Traditionally laundry soap was the same soap that was used to bathe with, to wash dishes and to clean clothes: soap was just soap. Soap was made from animal fat collected from the butchers. This made a very cleansing harsh product that could strip skin and dirt from just about anything.
There are two ways to make natural laundry soap – 1. to make it from scratch or 2. to create a decent laundry soap from soap scraps
The best laundry soap is made from 100% coconut oil with 0 percent super fat. This creates a very harsh soap that is very cleansing and will strip away dirt from clothes. However if you have sensitive skin then a laundry soap which has a large percentage of olive oil is best.
Directions for laundry soap
Note: These directions assume that you are a soap maker who makes soaps and have leftover soap or soap ends hanging around waiting to be used!
• 2 cups of grated soap ends (just plain natural soap) – (or soap scraps)
• 1 cup of borax
• 1 cup washing soda
• Add water enough to saturate soap and let sit overnight.
• In the morning it should be melted like a gel and should have the consistency of a runny gel. More water can be added or not. I like my natural soap to be thick but with trial and error you will arrive at the consistency you prefer.
• Alternatively the soap can be melted on the stove under a low fire – this speeds up the process nonetheless, I prefer to leave it overnight. When melting on the stove keep at a low flame so that it does not burn.
• Obtaining ingredients: Washing soda and borax available at Wal-Mart or other pharmacies
• After preparing the soap, add other ingredients such as essential oils and bottle.
Essential oils can be added in the wash water not on the clothes directly
• eucalyptus - removes stains, disinfectant, clean aroma (my favorite)
• tea tree - disinfectant
• lavender – disinfectant, clean fresh aroma
• lemon – disinfectant, refreshing aroma
Citrus essential oils can be staining – make sure they are diluted properly. If adding to the laundry, add with water and not directly on clothes.
Over time there tends to be a buildup of soap scum in the washer when you use natural soap. Add a little vinegar (1/4 cup) to the rinse water to clear this buildup. Essential oils can be added to the vinegar liquid and then added to the wash so that they are diluted before coming in contact with clothes.