Recession Mama

{April 19, 2009}   We Can Make Our Own, Thank You

By Carla

Just a couple of days ago I talked about how I had started to see the connection between saving money and saving the environment. After all, there’s no plastic tub to throw away when you mash you own potatoes and stop buying the packaged stuff. A little later that day I read a post from my friend Connie, who just started her fabu blog called Join the Green Side

Connie is the original Super Mom. She has 3 gorgeous girls, ranging in age from 3mo to 5yr, plus she’s a full time student. (Connie, you’re makin’ the rest of us look bad…)  She actually made her own laundry soap recently and documented it, taking pictures along the way. You’ll need to go to her blog to see the amazing pics. I’ll let her share her story for us here. 


Okay, this is by far the neatest thing I’ve done in a while! I found a recipe for homemade laundry soap online and thought I’d give it a whirl! I did it today, and took pictures as I went.

hot water
1/2 bar of Ivory soap

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup borax

Step 1: Grate the soap. I used our cheese grater 🙂

Step 2: Put the soap into a large pan or pot, add 6 cups of water. Turn heat to medium.

Step 3: Put 6 more cups of water to boil in a kettle or pot.

Step 4: Bring grated flakes and water to a simmer, until flakes are dissolved.

Step 5: Add 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 borax, stir until mixed well.

Step 6: Pour this mixture into a large bucket. I used a 10-quart bucket.

Step 7: Pour in the 6 cups of boiling water (from step 3) into bucket. Add 1 gallon +6 cups of warm water. Stir until mixed well.

Step 8: Let mixture set for 24 hours. This allows it enough time to cool off and gel. You will notice that the soap begins to separate from the water, and that is normal. You will have to stir it (or shake if you use a container with a lid) before using it. Use about 1/2 cup for each load of laundry.
Because I just made this today, I haven’t used it yet. I tell ya this, though, my kitchen smelled very nice and clean today! I’ll update on how it works later this week.
Here is the cost analysis: I estimate that a container of laundry soap from the store costs around $13-$15. These are the ones that hold around 150oz (like Tide) to 170oz (like Costco’s). I may be off a little on price for name brands, but we usually buy Costco at about $13.
The homemade batch made a 10-quart bucket full. There are 320 ounces in that 10-quart bucket! Nearly 200 more ounces than Costco’s! And, the price for making a 10-quart batch of homemade soap? Approximately $11. So, you can either pay $13 for 170oz, or $11 for 320. Hello!!


 I don’t know if I’ll be making my own soap anytime soon, since I should work on actually making food for now, but it really is pretty cool to know that it can be done…easily.

Connie says:

Thanks for the spotlight Carla! And, yes, let’s work on getting you cooking before you start venturing into anything else 😉

recessionmama says:

Wow! I’m impressed that you would even try to figure out how to make your own laundry soap. Let me know how it turns out. I have super sensitive skin and I’m always looking for soap that’s gentle on my clothes and me. Also, I have one of those high efficiency washers. It’s kinda high maintenance when it comes to soap. It likes the gentle stuff. Keep me posted.

i learned alot from this post.
didnt how to make this


OMG – that’s amazing! I’ll have to try it during my upcoming “hiatus.” 🙂

katy says:

I agree with Carla. I’m no sure I’ll be making my own detergent either, but I love this idea that you can! Connie, you sure are a supermom, and I did enjoy reading this. It’s also fun, that on your site, you have photos of the steps.

Connie says:

Update on the soap! I have been using it for a few days now. I like it. It’s not really parfumy smelling and I even use it on my 4 month old’s clothing, and she hasn’t had any problems! Everything looks and smells nice and clean, and nobody is itchy (we’ve had problems with store-bought detergents before..)

🙂 Connie

[…] the coupon-clipping type, like my amazing friend Sarah.  And you definitely won’t catch her making her own detergent, like Carla’s friend, Connie.  She’s definitely a fashionista, so does that make her a […]

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