If you are a soap maker, you have at some point come across the controversy of soaps verses detergents. Many see soap as a natural product whereas detergents are synthetic creations coming from a lab. In reality, both soaps and detergents are synthetic products that take naturally occurring chemicals and synthesize them into a new product. The big difference for soapers is that soap is easy to make at home while detergent is far too complex. Soap and detergent, while both good at cleaning, have different properties when placed in different environments. The biggest difference is that when soap is placed in hard water or an acidic solution, it forms a scum that is difficult to get out of clothes (if using for washing). Detergent does not suffer from this problem. The other major difference is that detergent works as efficiently in cold water as in warm. It is really these two reasons that detergent has taken over the laundry soap business.
The basic ingredients you will need to make your own laundry soap are:
- 3 oz soap (preferably homemade)
- half a cup washing soda
- half a cup borax
Soap: You really can use any bar of soap you like for this. I tend to like to use a simple soap that is made of 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 palm oil and 1/3 coconut oil that has been made with very little superfat discount. You will need to use about 3-4 oz of soap for this recipe.