Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

Making natural liquid laundry soap is so easy, inexpensive, and great for the environment. I’m glad to say that despite the introduction of GST in Malaysia this year, we can still maintain our commitment to green cleaning at home by making our own natural laundry soap.

It takes only 30 minutes overall to make your own liquid laundry soap (including the time to divide it into containers).

This recipe I’m sharing with you makes 15 litres of soap (126 loads), which is enough to last my family slightly over 4 months (we run one load daily). The total cost is around RM39.50, which works out to only RM0.31 per load!

Compare this with store-bought “natural” liquid laundry detergent. One of the popular brands in Malaysia retails at RM47.70 for 50 loads, which works out to RM0.95 per load, 3 times the cost of homemade.

Conventional laundry detergent pollutes our earth with chemicals like sulfates, phenols, petroleum distillates and more, so all the more reason to switch to homemade natural laundry soap.

Ingredients

  • 1 bar natural soap or homemade soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby-Mild bar soap, 5 oz)
  • 1 cup Borax (I used 20 Mule Team Borax)
  • 1 cup Washing Soda (I used Arm & Hammer)
  • Essential oil (optional) (I used 10 drops of peppermint EO from an old bottle)
  • 15 litres plain tap water*

* Some other recipes use more water (all other ingredients remaining the same), bringing the total volume up to 19 litres, and users are apparently happy with the results. I chose to make my laundry soap more concentrated because of the amount of dirt our 4 kids get onto their clothes! I suppose when their messy days are over (if ever?), I may make 19 litres instead which would mean this recipe alone will enable us to run 160 loads across 5.3 months, decreasing the cost even further to RM0.20 per load!

What’s in these ingredients?

  • Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby-Mild bar soap is made with organic oils (coconut, palm, olive, and jojoba). Best of all, Dr. Bronner’s soaps are certified fair trade.

Dr Bronner's castile soap

  • Borax (sodium tetraborate) is a naturally occurring substance produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes. The 20 Mule Team Borax variety is free of phosphates, per-oxside, chlorine, and other additive chemicals. Some people have expressed concerns over the use of borax, but this well-researched article by Wellness Mama has convinced me of the safety of using it in laundry soap. Basically, we won’t be ingesting it or using it undiluted. In my view, this reasoning applies equally well to many other natural substances.

borax

  • Washing soda (also known as sodium carbonate or soda ash) is the water-soluble sodium salt of carbonic acid.

washing soda

Where to buy

(Prices at the time of writing:) 

  • 20 Mule Team Borax (available at Ace, RM38.05 for 76 oz)*
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (available at Ace, RM28.51 for 55 oz)*

* Borax and Washing Soda are useful for a myriad of natural household cleaning jobs, and they are used so minimally in our homemade cleaning concoctions so the cost of these items (reasonably priced already) are spread out over a long time.

Now for the recipe!

Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

  1. Add 2 litres of water to a medium-sized pot.
  2. Grate the entire bar of soap. (I used a cheese grater.) Add it into the water.
  3. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly until the soap dissolves.
  4. Add the borax and washing soda to the soap mixture. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour 13 litres of warm or hot water into a big bucket/pail that can contain at least 16 litres. (A large one that most people use for mopping floors will do just fine.)
  6. Add the soap-borax-washing soda mixture to this big pail of water. Stir well.
  7. Keep overnight and allow to cool in a safe place, away from children and pets.
  8. The next day, the mixture will have separated a little, but that’s ok. Add essential oil (if using). Stir well until combined.
  9. Pour into clean, empty containers. Using a funnel helps get the job done much faster and with minimal spills. (I recycled our empty milk cartons, cleaning and drying them well beforehand.)
  10. Use ½ cup per load (or up to 1 cup if clothes are really dirty). Shake before use.

How to make laundry soap

Does this liquid laundry soap work?

When researching numerous homemade laundry recipes online, I decided to go with liquid laundry soap instead of the dry powdered version as the liquid recipe ensures all the ingredients are well incorporated.

We have been using this laundry soap for exactly 2 weeks now. I usually add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of our front loader washing machine and am extremely pleased with the overall result.

(By the way, using white vinegar as an alternative to store-bought fabric softener is another healthier, environmentally friendly, very cheap and effective way of softening fabrics. Clothes don’t come out smelling like vinegar at all. On where to buy white vinegar in bulk and save cost, contact me here.)

With this homemade liquid laundry soap, the clothes come out without the distinct and heavy fragrance of conventional laundry detergent, but I prefer that because those fragrances are actually made of a mix of harmful chemicals. The fragrance of the peppermint essential oil in this recipe dissipates after the clothes are washed but adding the oil may extend the shelf life of this homemade laundry soap, given its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Given how simple this laundry soap is to make, its economical and environmentally responsible benefits, why not give it a try? You may never use store-bought again – and ease your budget!

 

Upcoming posts: Homemade liquid dish wash, homemade liquid body wash, homemade citrus cleaner and more.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Bronner’s Malaysia. All opinions are mine. I’m so glad these versatile, magic castile soaps are now available in Malaysia, both bar and liquid versions! You can also buy them at MacroB Malaysia, located at SS2, Petaling Jaya. Go ahead and like these Pages to get more updates on green cleaning and natural health!

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Banana cinnamon overnight oats

Most people hate oatmeal despite its nutritional value, so when I first became a mama I set out to help my children enjoy it from a young age. All our kids began eating oatmeal from the time they were toddlers and I’m glad to say they have been non-fussy, regular eaters of oats ever since.

I started preparing oats the traditional way, which involves cooking rolled oats in water over a stove and stirring occasionally. I quickly learned that doing this while having a baby riding on my hip took up simply too much of my time and energy.

That’s when I turned to instant oatmeal. What I loved about instant oatmeal was its simplicity – mix in hot water and voila! Done.

Instant oatmeal can taste pretty bland on its own, so I’ve always added a touch of fresh milk, ground flaxseed or chia seeds, fresh fruit (banana, apple, or mango) and a drizzle of honey. If I’m in a real hurry, I replace fresh fruit with dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or apricots. We have instant oatmeal like this between 2-3 times a week, served with eggs and a mug of kefir and the kids love it.

The convenience of preparing instant oatmeal definitely makes it a quick and easy option, but personally I have never liked its mushy consistency. Also, instant oatmeal is a processed version of rolled oats and therefore isn’t as great nutritionally.

Recently a friend introduced me to a fantastic way of preparing rolled oats without cooking it – overnight oatmeal. When I first heard about this idea of overnight oatmeal, I was disgusted. Eating raw oatmeal that had been soaked overnight simply did not impress me! However, missing the nutty flavour of rolled oats and having a possibility of abandoning processed, mushy instant oatmeal, I decided to give it a try.

I followed this recipe by Organize Yourself Skinny was pleasantly surprised! The kids oohed and aahed over it and Sweet Man enjoyed it too.

Overnight oatmeal, served in a jar, is now our favourite way of eating oatmeal. Basically, it is rolled oats soaked overnight in milk or any other nutritious liquid.

The best part I like about it is that because the oats get processed in the liquid, there is no cooking or additional work needed. I prepare it at night after the kids are in bed, and there’s hardly anything else to be done about it in the morning. Now that’s absolutely fantastic for a busy mama like me!

In the morning we just stir it up to loosen it, add a bit more liquid if we like, and enjoy. Sometimes we drizzle a bit of honey on top. We eat it cold, straight from the fridge and it’s a great refreshing start to the morning. You could warm it up on the stove, but since we all enjoy it cold I haven’t tried that.

So far I have used fresh cow’s milk. Recently I made almond milk and it’s sitting in my fridge now waiting to be used for our next serving of overnight oatmeal. I can’t wait to try it and will let you know how it goes!

So how do we prepare overnight oats? The two basic ingredients are 1 part rolled oats mixed with 1 part liquid. For the adults, I use 5 tablespoons oats and 5 tablespoons liquid. Our 9 and 7 year old kids manage 4 tablespoons of each, and our 4 year old eats 3 tablespoons. If we want our oats looser, we just add more liquid.

To enrich these basic ingredients, I add 3-5 tablespoons fruit, depending on how fruity I like our oats to be. So far, we’ve tried apple, banana, and fresh peaches – yummy! I also add other things to boost it up, like chia seeds (to add fiber, protein and omega fatty acids), organic raisins, and sometimes a dash of cinnamon.

Really, you could add any kind of spice, seeds, nuts, even chocolate chips. Just bear in mind that crunchy ingredients like nuts would be better added only in the morning so they don’t get mushy.

The method to prepare overnight oats is easy. Just 3 steps.

Step 1: Put all your ingredients into a jar, beginning with the oats, then other enriching ingredients.

oats

Step 2: Pour in milk, enough to cover the oats.

oats

Step 3: Stir contents, cap the jar, and leave overnight in the fridge.

Once prepared, overnight oatmeal can sit in the fridge between 5-8 hours before eating, so on the days that we have toast for breakfast I sometimes prepare overnight oatmeal in the morning to be eaten as an afternoon tea time snack.

Here’s a handy dandy printable for our most popular overnight oats recipe – Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats! 

Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 tbsp rolled oats
  2. 1 small banana, diced
  3. 3 raisins, roughly chopped
  4. 1 tsp chia seeds
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 5 tbsp milk, or enough to cover oats
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a jar, beginning with the oats.
  2. Pour in milk, enough to cover the oats.
  3. Stir contents, cap the jar, and leave overnight in the refridgerator.
Notes
  1. Before eating, stir contents and add more milk if desired.
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Have you tried overnight oats? Do you like it? If you have any other yummy and easy way of preparing oats, please let me know in the comments!

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