Grated Soap

My trusty Salad Shooter, one of the precious gifts I received at my wedding shower just about twenty years ago, had a big day today.

This aging little appliance — it is not the same model shown in the link, but a much earlier version — did something today it had never done before: it grated a bar of Ivory soap.

Why, you may ask? Because, after reading many web articles about making your own laundry detergent, I decided to try it myself, and grated soap is one of the three ingredients required, along with Borax and washing soda.

Is it easy to grate soap? It is very easy, and very similar to grating mozzarella cheese, which is what grated Ivory soap looks like. In fact, a puerile practical joker could fool just about anybody by sprinkling grated Ivory soap on top of a pizza, but I’m not puerile or inclined to practical jokes, so I don’t have to worry about that.

How did the homemade laundry detergent turn out? It seems to have been a great success. The clothes look clean, and they don’t seem to have any soap residue on them. If we go out in the rain and our clothes begin to bubble, I’ll let you know.

I think I’m going to like making my own laundry detergent. The batch I made today should last about a month, but soon I’ll get to grate soap again. Hooray!

"Susan's Own" Laundry Detergent

"Susan's Own" Laundry Detergent


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sunnymama said,

    Oh I would like to try this!

    • 2

      sgaissert said,

      Oh, you really should. I’ve done eight loads with it so far, and we’re very pleased with the results. Also, since you only need two to three heaping plastic teaspoons per load, that mound I photographed is barely changed. I’ll post cost per load later, when I get a grip on it. Recipes on the Internet abound, but let me know if you’d like the recipe I used.

  2. 3

    sunnymama said,

    I’d love the recipe you used!

    • 4

      sgaissert said,

      Here it is, adapted from

      1 cup grated Ivory soap; 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda); 1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax.
      Mix, and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

      Big batch: To make a large batch, grate 6 bars of Ivory soap, and then add 3 cups of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well, and store in covered container.

      TIP: Homemade detergent will not make suds in your washer, so don’t be alarmed. Ivory soap is pure and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new high-efficiency washers, as well as traditional washers. You also will notice the need to reduce your laundry softener; in most cases, you even can eliminate the use of softener completely. You also can use white vinegar in the last rinse (one cup is plenty) to remove all traces of detergent.

      I made the small batch. Also, I have not needed the vinegar in the rinse.

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