Saturday, March 12, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

This past week, I was having a conversation with my mom when she said, "I really hate it when people buy things and then don't use them."
The thought that ran through my head was "Guilty."  I never mean to do this, I just get so many ideas and lack the time or energy for follow through.  So I felt a little convicted, and something popped into my mind that I new I needed to tackle.  A while back, I had made a batch of homemade laundry soap.  It was awesome, and both Byron and I loved it. Once we went through the first batch, some time later I bought more ingredients to make more.  And then they sat on the shelf.  For months.  Until now.
So today, when I woke up bright eyed at 5:45 am (does this happen to anyone else?), I knew it would be a great time to quickly make another batch.  It only took about a half hour it was so easy.   And now, I will share it with you.
I got the recipe from a woman from my hometown.  I don't know where she got it, but as far as I'm concerned, the credit is all hers.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 Fels-Naptha bar
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
Don't those ingredients make you feel like you walked into the 1950s?  Yeah, I had never heard of some of them.  In fact, I couldn't find the washing soda in my entire city, so I had to resort to the small town my parents live to find it.  Anyway, you start with the Fels-Naptha bar.  The directions say to chop it up into little pieces and then put it in the food processor.  What works for me is to just drag out my cheese grater and go to town.  Ironically, I don't use my cheese grater for cheese that often, but the majority of the time I actually use it for non-food projects.

I guess you can't really see in the bowl, but it basically looks like grated soap.  With a couple pieces of grated skin mixed in there.  No matter how careful I try to be, I always catch a finger somehow.
Once you have that done, you just add the Borax and the washing soda and mix well.
Since I had the Borax and washing soda from a previous batch, it got a little lumpy.  I tried to break up the lumps as much as possible.  If you use fresh, you shouldn't have that problem.  Store the soap in a covered container.  It's really as easy as that.  And the best thing is, it only takes about 2 tablespoons per load, so even though it doesn't look like much, it lasts quite awhile.  I do still have enough ingredients on hand to make two more loads, so I still have a little bit of that guilty conscience (thanks mom), but I feel better that I have one less project hanging over my head...until my next great idea strikes!

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