Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap!

So I decided to take a chance, and attempt to make our own liquid laundry soap.  I've seen multiple blogs about this, and read countless recipes.  Since we're becoming more and more ingrained into living a sustainable lifestyle, this seemed like the next natural step.

Here is what you need:
Everything shown was purchased at Rural King: borax, superwashing soda, baking soda, and bar soap.  I used Fels-Naptha, because it seemed to be the one that was the most used, and it was readily available.  Note this has both washing soda and baking soda.  I searched long and hard for a recipe that used both, because I am a long time fan of baking soda and its regular uses.

Here is the recipe I used:
1 cup borax
1 1/2 cup baking soda
1 1/2 cup washing soda
1 bar soap
1 quart of water to melt the soap in.  2 gallons for later.
1 5 gallon bucket.

First, grate the soap.  A box grater seems to be the best way to do this, just be careful when you get to the end of the bar!

In a large pot, heat 1 quart of water, and add the grated soap. Medium to medium high worked the best.

You have to constantly stir this until the grated soap is melted, and do not let it boil.  I noticed the soap tended to stick when I stopped stirring to measure out the other stuff.  I didn't take a picture (oops), but in a large bowl, add the borax, washing soda, and baking soda together. When the soap is completely dissolved, take it off the heat and add in the dry ingredients.  Stir this in really well- I ended up using a whisk to make sure everything was incorporated as it should be.

After everything is mixed together, pour the soap mixture into a 5 gallon bucket, and add 2 gallons of water and mix well.  Because I was worried about whether or not all my stuff was mixed well, I stirred it in the bucket for a long time.

I had some help....

This is what I ended up with.
Cover this for 24 hours, then check your consistency.  Here is where I'm in the dark, since this is my first batch.  Tomorrow evening about this time, I'll open it up and hope for a gel-like consistency.  My plan is to transfer a portion to a mason jar with a plastic lid, and keep it by the washer.  I guess you'll have to shake it before using, so a mason jar seems to be the logical choice for a container.

I'll make sure to post again tomorrow on whether or not my soap was a success!