Grate your soap using a cheese grater.
The Fels Naphta is a dryer soap, and grates finer, resulting in less volume. The Pink Zote soap above is a big, moist bar and grates a larger volume. I used both bars...since I had gotten them both and couldn't choose one or the other. Some people suggested letting your bars of soap dry out for a certain amount of days before grating, to get a finer grated result... some even blended in blender or food processor. I am sure that those are great ideas, but I had no patience to dry out my soap, and got such great pleasure in grating it up with a cheese grater. It looked, felt and smelled beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself doing it. I know, I'm a little weird.
Mix the dry ingredients with the grated soap.
Store in a pretty Container. Use a pretty scooper to scoop it up.
3 -4 Bars grated soap (Fels Naptha, Castille, Zote or Ivory)
1 Box Washing Soda(3 lb, 7oz ): This not baking soda
1 Box Borax (4 lbs, 12 oz)
1 Box Baking Soda (the larger size... 4 lbs)
Oxy Clean (you can get it inexpensively at the Dollar Store). I put this in separately as needed for heavily stained clothes, or loads... but many people mixed it in with their laundry detergent. Do as you like.
Mix all ingredients Together. I used my biggest mixing bowl... someone suggested mixing it in a trash bag... it sounded like a good idea.
Use 2 Tb per load (I double that, because we have very hard water). Pour soap into washing machine as it is filling (I have found that, although using hot water adds to your costs somewhat, it is best to start with hot water, to dissolve and activate the soap and Borax and is usually best all around in removing dirt and stains.
Here are a few tidbits that I learned when I did a little study and decided to share them with you.
Fels Naphta: My daughter, Marie was given a bar of this for her first baby shower. I had never heard of it before that (where have I been?). I loved the idea of it, and have since used it. I also love the smell of it. It is a laundry bar soap intended for the pre-treatment of stains by rubbing the dampened product on a soiled area prior to laundering. The manufacturer claims it to be most effective in removing chocolate, baby formula, perspiration, and make-up.
Castile Soap is named so because it originated in the Kingdom of Castilla, a part of the country that we know today as Spain. The name Castilla (or in English, Castile) means land or region of castles. It was a region that was first to use olive oil instead of lard or tallow in their soap making because of their abundant olive trees. The word Castile is now used generically when referring to a vegetable oil based soap. Coconut oil often falls in this category. Incidentally, coconut oil based soap adds a natural softener to the laundry.
Zote Soap is from Mexico and is bar soap as well as a laundry bar soap. I have also seen Zote soap flakes at the grocery store, and have tried them and liked them. It is the least expensive per its size that I have found, and I love the smell of it.
Ivory soap is descriptive of your basic bar of soap with no special additives. Any hard bar soap like it works well.
Washing Soda is not the same thing as Baking soda, although one of its manufacturers is Arm and Hammer... the makers of Baking soda. They are a slightly different chemical make up and have different functions in the washing machine. Washing soda is a common base ingredient in many laundry soaps and works as a water softener and stain remover.
Borax is a laundry booster, and works a little like a bleach. Apparently, when combined with hot water, it converts to hydrogen pyroxide.
Baking soda can be very effective at removing stains formed by age. Because it is a natural cleaner, your older linens can be trusted to be whitened and brightened by its effects. It is also a good odor remover and is good for neutralizing acid based stains, such as vomit and urine.
Vinegar is an acid. It can be used in a clothes washer as a laundry booster / fabric softener / water conditioner . In other words, it is wonderful for removing stains, mildew (I love it for towels that have gotten that mildewy stinky smell... bleach is the only other thing I know to get that out, (and that's not usually the best option), it is also great for breaking down hard water, and leaves your clothes soft (no need for a fabric softener). Don't use it directly on your delicate fabrics, because it is acidic and can be hard on them.
For cleaning and deodorizing laundry: I usually use 2-3 cups added to the laundry before the detergent, to pre-soak a stinky dirty load. Use a pre-soak cycle, or soak as long as you feel necessary, then drain and wash as usual.
For Fabric Softener: Add about 1/2 to 1 cup to your final rinse for a fabric softener and freshener. That is what I use depending on the load size. I have seen every variation of suggested use, I know that so much of it depends on the hardness of your water, and the size of your load. Experiment.
Powder or Liquid? Hot, warm or cold? Agitation, soak or rinse? Chemistry? Do you have hard water or soft; these are all questions to consider; so here are a few tips that might give you an answer:
- Vinegar together with Baking Soda will neutralize each other. so consider the timing of what you are using For example: if you are soaking something in Baking Soda, its best to hold off on the vinegar until the rinse load; if you are soaking something in vinegar, do it first, drain, and then add your soap (if it has baking soda) afterwards
- Increase the temperature of the wash water. Grease and oil based grime don’t come out as easily in cold water.
- Put your soap in first, it will distribute and disolve better this way.
- Put less clothes in the wash so they agitate/tumble better.
- Use more detergent for hard water, and less for soft.
- Soak the load before you run it.
- Liquid detergent is more easily dissolved and evenly distributed in cold water washes.
Happy Laundering Everyone!