Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade laundry soap

I've made laundry soap before, mostly for fun, and found that it was a big pain - mainly because it was liquid; it was hard to stir, hard to store, and just a mess to pour into the container you were going to use it from.  So when I saw a way to make it in powdered form, I thought I would give it another shot.
I bought Purex Crystals, washing soda, baking soda, borax, and Oxi Clean.  I didn't think to write down the sizes on these - sorry.  But I found them easily in the washing detergent section of Wal-Mart.
I used the entire contents of each.
I also added bar soap.  I grated up enough to equal 2 cups.  I chose the hardest slivers of soap I had, so they would grate up fine and dissolve easily in the wash.  The Chinese soap seems to work well - I read that you shouldn't use beauty bars like Dove or Tone - too much oil in the soap can make spots on your clothes. Or you can buy Fels Naptha bar soap, also sold where laundry soap is.  I just happened to have a lot of small used bars handy.
 The mix of sandalwood and jasmine soaps smelled divine!
 I found a big stockpot in the garage to mix it all up in.  Next time I will do this step on the back patio, as the dust really flies, and it's not fun to breathe it in!
 The empty Purex and Oxi containers made good containers to store a portion for me, and for The Girl.  I want her to test it out - I wrote the instructions for her on the top of the cap and included the small scoop that came with the Oxi.  I can pour the mixture easily into this bottle - genius, I say.
 For a large load set on  "super" for water level, I would probably use two capfuls of soap, otherwise one seems to work fine.  And I pour it in as I'm letting the machine fill so it has extra time to dissolve before I pile the clothes in.  Most of our things I wash on cold and it doesn't seem to be an issue.
All the extra soap fit nicely into this plastic lidded bin I stored above the washer.
So far, so good.  I've done a couple of loads and they seem clean and smell great.  I didn't do the math to figure out how much per load I am saving, if any.  It cost $18 to make and I am curious to see how long it will last - I am keeping track of how many loads I do - typically, I do roughly 8-10 loads per week.  It was fun to do and great knowing I have enough laundry soap to last a while.  Have you ever made your own laundry soap?

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