earning one new thing each month.
I have to admit, I dabbled in a couple of the coming month's projects. Have to start researching, you know!
But back to this month, September's new project was to make my own laundry detergent.
I've been wanting to try this for a long time, but I thought it would be complicated. I've been using Charlies Soap, which I loved, but a friend finally convinced me to try making my own. I purchased the ingredients but they just sat in the cupboard until I finally decided I was purchasing no more detergent.
So one Monday morning, I emptied the last of the bought detergent in the first load of laundry - and I made laundry detergent. That wouldn't sound like procrastination, would it?
I couldn't believe how SIMPLE detergent was to make.
I made two batches of detergent, a dry powder and a liquid, while I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes amongst all the Monday morning crazies - and it took MAYBE a whole half hour.
Both recipes called for the same ingredients. I'll list the recipes and share my comments on each one.
1 Fels Naptha soap bar - grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Mix all together. Use 1 T per load.
This one was EASY and perfect when you need detergent NOW! I used my food processor to grate the soap so it didn't take long. One recipe didn't make a whole lot. I do a lot of laundry and used it up in just less than a month. I like the powder form because it can sit next to my washing machine in a canning jar and look cute. I thought it cleaned clothes well - even turning diapers sweet smelling (my ultimate test!)
18 cups water
1 Fels Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
3 gallon hot water
Simmer 18 cups of water in large pan. Grate soap bar and dissolve in water. Add washing soda and Borax and stir. Pour mixture in a 5 gallon bucket with three gallon of hot water. Allow to sit overnight. Use 1/2 cup per load. If heavily soiled, use 1 cup.
This recipe was slightly more complicated since it involves cooking, but it wasn't difficult. I was surprised the next morning to find the soap had gelled into a detergent that looked surprisingly like bought detergent. Since then, the mixture has separated and looks a little curdled, but I've heard that is normal.
I like using a liquid detergent because I feel like it dissolves in the washing machine better. But I really don't like dipping out of this huge bucket! I also worry one of the children will get into it and make a HUGE mess! I have only used this detergent for the past week, but it seems to get clothing clean well.
Next, I want to try Jeni's recipe. Her children sound like mine - mud lovers! (And did I tell you it is raining! Again! Twice in one week! Hallelujah! Bring on the mud!) I would like to test the difference in stain removal in her detergent.
What new project did you tackle this month?