Friday, August 1, 2008

soap, fat friday and yard sales...............

"Do you have the Fels Naptha soap?"
" You do?"
" Great!!"
" I need a couple bars!!"
I know, I know, some of you are asking what the heck is she talking about???
Well, Fels Naptha soap is one of the ingredients in making your own laundry soap.
Gals are having a hard time finding it. Walmart is SUPPOSED to have it in certain areas. Its not in mine though!
I found it at a local hardware store. Orme's hardware to be exact.
I have to say this is one of the best stores in our area! I love them!! You need a screw? They got it!! For a just a few cents!!
They are never overpriced!! and the guys working there know everything!! They sharpen lawn mower blades and can tell you the best planting time on anything!!

Anyways, back to the soap.
Alot of gals are making the liquid soap, but i dont really want to be bothered with boiling soap, water and storing in a five gallon bucket. you dont have to mess with all that. you can make the dried mix!

Hands down, making your own homemade laundry detergent is much cheaper than store bought.

Here's a recipe for homemade powdered laundry detergent..
( As with its liquid counterpart, this homemade powdered laundry detergent is very low sudsing and works well in high efficency washing machines. )

2/3 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (equivalent of 1 cup grated)
½ Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
½ Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda.
Container large enough to hold 2 cups of laundry detergent
Grate the Fels Naptha laundry soap with a grater or use a food processor. Approximately 2/3 of a bar of soap will make 1 cup of grated soap.
Add the ½ cup of Borax and ½ cup of washing soda to the grated soap.
Shake and/or mix well
One tablespoon of detergent is sufficient per load of wash. If you have a high-efficiency machine, you might want to experiment with using a little less detergent for normal loads. If your clothes come out feeling stiff, lower the amount of detergent. For clothes that are heavily soiled, add a teaspoon more of the detergent..
The recipe yields 2 cups of laundry detergent. If you use 1 tablespoon per load, you will be able to wash 32 loads of clothes.
20 Mule Team Borax: $2.50 for 70 oz. - Cost per batch: .14 (4 oz needed for recipe)
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda: $2.50 for 55 oz. Cost per batch .18.(4 oz needed for recipe)
Fels Naphtha: $1.24 per bar. Cost per batch: .83 (2/3 bar of soap needed for recipe) *
Total cost to make: $1.15 Yields 2 cups which translates to 3.5 cents per load!!!
Although it is more expensive than the liquid homemade laundry detergent, it is still cheaper than buying from the store. :)

***You may have personal preferences for using one over the other. With the liquid recipe, you will have to store gallons of laundry detergent. This is not a problem unless you live in a space where storage space is limited.. The powder on the other hand is neat, compact and takes up less space. :)

now for informationon on the liquid.......................

liquid laundry soap
(How much does your laundry detergent cost per laundry load? It's easy to figure out. Take the cost of the box/bottle of detergent and divide it by the number of loads. Once you come up with a number, write it down on a sheet of paper and compare it with the per laundry load cost of preparing your own detergent. )

It takes about 15 minutes to make your own homemade liquid laundry detergent and about 10 minutes to make powdered laundry detergent using all natural ingredients that you can purchase from your grocery store.

Here is what you'll need:
3.1 oz bar Ivory soap (Ivory is chosen because it's all natural. You may use a soap of your choice)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
½ cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
5 Gallon container
Pot large enough to hold 5 cups of water
Long stirring stick/spoon (for 5 gallon container)
Shave the soap into small strips and place in the pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water just shy of a boil and stir until the soap is completely melted. When the soap is just about melted, pour 3 gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container and let it sit until the soap in the pot is totally melted. Once all of the soap shavings are melted, pour the mixture into the 5-gallon container and stir.
Once the soap and water are thoroughly stirred, add the ½ cup pf washing soda and stir until dissolved. Once the washing soda is dissolved, pour in the cup of borax and stir again until dissolved.
Optional: Essential Oils for fragrance. If you like fragrant detergent, now is when you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
Now you've got a huge container of hot soapy looking water. Cover the container, place it somewhere out of the way and let it sit overnight. Once it's cooled it will gel. It will not gel uniformly so it will be lumpy and watery. It may not be very attractive, but it works. It's best find smaller storage containers for convenience.
Usage: ½ cup per laundry load is adequate to clean your clothes. This homemade laundry detergent works well in high efficiency washing machines since it is low sudsing.
One word of caution, if using a high efficiency machines: Before pouring the lumpy gel into the detergent receptacle, stir it to break up the lumps. Very large lumps may not fully dissolve.
stir the detergent with a spoon, pencil, or whatever you have available (or your finger), works fine.
This recipe yields 442 oz of laundry detergent, of which 4 oz are required per laundry load. With this recipe you should be able to wash 110 ½ loads of laundry.
Cost break down:
the purchase price for the ingredients are as follows:
Borax: $2.50 for 70 oz.Cost per batch: .28 (8 oz needed for recipe)
Washing Soda: $2.50 for 55 oz.Cost per batch .18.(4 oz needed for recipe)
Ivory Soap: $.99 for 3 3.1 oz. Bars.Cost per batch: .33 (1 bar of soap needed for recipe)
Cost to make: .79
Yield: 442 oz.
Cost per oz. = .00178
Cost per ½ cup = .007 or rounded to .01 cent per load
The cost to wash 110.5 loads with homemade laundry detergent is $1.11!!!! How does that compare to your store-bought detergent?

there are lots more cleaning recipes, DIY projects and other goodies on
it is a wonderful community!! you do have to be approved to join and if its the weekend, it may be till monday but , let me tell ya, its worth the wait!!
i recently joined the Ohio chapter of mary jane farm girls!! i am so excited!!


now for my fat friday recipe.................

( yes, this is the $2.00-$4.00 a lb. stuff that is at any walmart, deli, etc.)

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. white vinegar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 lbs of thinly sliced or chipped baked or cooked ham

1.Mix all the ingredients together except ham.
2.Whisk so that it's evenly blended.
3.Chop up ham a bit so that it's easy to serve on roll or bun.
4.Pour mixture over ham and mix well.
5.Cook in crockpot on low for an hour or two or put in saucepan on stove, cook med-low for about 20 minutes.
6.Serve warm on hamburger buns.


oh, and of course you need a dessert!!

i take my favorite brownie mix( family size box) , instead of putting it into a pan, use your muffin pans and cupcake liners. pour( about 1/2 full) some prepared brownie mix into each liner. bake till almost done( within 4-5 minutes of being done). take them out of the oven and insert( slightly push down into brownie) an unwrapped reese's minature peanute butter cup, put back into oven and bake another 4-5 minutes.
take out and let cool.
so fattening, so easy, so good and everyone loves them!! :)

I spent the morning hitting more yard sales!! I love yard saling, not just for the great goodies but also the opportunity to meet and talk to new people. I have really met some great people while yard saling thats for sure. Today, I met a lady who not only had a sale, where EVERYTHING WAS A QUARTER , but also invited me in to see her home and her pond. It is a 2,000 gallon pond that she hand dug herself....... now let me tell ya this lady is not young! The pond was gorgeous!! She has fish( started 2 years ago with 6, now has 84!), actual caverns into the banks and is getting ready to add a fog machine.
I am getting one of those fog machines!! I was loving it!!
This lady also had a pet squirrel in her house!! lol It was so cute!!

We are off to go swimming.
Be back soon!!


  1. I have been using the liquid version of this soap for about 5 months now. I have altered it some, but I like it! Thanks for the nice comment about the shadowbox I made! I just got it mailed so hopefully it makes it there it one piece!!

    Oh, my kids stuck some pictures of fairies that they colored in the fairy house so tonight I'm going to take them out and do the glitter thing for them. Great idea!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Wow Kim!!! All these great recipes. The food ones are awesome. My son eats ham so I'll have to make that. And of course the chocolate brownies for me!!!

    Can't wait to see your finds!


  3. Chipped Ham BBQ...that's what we call it :) Most people have no clue what we're talking about because "Chipped Ham" is just a PA Dutch thing. It's just thinly sliced chopped ham ;) It's one of my favs but Jer doesn't like it. Says it's "too sweet". That man drives me batty with that comment because he says he won't eat sweet stuff and then I've seen him eat 3 huge pieces of cake somewhere! LOL

    I hope your laundry soap stuff all works out for you :)

    Have a great weekend :)

  4. I actually know what fels naptha is!!! LOL. How funny is that? I didn't know over a year ago..but when we started making our own laundry soap..i quickly discovered what it was! LOL

    Yard saling is so fun! Glad you got to go!! I don't go very often...but would love to! :)

    thank you for your comments about my painting and hubby!!! LOL....you made me laugh!!!! :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Thank you for all of your work posting the laundry soap recipes! I think I might try the dry version.

  6. Oh here is the recipe! Guess I should have scrolled earlier. I'm looking forward to giving the dry detergent a try.