Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Grate Laundry Detergent

A friend of mine once told me that she would like to make her own laundry soap, but she hated the grating part.  It was so time consuming and frustrating for her that it wasn't worth the effort.  When I saw a website about making your own laundry detergent without having to grate a bar of soap I thought, Eureka!  This could be the perfect solution for her.

No Grate Laundry Detergent
You Will Need
3/4 cup Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (For laundry, I like to use the lavender, almond, and citrus varieties)
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax OR substitute with Baking Soda
 20-50 drops of lavender
2 one-gallon containers in which to store the detergent (I recycled an old laundry detergent container and a vinegar jug)
A measuring cup or two
A two-gallon bucket (I used my old mop bucket)
Funnel to pour the detergent from the bucket into the containers (not necessary but certainly helpful!)
Take your two dry ingredients first – the Super Washing Soda and Borax or Baking Soda, and pour them into the bottom of the bucket.  Stir well.  Add enough hot tap water to cover the dry ingredients. It’s important to dissolve the dry ingredients BEFORE adding the liquid Castile Soap. Otherwise, it will get super clumpy and your batch will be ruined. Then, either add your liquid Castile Soap OR the water. The soap does suds up pretty well, so if you add it first, slowly add water. Otherwise, add the water first, then at the end, add the soap and stir it in with a long spoon. Fill your bucket up to the two gallon mark with hot water (or add your Castile Soap) Use about 1/3 cup for each load
The instructions say that you can either use borax or baking soda.  I chose to go with borax since that is the main ingredient in most homemade laundry detergents.  After mixing everything together I decided that this was going to be a fail.  It looked so watered down that I wasn't sure if my clothes were going to get clean, but only one way to find out.

 Using a funnel I poured my solution into an old laundry container and started some laundry that afternoon.
 The Verdict: I used it on the kids clothes first and when I pulled them out of the washing machine I couldn't tell if they were clean or not.  They seemed clean but they also didn't.  They looked clean but they sort of smelled like dirty water.  So I needed a better test subject. 

Instead of washing my rag pile that day, I decided to let them sit and fester until they had a lovely rotting odor to them.  When I finally washed them a few days later I used 1/3 cups.  I pulled my rags out of the wash and they still smelled.... a lot.  So I washed my rags again using 1 1/2 cups of the detergent, they still smelled and some of them still had dirty spots on them. The only thing this detergent is good for is to waste your time and money. 

I'm sort of 2 for 2 with laundry detergents right now.  I hope the next one has a better success rate.

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