Thursday, July 21, 2011

Airing my Dirty Laundry

Last week I decided to make my own laundry soap.  Why?  Because 1.  It cost much less than store-bought soap, and 2. I'm cheap frugal. 3. It makes me feel very Little House on the Prairie-ish. 

I'm going to give you 2 different ways to make it.  The first will be the way that everyone else makes it and the second will be the directions to make it my way.  

Their Way

What you'll need:  1 cup measuring cup, old grater that you'll only use for soap, quart jar with lid, borax, washing powder, Fels Naptha soap.  

Grate 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, pour into quart jar
Add one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder.  
Place lid on jar
Use one tablespoon per load of laundry.  One batch will wash approx. 50 loads. 

How simple is that?  Seriously.  I guess it was so simple that I felt the need to complicate it so I would feel as though I'd really  accomplished something rather than just mixed up something a trained monkey could do.  

So here is how I made my laundry detergent. 

1. Buy Borax, washing powder and Fels Naptha soap while you're with your boyfriend.  
2. Explain to boyfriend that the soap doesn't really contain naphthalene in it, so the laundry isn't going to spontaneously combust mid-cycle, even though that would be kinda cool.  
3. Dig through 427 piles of junk in the workroom to find the old grater you'd bought just because it was a dollar and you never know when you'll need an old grater for something.  Cuss.  Yell at inanimate objects.  Blame the cats for losing your grater.  
4. Find grater underneath your work table.  Of course.  
5. Gather borax, washing powder, soap and a gallon sized jar.  
6. Realize that you've forgotten the damn grater and now you can't remember where you set it down.  
7. Return to the workroom .  
8. Realize that you haven't checked your email in an hour or so.  
9. Check email.
10.Two hours later, remember that you're supposed to be making laundry detergent.
11. Return to kitchen.
12. Realize that you've once again forgotten that bastard of a grater. 
13. Go back to the workroom and refuse to look at your computer. 
14. Spend 10 minutes locating grater.  Give your cats the stink eye just in case they were the ones who lost it to begin with. 
15. Go to kitchen and start to grate soap.  
16. Realize that grating the soap on the big part of the grater might not work very well for laundry detergent. 
17. Switch to small holes. 
18. Figure out that grating on the small holes is going to take forever and your hands are already cramping. 
19. Switch back to large holes. 
20. Think about how much Fels Naptha soap looks like some kind of off-color, Cheddar cheese.
21. Grate too close to your knuckles. 
22. Apply band-aid to your remaining nub of a finger. 
23. Manage to get half of the grated soap in your giant one-gallon jar that you thought you'd need because you're were going to make 2 batches of laundry detergent, right?  Well, at least you were going to before you figured out that grating soap was boring and stupid and painful and Laura Ingalls can just suck it. 
24. Scoop up other half of soap off of counter and dump into jar. 
25. Ignore the soap that fell on the floor. It'll just act as a cleaning booster the next time you mop the floor.  
26. No it won't hurt the cats if they eat it.  They'll just have really clean insides.  
27. Add one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder to giant jar. 
28. Wonder why you have the urge to eat the borax and washing powder. 
29. Vaguely remember something about pregnant women craving laundry powder. 
30. Head back to computer to research odd cravings. 
31. Determine that the cravings are probably a symptom of a horrible, deadly disease, and put Pixie sticks on the grocery list so at least when you're craving washing powder you'll have something else powdery to eat (on your death bed). 
32. Go back to kitchen and place lid on giant jar. 
33. Shake jar. 
34. Wonder what a cheese flavored Pixie stick would taste like. 
35. Get a little grossed out about the thought. 
36. Determine that your laundry soap is just way too special to be used with the plastic scoop that was in the Gatorade canister.  
37. Head back to workroom to find an old silver spoon.  
38. Peel velcro off spoon that was there when you bought it.  (I'm guessing someone had the spoon stuck to a wall - probably a wall in their laundry room so they could scoop their lovely homemade laundry detergent). 
39. Take pics of your marvelous laundry detergent in the giant jar.  
40. Clean extra soap, borax, powder, blood and sweat off of counter. 
41. Place giant jar of laundry detergent in laundry room. 
42. Fix yourself a stiff drink. 

TADA! It's that easy! 

I guess I should add that this doesn't cost very much to make.  The three ingredients were about 8 dollars and I still have plenty of the borax and washing powder left.  The Fels Naptha is only a dollar a bar, so subsequent batches will be cheap, too.  

Be Happy,


  1. This is priceless! Thanks for the laugh!

  2. That was great! So funny! Oddly enough, I still want to make some!

  3. That was great. :-) I feel compelled to give my cats the stink eye for no apparent reason.

  4. Fantastic! I may have to consider this! :)

  5. Finally someone said it: Laura Ingalls CAN suck it.

  6. Thank you all! I'm glad you enjoy my nuttiness. And I highly recommend giving your cats the stink eye. They'll still puke in the floor, but they'll think twice about doing it right in the middle of the hall.

  7. Oh. I Just Loved Reading this(: Thanks!

  8. How amazing! Great minds think alike. This was almost my exact experience.. minus the pixie sticks and losing the grater.. I did scrape my knuckles pretty fierce and now when I make the stuff I have my husband do the

  9. Too funny, because I make my boyfriend do it now! :D

  10. Thanks for the laugh. My daughter and I enjoyed your version of how to make the detergent. I do believe that we will take the short cut.