Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just in case

So my friends think I'm a crazy survivalist, and they think I'm boning up on my zombie apocalypse skills. Which, let's be honest, they make fun of me for, but will be promptly breaking down my door if the zombies ever do show up. They mention this television show (which I have the luxury of not knowing about), and think I should be on it because I have a set of skills that only pioneers of days of yore would be proud of.

My most recent adventure has been in the soap department; specifically the laundry detergent department. It's more of a revisit. We stopped using homemade laundry detergent a while ago because it just wasn't getting the job done to my satisfaction. I decided to shelf the whole process until I was feeling ambitious again.

We ran out of detergent one day, and frustrated with having to constantly buy Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, I decided to try the detergent again.

It consists of just three ingredients:

  • 1 cup of borax 
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1 bar (~4.5oz) of shaved soap; I used Ivory because it was collecting dust in the linen closet.
Simply combine all the dry stuff in a big bowl, and taaa daaa, you have the best laundry detergent you will ever use. Seriously. The best. 

The stuff I was using before was a liquid version, because herp, I preferred it for some reason. This powdered version of detergent is amazingly tough and cleans up things that I didn't think it would clean up. My sheets are remarkably clean and comforting, and they're actually clean. Like, you know, no annoying or overpowering scents that trick you into thinking the sheets are clean. 

I should mention that instead of fabric softener sheets, in conjunction with this detergent, I use white vinegar in the wash as a fabric softener. I just pour maybe 1/2 cup into the little reservoir on the washing machine and nothing comes out stiff or crispy. I throw it all in the dryer, as usual, and enjoy.

Now if only I could get my friends to stop being so terrified of lye so we can be sure they're clean when the zombies arrive....


Nicole said...

Okay, trying to comment again. The last one got eaten.

I am taotally going to try making my own detergent. The scent of fabric softener makes me sneeze. Plus, I do a lot of laundry. A lot. I need detergent to get clothes clean!

Thanks for the info!

~*Lalelop*~ said...

So I have always wanted to make my own laundry soap but I have notoriously sensitive skin. (And the only bar soaps I am able to use on a regular basis are expensive - probably equal to buying all free and clear, the only laundry soap I have been able to use since I was 8) Even the soap I make I can only use once a week or so.... speaking of, you don't happen to know of any good oatmeal soap recipes do you?

That being said I still want to give it a whirl one of these days - do you happen to know if it works with a moisturizing soap? You said you used ivory, my skin revolts at the thought of ivory so I am thinking if I wash my clothes in it I might have some issues. How many loads do you think you can get out of this recipe?

I am all excited to try!! Thanks for sharing! (I might even do it this weekend after I figure out how to can my chocolate syrup!)

Made by Hand on Planet Earth said...

I've been doing this for a little while now, and I agree! Best detergent ever! I do the vinegar thing, as well. I add some essential oils to the vinegar for a bit of scent (lavendar, bergamot, mint are some of my faves) or antibacterial qualities (tea tree oil). It doesn't take much. Thought you might like to try that, as well...

Danielle said...

Lalelop (not sure if you want me to use your real name out there): I don't know of any good oatmeal soap recipes, no. I'm sorry. The soaps and shampoos I make are wicked sparse, and bare-bones. Lye, fats, and water. Maybe some essential oil if I'm feeling spunky.

The recipe yields about a quart of detergent if I remember correctly. I could totally be wrong, though. I use about a 1-1 1/2 tbsp per load, so it should last 64 loads in theory. Mine went a LOT faster though.

You don't need to use Ivory, either. I'm going to try my own soap next batch... I just had all this old bar soap in the linen closet that had to go!