Friday, October 3, 2008

Home made laundry soap

I've been making my own laundry soap for a while, and I've really enjoyed it. For me, there's something therapeutic about hand grating a bar of soap and using it to create a less expensive alternative to store bought laundry detergent.

I usually just grate up the soap and make a powdered laundry detergent using this recipe:
  • 1 bar Zote Soap
  • 1 bar Ivory Soap
  • 3 cups Borax
  • 3 cups Washing Soda
Grate Zote soap and Ivory soap with a fine blade of a food processor or a cheese grater. Mix in borax and washing soda and keep in air tight container. Use 1-2 tblspn per washerload.

My last batch of laundry soap, I had found a recipe to use castille laundry soap, and I wanted to try to combine the two. So I made up this recipe:
  • 1/4 cup liquid lavendar castille soap
  • 1/3 bar Zote soap, fine grated
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
Pour castille soap into the bottom of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup each of borax and washing soda. Mix in castille soap and stir to well incorporate the soap into the borax and washing soda. Add grated Zote soap, borax and washing soda. Mix well. Keep in air tight container. Use 1-2 tblspn per wahserload.

I liked this version. My clothes seemed to come out really clean, with a light lavendar smell, and soft.

But with both powedered versions, I did find that the soap didn't dissolve completely in cold washer loads. So I wanted to make a "liquid" version to see if that would help.

So yesterday I tried my hand at making a super concentrated version. I used a stove top sauce pan, a wire whisk, a plastic spoon, and a 2 gallon pickle bucket I heisted from Applebee's my last night as a manager (well cleaned and aired out of course).

My ingredients were:
  • 1/2 cup liquid castille soap (optional)
  • 1/2 bar Zote soap, fine grated
  • 1/2 bar Ivory soap, fine grated
  • 1 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1 1/2 cup Washing soda
While I was grating the soap I filled a tea kettle with water and heated the water over high heat. I grated the soap and placed it in a stove top saucepan, and turned the heat onto medium, and then poured in the hot water to cover the grated soap. The hot water melted most of the soap, but I kept it over medium low heat till all of the soap was melted.

I filled the 2 gallon bucket half full with hot water, and measured in the Borax and Washing soda. Then I used the wire whisk to stir the water and till the borax and washing soda was dissolved. Then I poured in the melted soap and mixed again. I filled the bucket with more water to 3-4" from the top. Then I measured in the castille soap and stirred with the plastic spoon.

I let it sit on the counter to cool and gel. Every 30 minutes or so I would give it a good stir to help it gel evenly. After about 2 hours it had cooled almost completely and was almost solid. I stirred it one more time to break up the solid.

When I did my laundry yesterday I used 1/4 cup per washer load. My clothes come out clean, but they don't have the lavendar smell I was hoping they would from the castille soap. I think I may tweek my recipe by adding Lavendar essential oil drops.


bubbebobbie said...

How fun to be experimenting. What exactly is Zote soap? Hope you get the desired product soon.It the lavendar oil works you can try season fragrances like pumpkin and cinnemon!
Because of Jesus, Bobbie

Pam said...

It is wonderful that you are saving money by doing this. It's a great idea and environmentally friendly.

Canadagirl said...

I LOVE making my own detergents and cleaners and such ! Not only does it save money but it give such a good feeling and satisfaction along with it !!! I think I need to experiment with some essential oils in my liquid laundry detergent. I don't know if you have seen my Tightwad Tuesdays but I have been posting on things like this the last week or two now. [0=

Blessings in Him<><

rodnamomof2 said...

Let me know if you figure one out for an he washer that has to be liquid.