Making soap for laundry follows the same process and making soap for cleansing your body but there are some differences. In making regular soap, you want some excess oils, to condition the skin. With making laundry soap, you don't want excess oils as the oils will spot the laundry or could. I also don't color laundry soap. I am pretty sure my laundry doesn't want or need pretty colors and swirls and in fact, they may stain white or light colors. I also use one of two oils for making laundry soap, lard as I have here or 100% coconut oil which we sell but is also readily available at most grocery stores now. You can choose to make it scented as I have or, if you have a family member with allergies or sensitivities you can leave it unscented.
To make laundry soap, you will need the following:
Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
Distilled Water (ICE COLD!)
A Plastic, or non-aluminum pan for mixing the soap and a plastic pitcher for mixing the lye
Fragrance Oil (I used the BNL Clean Cotton)
Lard or Coconut Oil 1 lb (by weight)
Stick Blender or Wire Whisk and a Spatula to scrape the bowl
A mold for the soap. Silicone baking molds work great for this since shape won't matter!
To make the soap with lard, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.25 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.
To make the soap with coconut oil, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.95 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.
- Mix your lye and water first. To do this be sure to have everything you need where you can reach it. Measure and pour your ICE COLD distilled water into a plastic pitcher or measure cup.
- Weigh your lye into a glass container (do not use plastic, static causes the lye beads to catch and jump!).
- Wear long sleeves, gloves, eye protection and a respirator mask for this step.
- Be sure that all children and pets are away from your location and can not reach the solution as it cools!
- SLOWLY add the lye to the water while mixing. Mix until the solution becomes clear, this will take a few minutes. The solution will become VERY hot, I recommend using a vent of some sort or opening a window during this process. The fumes can be very strong.
- If you spill lye on a surface, douse with vinegar to neutralize before cleaning it up. If you should spill lye on yourself. IMMEDIATELY rinse well with cold water! Lye is dangerous, so taking these measures for safety are imperative. ON that note, I've never had an accident in my 15 years making soap!
- Allow to cool to room temp.
- Now heat your oil just until it is melted. Add the fragrance to the oil (1 weight ounce).
- Next slowly pour your lye solution into the oil while stirring with the stick blender or the whisk. Once they are blended, you can now blend until it reaches the consistency of cooked pudding.
Have fun making this amazing and simple soap!
Happy Soap Making!