25 September 2011

I have done the switch. No more store bought laundry soap for us.

First you have to understand I have a normal household 2 kids, myself, my husband and a few furry friends. We make a lot of laundry not to mention that my youngest is in cloth diapers. So I have at least one load going a day, if not more. I need a laundry detergent that doesn't break the bank but works on everything from princess dresses with syrup on it to the worst blow up of a diaper. You know what I mean the you walk in the room and you can smell it. Its up the back out the front, down the legs. There is no way you can even get them clean with out getting it on you diaper blow up. What always gets me is they can do this in a matter of seconds. But that's another post.
When I started seeing all the posts about home made laundry soap I thought no way can I do that. Cloth diapers, JP5 (jet fuel from my hubby) and all the other wonderful stuff we get into. There is no way that anything short of the real deal will get it clean. Well I kept thinking about it then talking to my hubby one night he says its a great idea. In fact he was willing to go get the ingredients tomorrow so I could make it up. Now I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I let him go shopping. And the next day we made our first batch. Which I used on just our everyday normal laundry. I figured that if it worked I could at least use it for the "normal dirty" stuff and save the store bought for the tough job. The result, it did a great job not only were they clean and smelled good, but I swear my washing machine looked cleaner inside, brighter somehow. Hummm. Hubby then decides to put it to the test. He takes the rest of his "boat" clothes. Which for those that have not had to live with a sailor, "the boat" is a carrier class Navy ship. Which deploys for 4-9 months, if your lucky. While deployed my husband will spend 7 days a week on the flight deck where it is sometimes in excess of 120 degrees. All the while being sprayed with jet fuel and all sorts of other wonderful chemicals. Needless to say his "boat" stuff stinks even after washed multiple times.
So back to my story. He puts them in adds the homemade soap and lets it go. I'm thinking of the mess its going to make in my now brighter washing machine. But to my surprise they came out clean. Now you could still smell the boat in them however you had to put your nose right to them. Which is a big improvement from any other time I have washed them.
So being a little braver I gave them the diaper test. And guess what they came out clean and smelling great, which is a good thing.
So the short if it is I am now only using homemade laundry soap and I am going to show you how I made it.

First you need
1 c. Borax (word of caution this is toxic if ingested right out of the box. Please keep it away from kids)
1 c. Washing Soda (not Baking Soda, this we found at ACE hardware of all places)
1 Bar of Ivory soap
2 quarts of hot hot water

First you need a big bucket. Then you grade the bar of soap into the bucket. Next I add 1 cup of both the borax and washing soda. Then I get the water as hot as I can and add 2 quarts hot boiling water. Then stir.

It will not all dissolve in fact even the final soap will not be completely dissolved. It will also be chunky and gooey so shake before using.
Next I let it cool for a bit then I pour it into a gallon jug that I washed and saved just for this. You could use your old laundry soap containers to that would work well.
It makes about a half a gallon. You could make more or less by adjusting the recipe. Also I have read if you have hard water  you might have to play around with the level of borax. But we don't and this works well for us. I have not kept track of how many loads this does. But I use for a normal load half a cup and it seems to last a long time.
Let me know if you give this a try and what your results are. I like hearing what others think.
Next I think I am going to make my own homemade cleaner.
Happy laundry!!! 

***Note if you boil the soap and water on the stove to help dissolve the soap it dissolves better. But it also makes it more jello like. Both ways work well. ***
****This can be used in a front load washer HE, the difference for the HE soap is that it does not suds up. Which is important in these machines because they use less water. This recipe DOES NOT SUDS UP. Which is something I had to get used to. ****

Update!!!! If you wish to use a dry soap which is sometimes easier to make just mix all 3 ingredents (soap, borax and washing soda) in a tub and use 1 tablespoon per load, sometimes I use 2 if its really really a dirty load. Luckly I have girls so its not to bad, sometimes.
Have fun!!

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