Dec 8, 2011

The DIY Diary: Laundry Soap

I've been reading a lot about what you're all knitting for gift giving this year and how many of us are counting down the days we have left to complete all these wonderful projects.  I'm starting to get into the holiday spirit but it's taken awhile.  I suppose after reading about all the craziness around Black Friday, my heart sank. As someone who grew up in a frugal family and have tried my best to follow my mother's example of less is more, I couldn't help but feel a little depressed about the mad rush to shop on the day after Thanksgiving.  Suddenly, all around us were news stories about how early stores and malls would be opening and how some folks were camping out in front of stores on Thanksgiving eve.  It kinda broke my heart.

So, I made a commitment that I would remove myself from that insanity and focus on gifts that I could make with my own two hands.  While I'm knitting during any free time that I find squeezed in between my job and my family, I found some great DIY recipes that I think will make great gifts.  I thought I'd take some time over the next couple of weeks to blog about them in case you're looking for some gift inspiration, too. Today I'm blogging about a DIY Laundry Detergent that works like a charm ... and smells amazing, too.  I came across this recipe on pinterest and while there are several versions, I pared mine down to keep it as simple as possible.  That's part of my commitment, too:  simple, natural, and (relatively) inexpensive.

The ingredients are really basic:  borax, baking soda, and a bar of your favorite soap.  I use Dr. Bronner's Castile soap in Eucalyptus so that my laundry room and our laundered clothes, linens, and towels all have that great wintery smell.

To make a batch of laundry soap, grate 1.5 bars of soap into a large bowl.

Miranda working the grater like a pro

To those shavings, add 1 cup each of borax and baking soda.

Mix thoroughly and ta da, you've got a laundry soap with no additives or harsh chemicals. 

You only need about 1/8 cup for a medium-size load.  It works like a charm.  For gifts, I'll put a batch in a glass Mason jar or one with a flip-top lid tied up in a pretty ribbon. Let me know if you make your own laundry soap and which fragrance you chose.


  1. I am so with you on the less is more idea and in making most of my gifts. Listening to the news lately has just made me cry so I had to stop.
    I have been making my own detergent for a few years now,but never considered giving it as a gift...that's a wonderful idea...thank you!

  2. very neat!! you make it look so easy, I'll have to try this one day!

  3. Great idea. I may have to give it a try.

  4. That is awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  5. What a great idea. I get grossed out by Black Friday and pretty much the whole holiday season too. I'm thinking of making this solid perfume to give as gifts.

  6. Very cool gift idea! I like that it can be customized with your fragrance of choice. I try not to get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy, too. My perfect holiday would be for everyone to exchange hand made gifts. Oh well, wishful thinking!

  7. I saw this (or one like it) on Pinterest too. I got some Borax to make something else with the kids (also from Pinterest), and I'll have to try it out!