Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pinching Pennies Laundry Soap

So I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the "Duggars" family. Ya know, the lady who has 18 children. I will admit when I heard about her I was skeptical and had already judged her in my mind of all the many reasons that was WAY to many children. However, watching their families series occasionally on TLC has totally changed my mind. She is AMAZING! If anyone could have that many children it would be her and is her! Not only did I totally misjudge her, I also never realized how much I would look up to her. Call me crazy but she is FABULOUS!!!!

There home is gorgeous and massive. In perfect order, she home schools, also spends regular one on one time with her children, she teaches them to be self sufficient, how to manage money, they are completely debt free, they teach their children about God, and she is FRUGAL!!

So anyways we watched this series where she told all the ways they cut corners to penny pinch. And she showed how they made their own detergent. Beau happened to be watching it with me and kept saying "let's try that." He was more enthusiastic about it then me, but I decided it couldn't hurt. So we turned it into our "Frugally Fabulous FHE" and had the kids help out! It was a blast and seriously works just as well as my Tide!!

Here is what you need~


*In a saucepan bring your water to boil on med/high
*While the water is boiling, grate one bar of your soap.
(She recommends Fels -Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, or Zote's bars. But after researching online, I found another lady who changes the recipe and buys whatever soap is on sale. I used Ivory and my mom has tried the Fels-Naptha)

*Slowly stir in soap flakes, a handful at a time, into your boiling water.
*Stir until soap is dissolved and melted


*Fill your 5 gallon bucket halfway full with hot tap water.
*Add your melted soap mixture, baking soda, and Borax.
*Stir until powder is all dissolved
*Fill the rest of your remaining bucket up with more hot tap water.

*Stir again
*Cover with lid and let sit for overnight or 24 hours to thicken

(all liquid concoctions will be different depending on the type of soap you use. Mine was a slightly gell-y watery substance.)

*After your liquid detergent sits for allotted time frame, Stir. And fill a liquid soap dispenser (I used an old fabric softener container) and fill halfway full with mixture. Fill the remaining container full with hot water. (So every time you dilute your mixture)

*Shake before every use

Yields: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons
*Top load washer -5/8 cups per load (approx. 180 loads)
*Front Load washer- 1/4 cup per load (approx. 640 loads)

This was so easy to make and I really feel like it cleans well. I used a non-scented bar of Ivory. But I think next time I will try the scented for a smell.

All the supplies (including bucket and lid and tax) cost $8.96. After I did the math on how many loads I can make out of the baking soda & Borax it cost us
$1.86 for the ten gallons. (640 loads)

If any of you try this I want to hear what kind of soap you use and how you like it to!!

I just re- made this recipe and used Dial pomegranate soap.
Can we say DELISH?


  1. I just found your blog yesterday and I love it!!! All of the thrifty finds are just up my alley! I'm reading some of your old posts and I just found this one about the liquid wash powder. I have a large family and this just seems too good to be true!!! How does it clean? I use gain usually because I enjoy the fresh smell but I also like for my clothes to be really clean. So what do you think? As good as the name brand?

  2. I recently made this soap also, using the Duggar's recipe. The soap works great! I used the Fels-Naptha bar soap, and I add a drop of either Lavender or Tea Tree essential oil to each load of laundry for a fresh scent. The Tea Tree oils are great for getting bacteria out of smelly dishrags too!

  3. First, I have to say, I love, love, LOVE your blog! As a design and craft-impaired individual (homemaking is TERRIFYING) I really appreciate how easy some of your crafts are!

    As a super-cheap, poor-college-student-and-mom individual, I really love and appreciate your thrifty tips. I made the laundry detergent yesterday using 6 ounces of dial tropical 'something or the other' soap and it smells lovely, but seems REALLY thin. Is it going to thicken more over time? Just wondering. I'm definitely going to use it (it smells lovely :D), but I wanted to make sure the proportions on the blog were right. Now I can't wait to run out of my old soap!

  4. It really depends on the soap! Mine did "slim up" over time of sitting. But I think the soap really makes the recipe vary. I think the Felsnaptha that the Duggar lady uses is the best to get. But although it is watery just add a little more than you normally would. Mine still cleans wonderfully! Hope that answers your question!
    And thanks for the kind words about our blog! We always hope we are helping somebody!:)

  5. Okay, I think I might have figured out what went wrong, so I thought I'd let you know. I was looking at more thrifty tips on the Duggar's blog (you're right, they're amazing, though I still haven't seen the show). Anyway, she says that you have to use "Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda" and that baking soda won't work. Now to track some down...


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