Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eureka!!! No More Clumps In The Laundry Soap!!!

Back in April, my husband and I ventured to Lowe's probably 10 times in one week. Every time we were there, we asked a ton of questions and spent at least an hour with pad and pencil trying to figure out which washer and dryer were the best bang for our buck. Our washer and dryer was a stack mates set from Maytag that was 20-25 years old. It still worked but was starting to make this crazy noise when you started the dryer. It was also too small for all the laundry I was doing every week. It took forever. You can read more about the whole experience here.

So we opted for the Maytag Bravo set. It is gigantic and I was beside myself with glee when I did my first load of laundry. Now I only have to do 1-2 loads per week. When we bought it we were told that we had to use HE detergent so on our way out of the store, I grabbed a bottle of HE detergent. I have been making my own laundry detergent since 2006 after finding this recipe on the Internet. I haven't purchased laundry soap since I bought a laundry soap making kit for $17 from Soaps Gone By in 2006. It has lasted that long! Well that one bottle of HE detergent that I purchased in April is just about gone. I have been reading on other people's blogs that the homemade stuff is safe for an HE washing machine because it is low suds.

Last night, I got out all my supplies to make a batch of laundry soap and was wondering if there was something I could do about the gloppy consistency since my new machine has a dispenser. I was thinking that the clumps of gel might be an issue when it was put in the dispenser. Plus, I thought that a smoother consistency would make it easier to measure out and pour. So, I thought about the homemade hand soap that I made just recently. You can read about it here. And I thought, "What if I used the same amounts of water, soap, washing soda and borax but just changed the way that I put them together and make it more like the hand soap?"

So here is what I did:
* Pour 1 gallon cold water in a large bucket. Set aside.
* Pour 1 gallon of water into a large pot and bring to a steam (you should just see tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pot and steam coming up off the top of the water.
* Add 1 bar grated soap. I used Zote (Pink and smells nice).
* Stir until the soap shavings are dissolved but do not boil.
* Add 1 cup Super Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Give the pot a stir, turn off the heat and stir until the powders are dissolved. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes uncovered.
* Use your immersion blender and blend until smooth and creamy (no little bits of soap should be left).
* Pour your soap mixture into your bucket of cold water and use your immersion blender again until smooth.
* Leave the bucket to cool and gel overnight UNCOVERED.

* In the morning, you will have soap jello. It will be springy to the touch but not wet. Use your immersion blender again and blend well. Break up all the chunks of gel. It should turn the consistency of liquid laundry detergent. Even and smooth. At this point, you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil to scent your detergent, although this is not necessary. After the addition, blend well with the immersion blender.

* Use a funnel to pour your liquid into old detergent containers for easy pouring. Shake before using if you want to but you shouldn't have to. Those large clumps should be a thing of the past. Use 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup for HE and front load machines and 1/4 to 1/2 cup for top load and non-HE machines. I wrote directions on some masking tape and put it on the bottles.

As I was cleaning up the kitchen last night after making my laundry soap, Michael called me into the family room where I saw this little four-year-old boy "watching" TV.

This is what he was watching . . . the backs of his eyelids! He was completely asleep propped up on his elbows. So cute!

This is what we had for Sunday lunch . . . Chicken Parmigiana with Linguine. YUM!!!
I used the sauce that I made here. It was delicious!


Stacie said...

I love how kids can just fall asleep anywhere!

Abbie said...

I bet that your "immersion blending" would really make the consistency nicer for the laundry soap! I don't have one of those - maybe someday - but I did find that making sure all the soap flakes were completely dissolved in the first part helped enough that it works in my HE machine!

Anonymous said...

What is an immersion blender?

Adam Hinton said...