Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bloody Knuckles and Making Soap

A while back I made homemade liquid laundry detergent using borax, arm and hammer washing soda, and fels-naptha soap.  It was a bit of a process but SO cheap it was worth it.  It worked well and I liked the smell, but it was almost too messy to handle.  I had decided the next time I make my own I'd try the powder version.

Yesterday we desperately needed to get some laundry done but were out of laundry detergent so after doing my grocery shopping at Target I grabbed a dollar and change and ran into Cub for a bar of Fels-naptha soap.  And yes, you read that right. I bought my food at Target and my soap at Cub... it had to be done.

I already had a big box of Borax and Arm and Hammer so I went to work grating up the bar of Fels-Naptha with the cheese grater, but I made the mistake of using the side that would have grated it up into a fine powder (allowing me to skip the next step) and my hand slipped and I shredded up 2 of my knuckles. 

Bad words were said. I think I said the F-word. And the A-word. And the SH-word. It hurt like H-word.

So after running my mutilated fingers under water and getting my husband to help me with the bandaids, I went back to my project. Because there was no time for being a wimp... laundry needed to be done!

this was right after the bandaids were put on. a few minutes later I had bled through and needed a new one.

I switched to the regular cheese side of my cheese grater and finished shredding up my soap. 

This next step is not needed when you make the liquid stuff.  Use a food processor or a blender to turn your shredded soap into a powder.  Takes like 30 seconds I think.

1 Cup of Borax
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda)
1 powdered up bar of Fels Naptha soap

Store in tightly fitting container, like Tupperware.  1 large load in my regular top-loader washing machine only needed 2 Tablespoons of detergent.  When I read this in the directions I was skeptical that it would be enough, but went with it.


It is awesome!  It is easy to make, cheap as dirt, not messy to use, and smells SO good!

My first test load was a mix of things that we've worn recently, dirty socks, and a couple shirts that were at the bottom of the laundry pile in the basement and were a bit smelly from the dampness. 

I smelled every single piece of clothing (yep, even my husband's socks) and it all came out smelling fresh and clean!  I didn't think that just 2T of detergent would be enough, especially since I wash most of our clothes in cold water, but it was! 

I highly recommend making it this way!!
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