Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making Your Own Laundry Powder

I first wrote about Making Your Own Cleaning Products quite awhile ago.

Since then, I have made my own laundry soap.  I made it in liquid form and didn't particularly care for it.  I like to see suds in the washing machine.  I know, it's ingrained in our brains. Seeing something suds means it's cleaning.  After all, remember the scrubbing bubbles commercial?  "We work hard so you don't have to".

It took me awhile to get over that issue when using the homemade laundry soap.  The recipe I used made a 5 gallon bucket full.  You had to boil the grated soap with water on the stove, mix it in a bucket with the other ingredients and add water to fill the bucket.  The bucket took up quite a bit of space sitting near the washing machine, and after time I stopped using it.  I think there is still a couple inches in it.  I will eventually get it used up.

Here is what I didn't like about it:
There were NO suds
You had to add a bluing agent to white clothes, or over time they became dingy.
It didn't do well on heavily soiled items, even when pre-treated.

Yes, making your own laundry soap is less expensive and better for the environment. However, I had a friend tell me she didn't purchase the more expensive soaps in the first place and felt she really didn't save any money when you consider the time in making it.  The homemade version can be used on less soiled items if you can get over the fact it does not suds.  This would be great for front load washing machines. It is also less fragrant.  I used Ivory soap, so the only smell was that of the Ivory soap.  You can always add essential oils such as lavender, lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, and so on.  The choices are endless for creating your own fragrance.  I often add eucalyptus to the rinse cycle.

I am a big fan of Tide.  I always have been.  Over the past several months I still used Tide for heavier soiled items and used the homemade when I felt I could.  Because of the increase in cost, and decrease in size of brand name detergents, I opted to try the powder form versus the liquid I had always purchased.  I found the powdered Tide did better at getting out the grease, grass, and mud stains than it's liquid counter part.  I will no longer be purchasing the liquid form for that reason.

Today I decided to give making homemade soap another try. I opted for a powdered version which is a little different ratio from the liquid I previously made.

The recipe called for 2 cups of grated soap.  Castile, fels-naptha, or your choice of bar soap.  I used
fels- naptha.  Grating the bar measured 2 1/2 cups.

 I added 1- 1/2 cups each baking soda, borax, and washing soda.  All of these items can generally be found at your local grocery store.
Mix the dry ingredients together with the grated soap.
Shake to mix before each use.
Use 1/8 cup per load. 

I currently have heavily soiled jeans soaking in the homemade version and to give it a fair try, will continue to soak the same amount of time I do with powdered Tide.  I have already noticed the water is very blue.  This means the homemade soap is taking the dye out of the clothing.  Something soaking in Tide does not do.  I will keep you updated on how well it does.

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