Making Our Own Laundry Soap

laundry

The Liquid Castile soap and Baking Soda that I buy from Amazon.de (see links below)

We all like to save a buck or two, right? Well, just before moving to Germany we began making our own laundry soap- both to save some money and to know what was in the products we use.

We arrived and quickly found that Borax and Washing Soda are VERY difficult (or impossible) to find.

Bummer.

So we began looking up alternative ways to make laundry soap that can still be less expensive that store-bought and didn’t call for Borax or Washing Soda.

And found one here. The information I’m sharing here is from that site.

We’ve had a number of local folks ask how we make our laundry soap and thus, this post. With links, photos, and everything (hopefully) that you’d need to buy the ingredients and make your detergent while living in Germany. (For our non-Germany living friends… maybe you should consider the “dangers” of Borax and join our forced Borax-free version!)

What you’ll need:

  • A large pot for cooking
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • 3 gallon (11 1/2 liters) container (I use the containers the Peanut Butter comes in from BFA.)
  • 1 3/4 gallons (6 1/2 liters) of hot water
  • Liquid Castile Soap (The 236 ml bottle is enough for one batch of laundry detergent. Also, you can pick from a number of scents or no scents.)
  • Baking Soda (This bucket lasts forever.)

Directions:

1.  Measure 1 cup of liquid castile soap and empty into the cooking pot.
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2.  Add 4 cups of water to the pot and bring the mixture to a rolling boil (bubbles will rapidly rise to the surface of the water).
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3.  Remove the soap mixture from heat and add 1 cup of baking soda to the mixture. Stir to combine all ingredients.
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4.  Empty the mixture into the 3-gallon container.
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5.  Pour 1 3/4 gallons of hot water into the container with the soap mixture. Stir to combine. At this point, I pour the soap from the bucket into my smaller container with the funnel. I store the bucket beside my washing machine for when my smaller container empties.
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6.  Use 1/3 cup of detergent per load of laundry washed and cover the container with a lid when detergent is not in use. I keep a 1/3 cup measuring cup on my washing machine.

 

There you have it, folks! It takes about twenty minutes and for our family of six, in the last nine months, I’ve made it three times. That means it lasts us an average of three months. PLUS, I’ll have that bucket of baking soda for a  LONG time. So, essentially, my only cost for three months is the cost of the Castile soap… which is about 11-12 Euro.

Tips & Warnings:

  • Liquid castile soap (soap made of vegetable oils rather than animal fat or synthetic oil) comes in a variety of fragrances, such as lavender, citrus and even mint, that add a pleasant scent to your laundry.
  • Add 2 tbps. distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your laundry to soften fabrics and completely rinse your laundry of all soaps.
  • The detergent may separate between loads of laundry. If this occurs, simply stir the detergent before you use the detergent again.
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