Thursday, September 2, 2010


Now I know that I'm supposed to be making minis and that's what this blog is about but I'm sidetracked and thought I'd blab about what exactly has sidelined me at the moment :)  I make my own laundry detergent and we really love it and so too does our friends and family.  There for awhile I was making enough soap to run three different houses and finally I decided to stop being the "supplier" of my soap junkie friends and family.  Instead, I gave them my recipe which is tweaked a little different than most online recipes for this product.  I have improved it :)  It's not the same texture as store bought soap and its different in almost every way.  But guess what?  It cleans every bit as good, works just fine in high efficiency washers (that's exactly what I have) and it smells SO much better.  Let's put it this way, my son came home sweaty and gross from school and he really wasn't all that appealing to sniff.  I said, "Go take a shower, street urchin!"  He declined my command and ran outside and romped with the dog instead for several more hours.  By the time he came in, I cannot express how bad he smelled and how dirty his clothes were.  I actually thought of throwing them away.  The thought of putting them into my nice new washer was less than thrilling for me.  But I did, and used this soap.  They came out perfectly clean, except for one grass stain that I didn't see or pre-treat.  So yay, this works!  Here's the recipe, and it's so easy my kids fight over who gets to do which part of the making.  So easy a kid can do it!

                                                           Tara's Laundry Detergent

 4 cups boiling water

1 bar fels naptha laundry bar soap (you can use plain white Ivory bath soap but it turns out far worse and seperation happens-just shake it up if it does or reheat it in a pan on the stove if it bothers you)  It still cleans fine and it'll do in a pinch if you can't find Fels Naptha (which is far superior and made for this purpose)

2 cups arm and hammer washing soda

2 cups borax

5 gallon bucket with a lid for mixing and keeping it in

3 gallons lukewarm water

up to 1 ounce of essential oils or fragrance oil

Follow the instructions in order or it will mess up your batch

Sit the bucket in the kitchen sink and fill it with 3 gallons of lukewarm water (empty milk jug works great). Leave it there.

On a paper plate grate the bar of soap (with a cheese grater) or cut it into small chunks and toss into a food processor little by little until it's finely grated (much easier).

In a medium-sized sauce pan, put your 4 cups of water on the stove to boil. After it's boiling, slowly mix in your ground soap and stir it as you pour. Get it melted down and then pour it into your bucket with the other lukewarm water.

Slowly add in both the washing soda and borax, mixing all the time. It will be runny at this point, it won't set up for 24 hours so it's not wise to use it until then.

Add in your essential oils if you want it to smell like something and mix it all in well.

This is the website where I ordered a large variety of fragrance oils:

but you can get them on ebay:

or even just use essential oils like a combo of lavender and vanilla.

The soap will be thicker and slightly chunky but smells better than store bought and cleans just as well if not better in my opinion. It costs about 2 cents per load compared to 35 cents depending on the store brand you buy. We love it. I used to have to buy a jug every week and now we never buy it. The borax and washing soda boxes last forever and you just need to stock up on Fels Naptha. The gallons of soap you end up with last a long time between batches.

I should mention the original recipe only used half the washing soda and borax and half the bar soap for the same amount of water. I found the batch to be too weak and changed it to double everything but water for my own piece of mind. I think it turned out much better my way. It's stronger and washes better. But it did thicken it alot. The other way was really runny and thin.

Well, there you go :) It's not like store bought in texture, keep that in mind but it works fine and is much cheaper. I can just imagine what we save per year this way.

Ok then.  I had to make more of that.  Then I decided I wanted to make some Glycerin Bar Soap for us and some friends.  I have some fancy soap molds (wish I had some goth ones for the upcoming Halloween season :(    Here they are :

3-D bunch of grapes soap mold-sucky night time pictures though

3-D Irises soap mold

I'm going to be trying to make these tonight, I hope they turn out ok!  I'll post pictures tomorrow if they do.  Heck I'll post pictures if they come out like lumps of crap!  I want to layer them in two different colors and use some shimmery mica powder I have for effect.  I haven't tried to do a detailed mold like this before so it could be scary!

Here's what I ended up with, not bad for a first try!  And I love how they smell.  I used Pear Vanilla fragrance oil :)
And these aren't small either.  Around 4.5 ounces each

Ok so it occurred to me that I have a giant brain mold in the cupboard used for jello making (that was a BIG hit with the boy scouts in my son's troup during Halloween time) and so I thought to myself, why wouldn't that work for soap too?  So I tried it.  I figured my son and his friend would think that was pretty cool :)  So I whipped up a batch and scented it with "man" scented stuff and poured it into the mold.  Then I took a sponge (cut in two halves) and ran a rope through it and dunked it into the soap.  Here's what it turned out like:


  1. I love home made sops Tara, is this for washing faces or washing laundry or both? Something to keep my kids quiet, great!!! Look forward to seeing them all made up, Kate xxx

  2. Hey girl, the first recipe is for laundry soap, for clothes only. The second thing I was making was body soap for scrubbing little kiddos and their parents :) Although I added too much fragrance oil to mine and they SMELL. I like it, being a perfumista of sorts but I doubt alot of other people would. But they did turn out pretty for my first try at those soap molds.

  3. I thought I might go to bed, yeah right! I made soaps instead!

  4. Oooh pretty! Going to HAVE to try and laundry recipie, can never get these kids stains out!!! lolxxxx

  5. Tara I will try your recipe for laundry soap, I make my own too as we have a well and septic system. I am very picky with what goes down the drain. Your Iris soaps turned out beautifully! Thanks for a thicker recipe, I think it will work better.

    Victoria :)