Laundry Soap, round 2 |For what it's worth

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Sunday

Laundry Soap, round 2

The first time I made home made liquid laundry soap, I learned a LOT.  The first attempt and "pintrosity" story here.

Biggest lesson - don't think baking soda labeled safe for washing is a good substitute.  It works, yes, but you get bubbles all over your stove, counter top and floor when you add it to boiling water! 

Doing laundry for only two, it has taken a while to use up the first batch, even though I cut the recipe in 1/2 the first time to test whether or not I wanted to do it again.  I'm doing it again.  8-) This time I made a full recipe that filled 2 gallon containers plus a juice bottle.  And the juice bottle is undiluted.  Here's what I learned this time:
  • Using a much bigger pot than I thought necessary was a good decision.  We have a set of 3 stainless steel stew pots, I used the biggest one which I think holds about 4 gallons liquid.
  • The Felz Naptha was soft and easy to grate manually, but I'll probably take an easier way next time using the grater in my food processor.
  • You don't have to boil the mixture, but it helps melt the Felz Naptha.
  • I purchased a little bottle of lavender essential oil at a craft store to add this time.  It only took about 10 drops to make a very mild and pleasant smell.  Hubs liked the unscented smell, but I like sleeping on sheets and pillow cases with that light lavender scent.
  • Have 3 gallon containers.  Recycle old laundry soap bottles or milk jugs.  I'll probably use containers I can see through easier next time.  Heck, I might even purchase one of those cool containers with a dispenser nozzle.
  • Cut the bottom half off a plastic 2 liter drink bottle.  Flip it over and use it to funnel the soap into your storage containers. I use  an extra large liquid measuring cup with a lip to scoop up the soap and poor into the funnel.
  • Let it cool over night before bottling.  I didn't wait long enough last time and the mixture thickened up after I bottled it. 
  • Shake, shake, shake before using.  There's a neat little spiral looking, ball shaped product on the market that guys use to mix protein drinks from health food stores that dropped into the soap bottle would work wonderfully in the shake, shake, shake moment before measuring 1/2 cup into the wash.
  • Use a permanent marker to write on the container lid:  LAUNDRY SOAP, SHAKE
  • If you are using fabric softener in similar looking containers like I do, mark the fabric softer lid too.  "SOFTENER"
  • This time, with the proper cooling time, I used an immersion blender I found way back in my bottom cabinet to stir it up several times while it cooled.  It made a much smoother end product that pours better.
  • When all was said and done, I cleaned the big pot and utensils.  What I found is it made an excellent dish soap and sink cleaner too!
That juice bottle would make a nice container to share some soap. 
Home Made Liquid Soap:
Tools:  BIG pot, grater, long handle spoon, large measuring cup,  funnel, 3 empty gallon containers
Bring to a boil, stirring often
  • 1 bar Felz Naptha soap (or actually I believe you can use any bar soap), grated
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • optional:  essential oil for scent.  I used 10 drops for a very light scent.
Turn off heat and add 1 more gallon cool water.  Stir well.  This is where I discovered my immersion blender usefulness.
Cool over night.  It will thicken considerably.  It is okay to stir during this process.
After you let it cool overnight, use a mixer or blender to stir really well so that it has a nice smooth consistency.  Use a funnel and scoop the liquid into 3 gallon containers equally.  Or close to equal, eyeball it, precise measurement isn't necessary.  Top off the containers with more water, but leave about 3" at the top for shaking before use. 
Use 1/2 cup per load.

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