Sunday, July 23, 2017

Homemade Laundry Powder and Being Green

In an effort to be frugal and more environmentally conscious I have started making my own laundry soap.  I have been pleasantly pleased with the results.  There are three basic ingredients: Fels-Naptha soap, Borax and Super washing soda.  All of these items can be found at your local grocery store or you can order them on line and have them delivered to your door.  I find my bar soap at Kroger in the laundry soap isle and the other two items are at almost every grocers.  You can also use Ivory soap as well, you can replace one Fels Naptha bar with two ivory bars.  Handmade soaps that are coconut oil based also make great alternatives. 

The recipe is very simple.  One bar of soap finely ground plus one cup each of borax and super washing soda.  When I make it I make a triple or at least double batch.  This time I made enough to offer "give it a try Jars" to sell in my booth.  

Here is how I tackle this Job.

I am making three batches at one time.
 I first, do not do this in the house...because I use an old food processor the soap and additives can make dust so I make this in my shop with....

Ventilation is a good idea..I do not want to breath in Borax.  
I break the bar soaps in half so that they will fit in the shoot on my processor and install the grate plate so that I can grate the soap first.  You can hand grate the soap but what is the fun in that.  Mental Note:  I make soap every two to three months so I have a old processor that I no longer use for food.  The benefit is there is minimal clean up.  If you use your kitchen processor run it through the dishwasher before you use it again.  You can usually find a old used processor at thrift stores cheap.  Getting one may make this a lot less labor intensive. 

You will have little slivers left just put them to the side you can add them back when you process your grated soap. 

When you are done grating the bar soaps switch back to your processor blade , break up the slivers and grind your soap to a semi fine powder.
Get your self a bucket to make mixing all the ingredients a lot easier. Use a spoon because it can be drying on your  hands or you can wear gloves  You can also add 1 one and a half cups of soap powder to one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder to your processor and mix small batches at a time.  I tried this method this time and was pleased with how well it worked.

I keep an enamel pot beside my washer with the homemade laundry powder in it and an old tablespoon measuring spoon.  I use one tablespoon per normal size to smaller loads.  I use Two for heavily soiled clothing and extra large loads.  I have a Bravos XL washer and it can hold large loads and two works great .  This is also a HE machine and this is fine it has no suds.  I use warm to cold water for most of my clothes and this powder dissolves wonderfully as well as cleans.  It will leave you clothes smelling clean not perfumed.

Now not every one has time...we are all strapped for it and when we get a minute making soap that we are not sure we will like is not the first thing on our list.  So I made small jars that will do 10 small to normal loads.  I will be offering these in my booth at Vintage Collections  located downtown Camden.

The labels were made using avery templates and printed on my printer.

I used a Martha Stewart circle cutter to cut them out and double sided tape runner to attach them to the jars as well as the left over ribbon .

I do keep a back up of commercial soap in the laundry room .  Life here gets busy and complicated at times so a back up is always a good plan.  However for the most part homemade is my all the time preference.

I also use wool dryer balls. I find that they do all that you hear about them.  Clothes dry quicker with less wrinkles and static and are soft. I will also be offering them for sale at the booth in a few weeks.  I have tried a few homemade fabric softeners but so far am not impressed, when I find one I will be sure to share.
Well happy Laudrying ,

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