Here's how to make them:
1/2 Fels Naptha Bar
1/2 c. Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 c. Borax
2 c. water
Measure the Washing soda and Borax into a baggie or small bowl, mix well to combine and break up any chunks that may be in the soaps.
Very finely grate the 1/2 bar of fels naptha. In a medium size saucepan bring water to a boil, dump in the finely grated fels naptha and stir continuously until the fels is Completely melted. This should take about 8 minutes. If you're using an electric stove, it will take considerably longer. If your fels naptha is NOT finely grated, it will take considerably longer. Do not add additional water, you want the finished product to be very concentrated.
Once the soap is completely (100%) dissolved with NO chunks at all, add in the washing soda/borax mix, stirring constantly. It will be a very thick, creamy consistency. Remove from heat and pour into a medium size bowl, let it cool for at least 20 minutes.
Using a Hand mixer, Whip it until it has doubled in volume. Do not add any additional liquid, it is not necessary and will dilute the strength of your finished detergent.
Once the mixture has been whipped, form it into 48 balls. This can be done several different ways, a melon baller works perfectly to make even balls. Alternatively, we found this delightful mini-ice cube tray at the dollar store (Each slot holds 2 tsps)
Fill each slot, place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes, then pop out the Laundry Bombs. Again, if you don't have a mini ice cube tray you can use a melon baller. Each ball is about 2 teaspoons TOTAL.
Store them in a covered container or plastic bag. We prefer a covered container to prevent them from being broken/crushed.
Use 1 bomb per load. Simply toss it into the machine with your dirty clothes. This is fine for HE machines, front loaders, top loaders, old machines. The ingredients are all considered to be "Septic Safe".
:notes: Tips-Tricks and other Maladies . . . .
- Washing Soda is NOT the same as Baking soda and cannot be used interchangeably. Look at the photograph above to see what the ingredients should look like.
- We do NOT recommend using ZOTE in this recipe- it does not work nearly as well.
- Note how finely ground the fels naptha is in the photo above.
- To save time/energy and prevent further washing of more dishes we generally grate a years worth of fels naptha at a time. Grate a full bar, store it in a baggie or jar. Then, when we want to whip up another batch of Super Laundry Sauce or Lavender Laundry Sauce or Laundry Bombs, it's all ready to go.
Basic Questions we anticipate you asking:
- How did you grate the soap? With a food grater and then we chopped it finely with a knife.
- Do you use regular cooking pans? Yes, we use our regular cooking pans and then simply Wash them very very well.
- Do you use your kitchen Mixer or a Junk Mixer? I like to keep a junk mixer on hand, but since the motor burned out I used my very nice kitchen mixer. It's quite safe to use as long as you wash your dishes thoroughly when you're done. After all, you are using this detergent to clean your clothes and your dishcloths that you'll be washing and drying the dishes with, aren't you?!
- Does the mixture separate? No, unlike the Super Laundry Sauce recipe, this mixture should not separate as it contains very little water.
- Should I use hot or cold water when washing my clothing? YES. (haha, what I mean is, use whatever you prefer, it dissolves fine in both.
If you are unable to find the ingredients at your local big box store (aka walmart, target, Kmart, CVS, etc) you can order them online from Amazon.com.
Budget101 Budget Breakdown:
Fels Naptha .99 bar - uses 1/2 bar = .49 1/2 cents
Borax 76 oz box = 9.5 cups $3.29 box = .34 c per cup - uses 1/2 cup = .17 cents
Washing Soda 55 oz box =6.875 cups - $2.97 box = .43 per cup uses 1/2 c. = 21 1/2 cents
Total Expense for 48 loads of Laundry = $0.88 or about .02 per load