Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I have clean laundry, and lots of it.

Trumpets blaring. Red carpet rolls out. Lights dim as a figure enters, stage left.

Wait a second, my life isn't really a theatrical just feels that way. Forget all of that direction at the top. I'm here. It's been what, a week? That's like FOREVER in the blogosphere right? My little Pickles if finally better and I am mostly caught up on work. I am trying to catch up on all the blogs I missed during my little vacation that is, if you consider a vacation staying home from work with a hacking, crying, non-sleeping, non-eating, non-drinking child an actual vacation, then yes, I was on vacation. In all honesty I enjoyed spending cuddle time with my little guy. Before too long he won't be interested in cuddling Mommy anymore.

Not to disappoint, I have for you my post on homemade laundry soap! Man, I did some laundry while I was home. I used my homemade stuff the whole time and was deeply impressed.

The first true test was Pickle's brand new shirt that he had stained with a red Popsicle on the bright white collar. Since he was whiny and I was exhausted I had simply thrown it in the dirty clothes hamper and left it sit for a couple days, stain untreated. As I sorted the laundry and found it again, I thought, well this is gonna be playclothes aka not to be worn in public for sure. I rubbed a little of the homemade magic on the stain and threw it in with the load. One magical laundry cycle later and it was pristinely white again! I'm sold.

I had always heard about people making their own laundry "detergent." I was reading the Duggar's book (you know them, they have eleventy million children and have a show on TLC) and saw that she too made her own soap. I do my fair share of laundry so thought I'd save a few bucks by trying it too. Some people did like actual math and figured out the cost of this stuff per load and all that. Frankly, I'm not interested in doing math right this instant, so if you REALLY wanna know that info Google it.

What you'll need:

~Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (this is important as baking soda and washing soda are NOT the same thing. They are chemically different. While it is possible to convert baking soda to washing soda, it's silly to not just buy the correct stuff. (If you really want to convert baking soda to washing soda, email me and I'll give ya the low-down).
~Borax (Twenty Mule Team is the brand I used)~didn't even have to buy any. Had some left over from smothering the fleas in the carpet last summer yeah, THAT was fun
~Bar of soap. I used Fels Naptha laundry soap since it's intended purpose is stain removal, but from what I've read, any bar soap will do.
~Essential Oils (optional)
~5 gallon bucket
~Old laundry detergent containers or gallon milk jugs (washed out of course. Optional)

You'll need to either grate (like with a cheese grater) or shave (vegetable peeler) the soap down to small pieces. I used the veggie peeler and thought it worked wonderfully. Pull the soap pieces into a large pot, cover with water and boil until soap dissolves. Pour into 5 gallon bucket. Add 1 1/2 C each of the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well. Add enough hot water to fill the 5 gallon bucket. I did this by putting the bucket in the bathtub and filling it with hot water there.Stir well. At this point you can add the essential oils if you like. I had my oil of choice all ready but actually liked the clean, fresh smell that this concoction already had.

Set your bucket in a safe place only important if you have curious small children and allow it to cool overnight. Now, when you check it out the next day it will appear VERY thick and you'll think that it will NEVER be pourable. Is pourable a word?? Stir, stir, stir people. It will thin out as you stir it. You absolutely can leave it in the big bucket if you want. I funneled it into an old detergent bottle with a spigot and into a clean milk jug. Both work well.

Use about 1/2 Cup per load. You can thank me now ;)


Anissa said...

That sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing! Well this week I guess it is my turn -- My 3 year old has the flu! You can come to my blog to read about it! Glad to hear your little one is doing better!

Sassypants Wifey said...

I think I will so have to try this. I shall have to see if I can locate the washing soda. Do the clothes keep the scent after they are dried?

Shorty said...

Very cool! Thanks for the tutorial...

Roxane said...

Ive never heard of this before! How neat!

Redelsperger Family said...

Is this laundry soap safe for colors as well as whites?

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Love this! I just decided this weekend that I was going to try making my own laundry detergent. We are trying to cut as many chemicals out of our lives as we can! This just seems the way to go. This was timed so perfectly for my needs! Thank you!

Redelsperger Family said...

Mamma Ducky...I did it! My laundry is smelling so clean and fresh. Thanks for the idea!

~Tana@Crafting R&R