Thursday, December 8, 2011

Adventures In Laundering....Part 2

While I still have tons of powdered laundry detergent left, I decided to test out a liquid version, found on the lovely blog, Why Not Sew? I halfed the original recipe as I didnt have a 2 gallon pot.

Original Recipe-Liquid Laundry Soap
  • 1 bar of soap
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
Yields 2 Gallons.

Lesha's Test Try
  • 1/2 bar of Fels Napa Soap
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 1/2 cup of Washing Soda
  • 1 oz of essential oils (Optional)
Yields 1 Gallon

Grate the soap into your S.O.P, (Soap Only Pot.) and add a 1/2 gallon of water, cook until the soap dissolves. Add the Borax & Washing Soda, bring to a boil, it will thicken. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 gallon of cold water & essential oil. Mix well and pour into a gallon container (A milk jug works perfectly.) I poured mine into my old detergent container. Use 1/2 cup per load.

Notes: After a few hours, this detergent thickened ALOT. So much that it wouldn't come through the spout on my detergent bottle. Next time I am going to use 1/4 bar of soap to the halfed ingredients to see if it makes it a bit thinner.

Breakdown cost of the original liquid recipe.
  • 1 box of Washing Soda ($4) is approximately 6.5 cups (55 oz box)
  • 1 box of Borax ($4) is approximately 9.5 cups (76 oz box)
  • 3 bars of Fels Napa($3, $1 each)
Total: $12.00

Using the original recipe, 1 cup of each makes 2 gallons of detergent. Using almost all the washing soda (6 cups) and 6 cups of the borax, and 3 bars of soap (1/2 bar per 2 gallons) you can make 12 gallons of detergent.

That's 192 cups. At a 1/2 cup a load, you can get 384 loads of laundry for $12 (without the addition of the essential oils) That's $.03125 per load of laundry.

This version worked just as well as our powdered version in which $25 (minus oils) gets you 3.5 gallons (that's 56 cups.) At 1/8 cup per load, you get 448 loads of laundry. That's $.0558 per load of laundry.

If you double the liquid recipe, you are paying $24  for 768 loads of laundry.  That's 320 more loads of laundry for practically the same price as the powdered.

~Liquid~ For~ The~ Win~

Laundry Stain Remover

If you've been using Fels Napha for your laundry detergent, I'm sure you've seen the stain removing details on the back of the bar.  Mamy tested it out in our first Laundering entry and it works wonders.  

However I'm lazy, or quite possibly brilliant.  I decided it was just too much work to rub the soap into the stain and wet it with water. (just toooooooo many steps!! )  So I decided to take the concept and premake it, though this does add more steps to the initial prep process.   But you only have to do it once, no more scrubbing with a bar of soap and wetting the fabric, just dip, rub and go on with it.

I took my 1/4 bar of soap Id been using for the scrubbing and grated it into a half pint mason jar.   Then I filled the jar with boiling water just to cover the soap.

 Put the top on it, shake it up real good, continue to shake it up everytime you walk back into the room until the soap dissolves.

About 3 hours or less later, I had a little jar of gel.

 I just had to test it.   I took my 4 year olds shirt from school, that had been in the laundry for a few days, it had food stains on it from lunch, no idea what exactly it is....

I dipped into the gel, rubbed it on the shirt, not a scrub just a deep rub to it.  Took like 5 seconds.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes and tossed it into the wash.

Taaaaaaaa Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Later I did some research to find, I'm not the only brilliant mommy out there.  Google it, there are several recipes out there, but this one works for me.

Coming soon:  My Trials & Tribulations of Homemade Dishwasher Detergent.

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