Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Laundry Experiment - Part 1

Why not start another new project when I have lots of existing ones that I need to finish?   April and I were thinking it might be fun to attempt to make our own laundry detergent.  I checked in with my friend, Brandi, who has been doing it for a while, and she shared the recipe that she uses.  I started doing some research on it and my brain was filled with this whole new world of your own detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, dishwasher detergent, etc.  Here were my questions and what I found out...

My Questions:
I had some questions that I needed answered...
1.  Do these recipes work for High Efficiency machines?
HE machines just need to have low suds detergents, and the homemade recipes are 'low suds'.

2.  Does the soap smell good?
You control what the detergent smells like - you just select bars of soap that smell good to you!  Also, April and I think we could probably grate some additional soap into the mixture if we wanted the scent to be stronger.

3.  Does the soap actually clean clothes?
My clothes seem to be coming out clean.  The stubborn stains are still there, just like they would be when I was using Tide.  This guy did a comparison of stain fighting power with store bought vs. homemade detergent if you want to check it out.

4.  Can you make a liquid detergent?
Yes, there are lots of recipes for liquid detergent, and I thought I wanted to make liquid at first because that I what I always buy at the store; however, the powder one was easy to make and would be easier to store, so ultimately, I just went with powdered.

Making the Detergent:
Okay, so onto the making of the detergent.  First thing first...I must have a pretty glass jar.  I bought one...and it is WAY too big.  I have now made 10 batches of detergent and the jar *may* be half full.  Lesson learned for next time.

The recipe could not have been much easier...

--1 Cup Borax
--1 Cup Washing Soda (took me a few stores to find this, but I found it at the commissary - in the detergent aisle)
--1/2 Bar Grated Soap

Here were the supplies...

1.  Grate the soap - first, I used the grater, and for subsequent batches, I used the food processor to get it done a little faster...

2.  Measure out the Borax and Washing Soda, dump it all into your container and mix it all together!
All mixed and ready to go!

The recipe calls for using one tablespoon per load, April and I have been using two heaping tablespoons...

Reviews of the Laundry Experiment to come!

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