Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Laundry (Soap) Day

This is another one of those 'I'm a cheapy' things. Nearly two years ago we were just moved into our new house as a married couple and when I went to buy a new bottle of laundry detergent I just shook my head at the gastly price. Geez! Nearly $20 for a bottle to last us a month. I had seen homemade laundry detergent recipes here and there on the web but I just never thought it would be worth it. But I changed my mind. The next time I was low on detergent I went out and invested a whole $10 on supplies to make soap. A four pack of Ivory soap bars (on sale), a box of washing soda, and a box of Borax. Then I made my first batch and here goes nothing. Well, I was a changed girl. Two years later I am only on my third bar of soap from my supplies and have 2/3 full boxes of soda and Borax. I have spent less than $5 a year on laundry soap. YOU can too. It takes 10 minutes. Can you say no brainer?

I use just a very generic recipe you will find pretty much everywhere on the internet. A little tip though, if you have really hard water add more washing soda to your mix and it will help the soap rinse out better (it softens the water), reverse that if you have really soft water.

1 bar of Ivory soap, finely grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
2 gallons of water
3-5 gallon bucket, whatever you have.

First, grate your soap... like this:

Then measure 8 cups of the water and microwave until VERY hot. You can do it on the stove top in a pot but it's a pain, this is easier!

Add grated soap to the water... like this:

After you have added all the soap, do it slowly to avoid lumps, and it is dissolved you can add the borax and washing soda. The mixture will get thick very quickly but just keep stiring!

Pour the mixture into your bucket and make your first addition of water warm. Mix well, then, to speed up the process and make the soap not separate as bad, make the rest cold water for a total of 2 gallon (or 32 cups) of water used. I put a fill line on my bucket to take out the measuring step. Whisk (yes, with a whisk, silly) the final mixture for about a minute and then let it finish cooling, whisking it now and a again until completely cool. When it is, pour it in your bottle of choice and use about 1/2 cup per load, more if you are washing boy/man clothes, about half that for cloth diapers.

This is unscented soap. If you love scent, essential or fragrance oils can be added.

Please give this a try, let me know how you like it!

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