after a specific smell.


Here's what I came up with~

For the lavender scent, I didn't use the unscented bars in this picture~they were for another batch.
~The Players~

3 bars lavender Dr. Bonner's castile soap
1 4lb. box pure baking soda
1 box borax
1 box washing soda (not the same as baking soda)

Using a large hole cheese grater, grate all 3 bars of castile soap.

Put half the grated soap into a large food processor. Add 1 cup baking soda or washing soda and pulse until fine. It is important that you add one of the soda's or the castile soap will not grate fine enough. (Ask me how I know...☺)

Repeat with the remaining grated castile soap.

Using a large bucket or stockpot, mix together the powdered castile/soda, the remaining box of washing soda, baking soda, and borax. This is best done outside or in a well ventilated area. Try not to inhale any dust.

The soap is ready to use as is, or you can add 40-50 drops of sweet orange essential oil and mix well. Store in a dry container. For a large load of laundry, use 2 Tb.; smaller loads, 1 Tb.

I stored my first batch in 7-quart jars. Each jar will last 40-60 loads, depending on size. By my calculations, that's at least 280 loads of laundry (or as much as 420!) for less than $20.

Take that, Tide.

*I also like to use the unscented castile soap with 30 drops of lemongrass and 20 drops of cedar essential oils.

**For chemical-free dryer sheets, use a matching essential oil.


Mama Pea said...

My daughter makes (and shares with me!) a liquid laundry soap but I have been wanting to try a homemade powdered laundry soap for a while. Many thanks for posting your recipe.

Susan said...

I am due to make laundry soap again and was wondering how to make dry soap, as opposed to liquid - your timing was perfect (as usual)!

Candy C. said...

I wasn't having good results with homemade laundry soap but I wasn't doing the food processor step. Do you think that would make a difference?

Kim said...

I think if the castile soap is more powdery, the ratios will be a little more even.

On a side note~We have horrible well water that leaves our whites less than white. For those loads I usually add a little Oxy-clean, but for all the other loads, I don't. I'm pretty happy with how clean my boys' nasty farm jeans get! I think it may have something to do with the added baking soda! :)

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I've been using my own homemade lavender soap and adding some lavender oil as well. Love the fragrance, tho it does not last thru the wash cycle!

Kim said...

Cindy~I was afraid of that too, but I am happy to confirm, the scent is still there on mine! I can definitely smell both the orange and the lavender!