2010-04-11

Laundry WOW!!

When I posted my laundry question last week never did I imagine I would get so many helpful answers (both here and on Facebook!!).  I am going to put together a list of all the great tips and tricks you've shared with me, but for now, while I try to put that all together, my sweet friend King J's Queen, is guest posting for me, with her recipe for homemade laundry soap, as well as a few tips and tricks she has learned!!  Thanks for sharing this with us!!

The recipe I use is a modified version of the one that Queen of Chaos shared on her blog. I've seen it around the web in lots of places and the basic ingredients seem to be the same. The bar of soap runs around $1. The washing soda is about $3.50, and it is the hardest thing to find (I found it at Kroger). The borax is around $2.50.



1 bar of soap (laundry soap or some bath soaps - I now use white Dial soap and another friend uses Ivory)
1 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of borax
water
fragrance/essential oils, if desired (I don't use them.)
5 gallon bucket with lid
clean, empty detergent container


To make the laundry soap, heat 4 cups of water in a big pot.
Grate the soap with a cheese grater into the pot. (You can also use a food processor, but I find it gums the blades.)
Cook it over low to medium heat until the soap melts completely. This is the longest phase of the process.
Once the soap is completely melted, pour it into the 5 gallon bucket.
Then, immediately pour in the washing soda and borax. Stir until they are dissolved.
Continue adding hot water to the bucket, and stirring, until the bucket is full.
Then, put on the lid and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, you will have a thick gel. Go ahead and stir it again. Then, fill your detergent container with 1 part soap and one part water, leaving a little headroom for shaking.
You will need to shake this every time you use it. (Small inconvenience compared to the savings).
If you want to add fragrance, add it to each diluted jug, rather than the 5 gallon tub.
Use 1/4 cup per load for a front loader, 3/4 cup per load for a top loader.


If you prefer powder detergent, the soap, soda and borax are the same and in the same quantities. But, the process is a little different. Grate the soap. Stir together the grated soap, the soda and the borax. Then, process this in a food processor until it is very, very fine. Store in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons of powder per load, depending on the soil level and load size. I haven't tried the powder version, because I haven't used powder detergent in many years. I just prefer the liquid.


I will share a couple of lessons I learned the hard way. Maybe it'll save you a hassle. Buy a brand new 5 gallon tub and lid. I made the mistake of using one second hand. The detergent took on the odors of the previous contents and I ended up throwing the detergent out after a few weeks. Also, make sure to grate the soap thoroughly. That last little chunk is a pain to grate, and I tossed it in. It did not want to melt! I ended up with a glop from it. Not a big deal, since I only lost maybe a tablespoon of the liquid, but it was worth mentioning. Each time I refill my laundry jug, I use a large measuring cup, fill it halfway with the soap gel, whisk it with my wire whisk, add water and pour it in.


It's actually a fun kid project, and would probably be something your kids would enjoy helping with. Princess E does some of the soap grating and she gets to put it in the hot water (it's not boiling). Little fingers tire of grating soap before the soap gets small enough to grate the backs of fingers. LOL


As for the cost of it, each 5 gallon bucket (10 gallons diluted), costs about $1.67 to make. Mine is actually less because my preferred soap is cheaper. The washing soda and borax each last a long time and make many batches. I keep them in Ziploc bags inside their original boxes, just so they don't absorb humidity. A new bucket and lid costs about $3.50 at Home Depot. It's a one-time expense. You can make smaller batches, too, if space is an issue. Just keep your ratios the same.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this, I am definitely going to try it!

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  2. Wow! this sounds pretty easy. I think I will try it! thanks

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  3. I have always wanted to do this...just never gotten up the motivation to get to the store and pick up the ingredients...I know...lame

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  4. It is so exciting to have my first guest post ever! Thank you for the opportunity. :-)

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  5. I do this too! Although I prefer the powder version. It's just that much easier for me to make. I love that pink soap in it...can't remember the name right now. But it makes it look so pretty too!

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  6. That is very cool!! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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  7. this is awesome... i am wondering how well it does with stains?

    for the cost it is definitely worth trying...

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