Monday, June 9, 2014

This Little Piggy Made...Laundry Soap

  Woo hoo! I am so excited to share some of my experiments with you. Let me first give credit where credit is due. Most of my experiments stem from ideas I found on One Good Thing by Jillee. Her website has lots of amazing ideas and is worth checking out. (I recommend the post on making an enzyme cleaner)

  My family is questioning my sanity...again. No longer do they come home and find me over pots of potatoes or some gluten-free mixture. The pots are now bubbling with, well, bubbles from laundry soap or hand salve. The clerks at the store are scratching their heads as I come back time after time to load up on vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and epsom salt. They smile strangely at me as I check out. Then I rush home insanely to fill my collection of empty bottles.

  Many people will wonder why take the time to make household products that you can easily buy. I have tried to narrow my answer down to three main reasons. 

 First, is my daughter's Lyme disease. Lyme has a nasty habit of making it hard for your body to deal with toxins or chemicals. It is necessary for her to do a detox often just to aid her body in flushing out the nastiness that the dying parasites leave behind. An overworked immune system needs all the help it can get. Less toxins and chemicals means more ability for the body to focus on getting rid of those nasty little boogers.

 Second, my husband works all day with vile things like paint thinner and automotive paint. It is literally in his face. Add to that, the fact that we ain't getting any younger and since he is not following Christ, I feel it is my duty to keep him healthy so that he has lots of opportunities to hear the Gospel. I know I cannot control everything but if there is something I can do then it is my responsibility. Ironically, in Bible study we were looking at how wives are to be a picture of the church submitted to Christ. The church should be wholly submitted to doing all it can for Christ so, logically, a wife should as well.

 Finally, this last reason is a combo deal so I can keep it to 3 points. I have allergies and a septic system. Chemicals are not good for either one of those. My migraines and sinus problems have reduced greatly since I started making a lot of our cleaning products. Our septic system is looking good as well. We may not have to have it pumped as often, which means spending less money on sewage and who does not love that! Speaking of saving money, most homemade products are super cheap to make so it just makes "cents." (sorry, should have given you a cheesy joke warning)

 Think you  might want to try but not sure where to start. Let me give you some easy tips.

  A few uses of vinegar that require no mixing include killing weeds and grass without leaving chemical residue behind. I poured this all over my grass-riddled garden and that over-zealous centipede grass is d-e-a-d. Pour it in your wash and you can skip the dryer sheets. It softens fabric and helps stop static cling besides removing odors. Vinegar, I love you.

 Baking soda is, of course, a great odor remover but it is also a gentle scrubbing cleanser. I used it on my stove top and it helped clean some crusted-up spots that I could not get off. Sprinkle some in an enamel-coated pan with warm water and let it soak. You will have one clean pan. Baking soda might be on my list of favorite things real soon. Pour baking soda down a clogged drain then add in some vinegar and wait. Run some hot water down and that clog should wash away.

  Enough of the easy probably have your test tubes and protective eye wear ready. Where shall I start? How about soaps? It is harder stuff but I sense that you are up for a challenge.

 Laundry soap recipes are a dime a dozen on the internet but my machine is an HE toploader and it does not like powdery soaps. I found a creamy recipe that works great but it uses Fels Naphtha and my allergies do not like Fels so here is the version I came up with:

 Creamy Laundry Soap

- 2 bars Kirk's Castille Soap or Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap, if you use scented you may want to skip oils
- 1-1/2 cups Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Borax (I am working on getting rid of this ingredient)
- 6 cups hot water
- 20 drops eucalyptus oil, optional, helps soften & disinfect
- 30 drops lemon oil, optional, helps disinfect & smells nice

 Put hot water in a deep non-aluminum pot. Grate soap into water and melt over medium heat. Once melted, add in washing soda and borax, stir until dissolved. Do not leave this because it could boil over and it makes a very soapy mess. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp. You can pour it into the blender or food processor now to let it cool if you have one that is large enough. If you stir occasionally it is easier to blend later. 

 Once cool, if you did not stir, it will be separated with a solid top and liquid bottom. Break this up and stir in oils if you are using them. Spoon into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Store in an airtight container. To use, add 1 tablespoon to the bottom of your washer and enjoy not buying laundry detergent. 
Laundry soap after it has cooled & is blended
 This recipe makes up about a month's worth of laundry detergent depending on how many loads you. For a house of three people with lots of animals, I feel like we do way more laundry than the average family but it is hard to gauge since I have not ever done laundry for another family. 

  Now I'm off to try to perfect some body lotion and finish studying about vaccines so I can pass the quiz.

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