I have been making my own powdered laundry detergent for a long time and wrote a post about it last year. I love how quick and simple it is. I only need three ingredients. Bar soap, borax, and washing soda. Now it is even less expensive because I make my own laundry bar soap. You won’t believe how easy it is!
First I went onto Soapcalc.net to calculate how much oil, lye, and fragrances I would need. The first time I made laundry soap I did a 1 lb batch of soap. This time I doubled this recipe. I am only using coconut oil and tallow for their hardness and cleansing power. I used 0% superfat because this is being used for clothes and not on skin, so we don’t need any extra moisturizing power in the final bar. Otherwise, the process is the same as all the other soap I make.
I measured out the lye first.
Then I measured out the water and added it to the lye and mixed it with a non-metal spoon. The lye reacts with the water and creates a lot of heat so it has to sit for awhile to cool down to the same temperature as the melted oils.
Then I melted them on really low heat.
Then I measured out the essential oils. I used a combo of rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass and sweet orange.
Once my oils and lye were about the same temperature I mixed them and then blended with my immersion blender. Some people use thermometers, but I have had great success just mixing them together when I touch the outside of the containers and they feel about the same temperature.
Once I reached a light trace I added in the essential oils.
Then I blended until it was thick.
And poured it into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. On my list of things to do is make a soap mold. But this works fine for now.
It was ready to slice after 24 hours.
The slices looked pretty ugly, but they are destined to be grated in the food processor so appearances don’t matter so much.
I placed them in a pan and will let them sit for 4-6 weeks to cure and then I will mix up a big batch of laundry detergent to last us for the winter. See how easy that was? In less than 30 minutes of hands-on time I have enough soap to make a batch of powdered laundry detergent that will last me all winter.
Laundry Soap Bar
50% Coconut Oil
Essential oils (based on 2 lbs of oils):
6 g Rosemary
10 g Lemongrass
6g Sweet Orange
Run oil amounts through Soapcalc to figure out your final amounts of lye, water and oils. Measure out essential oils.
In a heat resistant glass or plastic container measure out your lye and water and mix. In a heavy bottom pot measure out your oils and melt them over low heat. Once your lye mixture and oils are about the same temperature add them together and blend with an immersion blender until they reach a light trace. Add in essential oils and blend some more with the immersion blender until everything is incorporated really well and the mixture thickens. Then pour into mold(s).
Let it sit for 24 hours. Then unmold, cut and let cure for 4-6 weeks.