Homemade Laundry Soap & Soap Jar

Some of you may think I’m weird, a hippie, or give me strange looks from across the street.  Whatever.  Making this soap is probably the best move I’ve made since creating a stock pile of laundry detergent of which to be proud. It’s actually ironic that I happened to find out about this recipe, because my stock pile from last year is nearly gone!  And now, I am happily replacing it with one bucket of this laundry detergent.  No more plastic to recycle, it’s going to last a long time, and save us money.  I’m happy to be weird if this is the pay-off!

As you may know, I love love love getting inspiration from Pinterest.  I’m like an inspiration thief, but I give back I promise.  Credit is given on these people’s blogs and websites.  My friend, who is also on Pinterest, shared this with me.  I immediately went to Being Creative To Keep My Sanity’s blog and I could not wait to try this.

Arm n Hammer Super Washing Soda 55oz $3.24
Baking Soda 4lb $2.16
*Green Works Oxy 3.5lbs $5.00 (on clearance!)
Borax 20 Mule Team 4lb 12oz $3.39
Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap (3) $2.91
5 gal bucket $2.97
Lid $1.17

Grand total: ……drum roll…… $20.84

Unbelievable, right?  I know!
Though you see a bottle of Purex crystals in the picture below, I did not add that to my detergent.  The ratio of crystals to the rest of this recipe would have been off.  It would require more than one bottle.  I just add a normally measured amount of Purex per each load and it works out well.  I really love Purex and prefer it to other brands though you can still feel free to use whatever fabric softener you love.  Sheets, liquid, crystals, whatever.
Also, I originally bought Oxyclean but found the Green Works on clearance at Walmart for $5.  Score!!!  (I previously purchased the Oxyclean at Target for $7.99)  You can omit this from the recipe if you choose.  I added it because it was suggested for tough stains aka messy kids 🙂
In order to make this, I first lined my bucket with a garbage bag.  This is for easier mixing, I later discovered.  Then, I added all of the powdered ingredients in no particular order into the bucket.  Be careful of the “dust” when you’re pouring.  The hardest part is the bar soap.  I chose Fels-Naptha so I had three bars to mess with.  I broke out my cheese grater (hardly used) and began to grate the bars one at a time.  (what a grueling process)  I usually have accidents with the cheese grater, maybe that’s why I didn’t look forward to this part.

A different approach you can take, which I did not, is put your bar soap in a good food processor.  I only say that because if it’s not good, it will just become a messy clean-up.  I stupidly trusted my Magic Bullet to be able to “powderize” my already-shredded bar soap.  All of the soap that I added into the cup just stuck to the area surrounding the blade.

Last step: MIX it really well.  Take that bag out, grab a hold of the “neck” of the bag and just roll it around on the floor.  Using your other hand to kind of knead the bag and shake it up a bit.

Directions for use:  *1-2 tablespoons per load
*for HE washers, which is what I have, dump it right into the drum.

Now for my super favorite part of this DIY project…
…My new laundry detergent container!  I don’t like the sound of container though, because I think this is too pretty to sound like a piece of tupperware.  I think what this actually used to be was a cotton swab or Q-tip jar, as per my best friend.  So what I did to make it pretty is used my newest secret weapon: Mod Podge, not to be pronounced “modge podge.”  

For this project, I used:

Rescued jar from a thrift store
Patterned fabric
Patterned paper, as well as small scraps for the label
Sponge brush
Mod Podge
1 Tablespoon measurement tool
Sheet of wax paper or freezer paper for fabric to dry on

I took a scrap of patterned fabric from my craft closet and painted on some mod podge to keep the fabric from fraying when I cut into it later, then I laid it onto a sheet of freezer paper (paper side down) to dry.  Once it was dry, I measured the fabric roughly by holding it to the jar and wrapping it around to fit the jar, and cut it to size.  I used Mod Podge to attach the fabric and carefully did a section at a time.  I found that if you painted the Mod Podge on all at once it would dry too quickly and the fabric wouldn’t attach.  So doing it by section and rubbing out any air pockets as I went along did work the best.  The fabric met back up and was almost perfectly aligned.  *Sigh*  Is there anything that ends up perfectly?

Then I took another pattern (paper this time) and cut out a square.  And here I will admit that I cannot really explain what I did, but both papers actually fit well.  I planned on it being symmetrical, but things work out in the funniest ways.  The one thing I can claim as not being a mistake is that I penned “Laundry” onto the plain white paper by myself.  Once both papers were attached and dried, I painted some Mod Podge onto the newly decided front of the jar.  I attached the paper onto the “seam” of the fabric and held it there with my fingers while it dried, pushing out any air pockets.

Once dry, I set the jar down and admired it.  I was so darn pleased that I finally used Mod Podge on glass, that I may have held my breath for fear of losing an ounce of joy. 

Okay, onto the jar’s lid.  It was plain.  It didn’t have a rubber stopper or whatever that rubber gasket thing is that sits around the lip of the lid to prevent clanking and sticking.  So I went to work.  I took two rubber bands and wrapped them around the lid and called it a day.  For the decor, I cut out the paisley pattern from a ribbon and used Mod Podge to attach them one at a time (very time consuming altogether)  

After the jar lid and jar had both dried completely, I painted on more Mod Podge to ensure that everything was uniform, no paper or fabric was exposed to the elements.  I wanted a uniform gloss.  Final coat is dry, time to fill ‘er up!  And I plopped my tablespoon measurement spoon into the middle for the last touch.
Happy green inexpensive laundering!!!


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