Sunday, August 10, 2008
If you are interested in saving your family some money but not willing or able to go as far as something like cloth diapers or make your own bread, (yet!), here is a great project for you (and your children) that will wow everyone when you say, "we make our own laundry soap!"
I ran across this recipe in a free quarterly magazine that Beeyoutiful (link on right) sends out. (FYI-More Than Alive and Bulk Herb Store also send out free magazines/catalog full of lots or great tips and info!) It was originally a conversation from a forum board at http://www.welltellme.com/ on how to make homemade laundry soap. I am so amazed at how well this works every time we make it. There are lots of differing opinions as to how much bar soap to put in the recipe and how much to put in the washing machine but this will get you started. Then you can play with it and figure out what works best for you! Post a comment if you find something that worked well for you or you have any other tips.
Homemade Laundry Soap:
2 bars soap (Ivory is cheapest but has a strong scent; a natural soap is best but costs more; some recipes say to use less soap??)
1 cup Borax (detergent aisle; some like to omit this item & just use 2 c. washing soda instead-this will make your soap more "green" (edible if you use gray water to water a garden /lawn with)
1 cup Washing Powder (Arm & Hammer makes a big yellow box found on the detergent aisle)
5 gallon bucket
Essential Oils-optional-whatever scent you like; lime, lemon, orange, etc.
Grate soap bars with a cheese grater, put in a small saucepan , & cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill 5 gallon bucket with hot water and add soap. Stir to combine. Add washing soda and borax, mix well. As it cools it will thicken. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load.
I put the 5 gallon bucket in the bath tub, fill it with everything, and give my children yardsticks to stir until their hearts content. This way the spills are contained and the bath tub getts a little free cleaning : ) It is so cool how it starts to thicken and get globby. Then we use a 1 cup measuring cup and keep it by the machine so Cody, my loader, can just scoop up a cup and put it in.
I sometimes use vinegar as a fabric softener, so a couple of times we added vinegar to the bucket. I will warn you however that if you wait to add it until everything else is already in and the bucket is full, you will have a mess and waste quite a bit. The next time we did it, we added the vinegar to everything else but only filled it with half water. What happens is a great science experiment making lots of fizzing and bubbling. It's like a volcano explosion experiment on a much larger scale and your not wasting all the ingredients. Lots of fun!
Let me know how it goes or if you have any questions.