Friday, June 27, 2008

Workin' the Plan of Stickin' it to the Man

If only we knew who The Man was. At some point I'll explain how we got to this point. It was a process. I didn't come out of the womb being a tree hugging, organic chicken loving, back to nature freak. Nope. I spent a large portion of my life "living the American dream" accumulating all that I could. I was busy. Very busy and convenience was all that mattered.

But yesterday I made my own laundry soap and tonight the engineer installed our new "solar dryer" or plain old clothesline if you live anywhere outside of California. Why? It's just one small way to stop supporting the petroleum cartel. Well, that and the homemade laundry soap is super cheap to make, smells great and uses natural products. And did I mention it was cheap?

I was skeptical at first. Especially given that I'm allergic to the earth, sun and the sky. Particularly perfumes. But with this recipe you don't have to add any smelly stuff if you don't want to. And really you don't have to, the soap smells wonderful all on it's own. But it doesn't over scent your clothing either. Anyone who's ever lived with a teenage boy knows that clothing that doesn't stink one way or the other is a wonderful thing.

There are a few different recipes. I tried the cheapest one first at $1.79 per batch or 48 loads. No that's not a typo. And all the ingredients can be found in the laundry isle of your local grocery store.

2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 Cup dry color safe bleach

Grate the Fels Naptha and combine all ingredients. Use 2-3 tablespoons per load depending on the size of your load and the softness of your water. No need for additional fabric softener.

The other recipe I'm planning to try is:

1 cup of grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use two tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

To make a large batch - grate six bars of Fels Naptha soap and add three cups of washing soda and 3 cups of Borax.

There's even a recipe for a liquid/Gel version:

1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
½ cup washing soda
½ cup Borax powder
a small bucket, about 2 gallon size

Grate soap and put in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until soap melts. Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. Use ½ cup per load. This recipe = 64 loads


Renee said...

I made my own soap once. I used the food processor to grate the Naptha and spent the next hour trying to get soap flakes out of my sinus cavities.

Anonymous said...

You are really getting clever! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

freaked out 'n small said...

These are great recipes! Thanks for sharing - I am definitely going to try one out...