Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Laundry Sauce Recipe

My Laundry Sauce Recipe
laundry detergent using essential oils

I am sure you are as pressed for time like I am, so I won't bore you with lots of tidbits about me. Who has time for that kind of stuff in the middle of a school year if you are a parent with school age children? And if you are not in that category, I am sure you are just as busy, so let's get on with it! You may not have ever made laundry detergent, but don't be scared. I've done it twice a year since 2006 and I'm not quite insane. Why would you want to? Because it saves you lots and lots of money compared to store brand and some of those things are made by companies I don't want to support or that I don't trust the ingredients. 
This is what you will need.
  • 1 cup of Borax (I use 20 Mule Team I buy from Publix, about $3.50 a box)
  • 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (This is not the same thing as baking soda!)
  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha bar soap (Also at Publix, about $1.30. I've been told you can substitute Ivory)
  • 1 bar ofOctagon bar soap * Optional ($1 at Publix and Piggly Wiggly)
  • 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda *Optional (I buy from CostCo for about $7)
  • Young Living essential oil of choice *Optional but you really should! (If you don't know where to get this, contact me at and I will get you hooked up! Below will be listed the combos I've used)
  • a blender
  • a heavy bottom pot
  • clean glass jars with lids
  • approximately 10 cups of water
I've made several different kinds of laundry detergent now, and this one has become my favorite, mainly because the consistency of it (think mayo, cool whip, or meringue) melts so well into the water in my washing machine. It also takes up less room and I can begin using it the same day compared to the five gallon bucket method. However, feel free to try the others and see what you think. To see the original, what began it all 5 gallon bucket method, go here. For a dry version go here. For a laundry booster recipe go here. And for homemade dryer sheets that can compliment the scent of your laundry detergent, go here

On the first step you have a couple of options. You need to grind the soap bars into a powder. To do this you can use only your trusty knife and perfect your chopping skills on a handy dandy cutting board to get the soap into fine granules, or you can save yourself a lot of hassle and put the soap in a blender. I've done the first method, but I'm all about saving time, so I use my wonderful, how did I ever live without Ninja blender. The small one works fine for this, but chop the soap up into smaller chunks first, in case your blender can't handle it.

This is what it will look like when you get done pulsing it.
You will then empty this into a heavy bottomed pot with sides at least 6 inches high, to prevent running over later. Add a cup of water put on high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. You may have to turn the heat down to medium high, but keep a watch on it, stirring until the soap granules dissolve. Sorry I don't have a picture of this step.

While the soap granules are melting, place in a bowl 1 cup of the following

 Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

20 Mule Team Borax                                                                                A & M Super Washing Soda

This is what it will look like


Now the first few times I did this all lumped together in one bowl on this step, but the last time I put the ingredients in 3 separate bowls. Do whichever you prefer.
After the soap granules have melted COMPLETELY then add the rest of the 3 powders SLOWLY. This is why you need the high sided pot, because the interaction between the ingredients can cause the mixture to foam up. You may also need to add more water at this point. I've discovered it depends on the weather as to how much water I need. In the summer I need more water, in the winter not so much.
After the mix is completely incorporated, you will continue to cook it until they is no gritty feeling left when you stir the pot with your wooden spoon. This takes approximately 30 minutes on my electric glass top stove.

I am big on repurposing things and not wasting, so I reuse my glass spaghetti jars that have been cleaned and for the smaller amounts salsa jars I've cleaned. You could use quart canning jars if you wanted or whatever clean glass jars with lids you have.

The next step is to pour the soap mixture into the jars. I use my canning funnel for this, but you can just ladle it over if you don't have one. Just be careful! This stuff is hot!
Put the lids on and turn your hot jars upside down on your counter top with a potholder. Leave the jars for four hours or overnight. You can use this time to clean up, do other chores or drink a cup of coffee and read a good book. I am partial to the last option because life is short!

After four hours, you will open your jars and pry out the mixture into a blender. I have found a butter knife works really well for this. Just stir it around, like you are churning butter if you've ever done that. After you've gotten the cooled soap into your blender, gradually add about four cups of water per 1 cup of soap mixture. This all depends on how hard your soap mix set up and once again the weather. The consistency you are looking for is that of cool whip or a light frosting.

At the very end, add whatever essential oils you like the smell of. Since you will have more than one batch you have to put through the blender to turn into the sauce, you can experiment with what smells you like by doing more than one batch. Keep in mind the laundry soap itself has a smell so you want something that will go with it. What I generally do is open the bottles and hold them over the soap and sniff. That way I get an overall sense of the smell.
Here are the combinations I have used, only using Young Living essential oils:

This is combo is my favorite right now. I used 20 drops of Jade Lemon and 15 of Stress Away

This is the combination to have for stinky gross dirty clothes! I used 20 drops of Lavender and 15 drops of Purification. It is what I use on soured clothes or our work clothes.

This is a good one to have on hand for when someone in the family has been sick, yourself included, and you need to get rid of the germies and cooties. It also great for those things like rugs, dog bedding and such.

This laundry sauce only requires 1 Tablespoon per largest load. I use it on everything: whites, darks, lights, towels, bedding etc. except my delicate wools, which I still use Woolite for. I usually end up with 6 large jars and 3 small jars when I make this and it lasts me about 6 months for a family of 3 adults and two children. And let me tell you, this family has far too many clothes, especially the children and sometimes my 7 yr old son changes 3 times a day and his laundry hamper fills to overflowing fast! We wash approximately 7-10 loads a week depending on if we're washing bedding, etc. So about just say you will get about 200-240 loads out of this. I buy my supplies in bulk, so I can really give you a cost breakdown.
What your "sauce" will look like

A few of my jars. I used to put fancy labels on them, but I have to wash them when they are empty to reuse them, so now I just write what is in them and the date with a sharpie. This way I can make sure it is lasting long enough and gauge when I will need to make the next batch.

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