2 Things That are Never DONE…

Dishes & Laundry…I am pretty good at staying on top of it…well, most of the time.  I have started to do at least one load of laundry a day (one of my 2012 Home Goals), it seems much more manageable…and yes, there is ALWAYS enough for a load a day in this house.  Here is Mt. Duckwall…this is what happens when I slack for less than a week…

…this is the ‘after’ all clean & folded.  You should have seen the mountain before it was conquered…this does not include the hanging clothes… just the kids’ stuff really.  For the record, we have a king sized bed.

As everyone knows, I LOVE PINTEREST!  I saw a pin that was for ‘make your own laundry detergent’  it used a bar of soap as the base…that got my wheels spinning.  I LOVE Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena fragrance.  I even splurged (before the budget belt got tightened down to the extreme) and bought a 64 oz bottle of her Lemon Verbena laundry detergent…it was $15 if memory serves (I know, but have you smelled it???).  Well, Mrs. Meyers makes a bar soap…see where this is going?  The bar is $5.  I can make Lemon Verbena laundry detergent???  Yes I can.  And I did.

I started with basic ingredients that every other ‘how to make your own laudry detergent’ tells you to use…borax, washing soda, & a bar of soap.

I found the borax pretty much everywhere, but only found the washing soda at Wally World. 

Now, all of the instructions say “grate the soap with a box grater”, but I don’t have the time, patience, or arm strength for that…so I used my food processor’s shredding blade, it was done in under a minute…the whole bar!  I wish I had a picture of that.

I dumped the soap into my most ginormous pot…I believe it is a 21 quart (I use it for Low Country Boils) along with 1 gallon of water.  I turned on the heat and stirred it until the soap dissolved.  Now, I am going to venture from what I actually did…to what I will do next time (probably some time in the summer…I made a 6 month-ish supply).  I would add 2 cups each of borax and washing soda, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and start adding 3 more gallons of water (this is about all my pot could accomodate) and allow it to cool enough to handle the pot safely (I waited a couple of hours…while I did laundry & dishes LOL). 

See, it is really thin…until it cools…I tested how thick it would get by spooning some into a glass cup and letting it cool (I put it in the fridge)…that’s how I decided how much water I needed.  I let it cool & experimented by adding various amounts of water…that’s how I came up with the ratio of the above mixture to water that I added to the jugs.  Then I started pouring it into my clean, empty gallon jugs with a funnel and a big measuring cup.  I decided on 2 parts detergent 1 part water.  I put 10 cups of my mixture & 5 cups of water into each jug…this gives me about a cup worth of additional water I can add if needed.

Thank goodness I had been saving all of those jugs!  See how they are not quite full?  Just in case I think it is too thick.  It barely made suds when I shook the jugs to mix the water, so they should be fine in my HE washer.  I plan on using about a quarter of a cup…so this should get me through about 6 months of laundry if I keep doing 1 load a day.  Not bad for less than $10!

It got pretty thick and I experimented with adding more water, but it separates…so I think what I got is great.  It does need a good shake prior to using, but that isn’t a problem.  It is a bit lumpy-ish, so I adjust my detergent dispenser to halfway between the liquid and the powder.  My true test was darling husband’s work-out wear…I wash it separately to avoid polluting the rest of our stuff…and it came out perfectly fresh (I think better than the stuff I had been using). 

Today’s secret revealed…my homemade stuff doesn’t smell nearly as good as Mrs. Meyers does, but for more than 10 times the amount for less than half the price…I’ll take it!

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