I wish I was brilliant enough to figure out this homemade laundry soap recipe all on my own. My girlfriend, Katie, told me about it. I’m not sure where she got the recipe, either. She was actually the gem who helped me figure out everything about cloth diapering. I’ve shared before that initially cloth diapering totally overwhelmed me. Katie helped make it simple for me.
I started out using this recipe for all of our laundry. Quickly, I realized that I didn’t have the time or energy to make enough soap to wash twenty-one loads of laundry a week. Now I only use it for cloth diapers. I’m not sure that’s the recommended way to wash cloth diapers, as everything I read said that you need to use a cloth-diaper friendly detergent all of the time to prevent build-up. I haven’t had any problems. I do run a tub clean cycle at least one a month. I’m sure that helps. And, I use cotton diapers which is easier to get clean than synthetic fabrics.
Here’s how I make my soap:
Using the grater blade, I push two bars of Fles-Naptha through my food processor. Then, I wiggle the steel blade down into the bottom of the soap.
I add two cups each of Borax and Super Washing Soda and process until the Fles-Naptha is finely ground. If you try to grind the Fles-Naptha without the soap, it’ll just ball up and become a mess.
Then, I divide the laundry soap between two quart-sized mason jars.
When I wash Nate’s cloth diapers, I put two heaping tablespoons of laundry soap in the detergent dispenser. I put another heaping tablespoon in the bottom of the washer where the water hits when it fills the tub. And, I sprinkle some extra Borax over the diapers too.
Before you start washing diapers, I suggest you turn on your washer and watch how it works. All washers work a little differently. I wash mine on the heavy duty cycle with hot water. It took me 6 months of washing diapers to realize that my washer has a soak setting. Once I figured that out, I added a 30 minute soak. Then, after they’ve been washed once I add about a half cup of white vinegar and put them through another hot wash cycle.
It takes about one and a half drying cycles to get my diapers dry. Lots of cloth diapering moms prefer to dry them on the clothes line. The sun helps bleach the diapers clean. I don’t have a clothes line. Maybe someday I’ll have Joe put one up for me. Until then, in the dryer they go.
What’s your favorite way to get your laundry clean?