Since I’ve been a member of Birchbox I’ve had the opportunity to try – as well as discover – a lot of new bath, body and beauty products I’d never even heard of before. One such product I recently found was The Laundress® Wash and Stain Bar. This soap bar is made from a combination of vegetable soap, borax and essential oils and touts that it is not only able to eliminate pesky stains in hard-to-reach places but is also perfect for hand washing or laundering on the go. Six bucks gets a small 2 oz. bar of this soap in most stores, however, if you’re practical and crafty you can make your own wash and stain soap bar for a lot less and customize the fragrance to suit your own needs.
You can make this homemade laundry soap and stain remover bar in one of two ways – via a cold process soap recipe or by the handmilling (also known as rebatching) soapmaking method. I lightly scented mine with lime peel essential oil which is known to help cut grease, however, scenting options are endless. Here’s how to make your own:
DIY Natural Wash & Stain Soap Bar Recipe
5.2 oz. lye (sodium hydroxide)
11 fluid oz. distilled water
This recipe will yield approximately ten 4.5 oz. soap bars (or 12 4 oz. bars) and uses one of my wooden soapmaking molds. You can find 20 Mule Team Borax in most grocery and super stores in the laundry aisle.
To craft this natural laundry bar you will need to follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients and mixing with a stick (immersion) blender once you combine the cooled lye-water and oils. When your soap reaches a light trace stir in the .75 oz. (by weight) of borax and .4 oz. of lime essential oil. Mix thoroughly then pour into your lined soap mold, cover and insulate for 24 hours. Finally, unmold your soap loaf and cut into bars and allow to cure for a minimum of three weeks. This recipe makes a super hard bars of homemade of laundry and stain soap so they should last you a long time.
If you prefer to leave your bar unscented, then skip the essential oils. Or add your own favorite essential oil blend or skin safe fragrance oil to the recipe. This recipe makes a light lime scented soap. For more fragrance you can use up to 1 oz. of essential oils in this batch or up to 2 oz. of your favorite fragrance oil.
To craft a handmilled version of this natural laundry and stain soap bar:
Finely grate 12 4 oz. (by weight) bars of natural cold process vegetable soap and place into a sauce pan on the stove. Weigh out .75 oz. of borax and dissolve in 18 fluid of distilled water. Then add this water to the soap and heat on medium-low until soap melts. (Photos of the process.) Now weigh out and stir in .2 oz. of your essential oil of choice, stirring to thoroughly combine. Finally, pour into a loaf soap mold and set aside. Once the soap has hardened you can remove the loaf of soap from the mold and slice into bars. Allow excess water to evaporate before using.
To use simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spot before washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.