Monday, July 20, 2009

Wash Day

Warning: photographs of a laundry appliance below.

These days, I just walk right past the laundry detergent aisle.

I don't even check the laundry detergent coupons.

Yes, I've become one of those Homeschoolin' Mamas who stays at home (most of the time), makes my own bread (some of the time), makes my own clothes (at least some of them), AND the laundry detergent I use to launder them. Pretty domesticated, huh?

It's been a long while coming. When I ordered Fels Naptha laundry soap from Soaps Gone Buy, I read the recipes. I saw write-ups in magazines, on blogs...I knew that one of these days I'd make my own detergent. I read up on making the liquid detergent, and figured I will probably never make that kind. A few weeks ago, I took the plunge with the easiest recipe I've seen, the one from Southern Plate, and we are happy with the results thus far. I mix it up a little at a time (we are a pretty small family, and store it in a soup container from our favorite Chinese food take-out place. {I'm not so domesticated that I can't appreciate good take-out Chinese food. I grew up in the country, and I enjoy a few in-town conveniences}

I was delighted to find all 3 ingredients, including two kinds of laundry soap, stocked on my local Publix supermarket laundry aisle. I guess this trend is catching on. When you use this detergent, it does not make suds, but the clothes are clean.

Here's the method I use:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 cup grated laundry soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Mix together. Use 1/8 cup per load.

The initial batch I made up using the partial bar of Fels Naptha I had. It had been laying open for a long while, and grated up very fine.

The second batch contains some gratings of Fels Naptha and some gratings of Zote soap. Those new bars did not grate into powder, but into sticky shavings, and I have to mix it a little each time I dip it out. Currently, I have the rest of those two bars open in hopes they will season up and grate more finely next time.

A couple of notes:

1) You are supposed to use washing soda, not regular baking soda (I have no idea what the difference is), but when I checked at Walmart, I saw they had stocked large boxes of regular baking soda next to the Borax.

2) I like the smell of the Fels Naptha better than the Zote, though I like both. I understand you can use Ivory soap, too.

3) I don't know how well this works for those with sensitive skin, but I gave a few loads-worth to my SIL, who is married to Mr. Sensitive, and hope to report back on that soon.


Anonymous said...

This is very cool! I've never tried it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I'll be curious about Mr. Sensitive since I'm pretty wimpy myself! ha ha

crispy said...

You HOMESCHOOLING MOMMA !!!!n I love it. I have been meaning to do this. You know...when my life slows down. =) You have inspired me.

K-Sue said...

SG, want a sample to try?

Mildred: Mr. Sensitive is definitely not wimpy; just itchy;(

Crispy: Hand over that bar of soap to your grating crew (that's what I did) and join up!

Prairie Chick said...

interested here. I've been wanting to try this. It's on my list of future endeavours.

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Well, aren't you something! I'm one of those 'sensitive types' too, so I'm not so sure about ths. I take the 'stocking up' route, going to BJ's 2-3 times a year and stocking up on liquid detergent, fabric softener, bleach, dish detergent, etc. - enough to do 4-6 months at a time. It works for us. Way to go, though, you domesticated lady! B.

K-Sue said...

B-I stock up on tp - at our house, I make sure we never run out :)

Susan said...

I love Fels Naptha...It works wonders on my boy's clothes...the only thing that can get out grass stains from white baseball pants. I always pack a couple bars in my suitcase to take back to Japan. (although it is really strong smelling...I have to double-triple bag it!)

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