October 21, 2010

Crazy AND Practical....but well travelled too.

I make my families laundry detergent. According to my Bunny, its weird and kinda embarassing.."Who DOES THAT Mom??" Ha!Ha! I DO!!. My house smells delish, I feel very home-maker-y, it's enviromently-lovely and it takes all of 10 minutes. Plus, this stuff is cheaper than dirt to make. I know, I just bought a small bag of dirt at Home Depot and it was like 4 bucks..Thats cheap? For dirt?....Now I may be a bit crazy, but Im also quiet practical... I like to make things..I like to use my hands to create...and I think there are certain things out there in the world that are not as complicated to do for yourself as one is lead to believe..homemade, good for the enviorment, chemical free for you, inexpensive laundry soap is exactly one of those things!! I used to buy detergent. Id spend hours (slight exaggeration) in the laundry soap aile..smelling and smelling but really...for $10-$20 bucks per bottle..I just knew "pppfffttttt I could do that and it will be so much better" and as a one income family of 3 who likes to travel and me who loves to meet up with my girls for lotsa wine and appy's , my $10-$20 savings in laundry soap has taken us places..OoooOoo..the places we've been taken..with a 7 day Disney carribean cruise up and coming (in 84 sleeps)  followed immediatly with 5 more days at Walt Disney World..So, (holding out my hands like the scales of justice) expensive laundry soap OR 2 weeks of straight Disney-ness and Carribean beaches?? (Probably followed soon after for the Mister and I only, a trip to Vegas to get a lil Disney cleanse)
Now, everyone that I tell this laundry secret to looks bewildered and amazed, like I just levitated..then they want to know how....and pictures are better.

So, I prefer liquid deterent..just to make it sound even more complicated..Stay with me...its not.

Whatcha need is:

This and water. Thats it folks! Washing Soda, Borax, a bar of Sunlight soap and a pail....Now to put this into el cheapo perspective..Ive been making this for exactly one year...I bought these 2 boxes a year ago and I have enough in it to make probably 2 more batches. I paid $5.50-ish per box...the Sunlight bars are 2 for $1 and bla bla bla...the total PER load is CHEAP! Do the math if you want to...Im not.

I get free pails! Took a lil bit to get the pickle smell out but worth it I think...pickle smelling laundry isnt a great idea..altho, Im sure some would disagree, so if pickle smelling unmentionables interest you at all, let me know, Ill hook you up. 

Grate your soap..the whole bar. Now, I love to use Sunlight. you can use any *real* soap...Ivory, Castile..just make sure its not a fake, soap-like beauty bar. I love Sunlight because I find it gels up awesome at the end and smells the best too...Yummm Lemon!

Add your whole grated bar soap to 4 cups of water and toss it all on the stove on high heat. We need to melt the soap.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen...
Add 1.5 cups of Borax & 1.5 cups of washing soda to the pail
 (I know you see I have a different pail...My pickle pail full of hot water and melted soap, which then needs to be taken off the counter makes me nervous, so I use a smaller 10L pail here)
Im also running my water which I know is a no-no except here. Im getting my hot water running. Once the powders are measured in, add the hot water. I measured once and marked my pail with a marker, but its about 7 litres of hot water...stirring to help disolve the powders.

When the soap is all melted..add it to the pail..stir it up...

NOW.. I poured that mixture into my pickle bucket sitting on the floor. At this stage you can leave it and have it ridiculously concentrated and just use less per load OR you can be like me and add some water...I feel like if I only add a very very small amount of soap to my laundry, it wont work as well...even tho I know it will..its a mind game thing and exactly what the big laundry detergent companies bank on when they sell small concentrated super expensive detergents..they KNOW that we'll use more..because we think a small amount wont cut it..so we add a bit more, bit more, bit more until we feel like its enough and BAM, we're off to the store sooner to buy the same expensive bottle...what jerks eh?

In any case, here I add about 5-6-7-ish more litres of water to the bucket. Ahhh..depends on the day..

Put your concoction aside to cool...preferrably overnight. It will gel up ..and depending on how much water you added at the end, will depend on its thickness. Its all up to you and your prefrence for the concentration.. I scoop out mine with a measuring cup straight from the pail but you could add this to an old detergent bottle and use it that old way...Its your fancy, but shake it up before use..For the recipe I did here,  I'll use 1/2 cup per load.....front washers use 1/4 cup...

I  always always add 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar to my rinse cycle to soften clothes and remove residue's of soap, sweat or smell. Dont worry, your laundry wont smell like vinegar after it dries...This also cleans out my washing machine drum and pipes at the same time, which is especially important as real soap does leave a residue over time..if you dont use vinegar as a rinse agent, about once a month, run your washer on the hot setting and use a cup of vinegar in it to clean it up.
Also, these soaps dont suds up like commercial cleaners because the chemical that creates suds are not there.

Enjoy! We LOVE our laundry soap and I think works just as well if not better than what I used to buy...I wont ever go back..Play around with the quantites that work for you. I dont use these exact amounts anymore because Ive tinkered with what works for us and now, know how much to add of everything by my black jiffy marker lines on the pail.

This one batch lasts my family for months...and months..and months. Now whoever did the math...let me know the cost per load...Im not going to actually figure it out for myself, Im happy with just "cheaper than dirt cheap" but Im pretty sure, each load is less than pennies...

Sidenote: My daughter is 10...making our soap is now her chore to do. Fear not concernd parents, Im in the kitchen with her..usually reading a trashy novel and eating potato chips! :-)

Some more Recipes: In short version

Natural Liquid Laundry Soap Mix #2
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing soda
1/4 cup Baking soda (optional..to help with smell)
1/8 cup liquid castile soap

I make this as I need it..adding all the ingregients directly in to my washer..I use it for blankets and comforters or heavy soiled or smelly loads (campfires smelly clothes, blankets on beds that go longer between washing, the dog's bed ) for a deep clean. I also buy Peppermint or Lavender Castile soap anyways to clean my house with, so I have this stiff anyways..and my laundry smells so yummy!

Powder Natural Laundry Soap 
1   Soap bar
1  Cup Washing Soda
½  Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients.
For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)


1 comment:

  1. amazing tute! I don't see myself ever doing this, but found it very interesting! I do very little laundry, so those products would probably last me forever!
    thanks for linking up!


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