Monday, October 27, 2008

The Best Ever Make It Yourself Laundry Soap

I am a huge proponent of making my own cleaning and laundry products. The problem I was having with my homemade laundry soaps, both the powdered and the liquid versions that I have tried is that they make my clothes dull, especially the whites which come out a icky shade of gray.

The reason for the dullness is the soap that is added to the mix. Pure soaps leave a residue on your clothes and is what is responsible for the ring in your bathtub (ie, soap scum). Who wants soap scum on their clothes? Not me. The problem is that most detergents are made with petroleum based produts, which I want to stay way from. Virtually all are also made with sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate (SLS), which doesn't leave the scum behind, but can be very harsh to the skin. So I needed to find an alternative -- Dr Bronner's Sal-Suds. Although it does have SLS in it, they use a special process to make it mild and they also use an all vegatable, organic base.

I love the results of my new laundry detergent. It cleans well with no residue and it does not irritate our skin. It is also very cost effective. I paid $7.33 for a 32 oz bottle of the Sal-Suds. I use 1 cup per recipe so I can get 4 recipes out of 1 bottle. That works out to $1.83 per 2 gallons of detergent. Add that together with the borax (.18), the washing soda (.21) and the baking soda (.08) we are talking about $2.30 for 256 oz of detergent. I use about 1 1/2 oz per load which works out to 1.3 cents per load.

This is my recipe. It makes 2 gallons of thin liquid detergent I use 2-3 tablespoons per load. I have a front loader washing machine, but I am sure it will work in traditional machines too. It is low sudsing.

1 Cup Dr Bronner's Sal-Suds

1/2 Cup washing soda

1/2 Cup baking soda

1/2 Cup borax

On top of the stove in a large dutch oven, heat 6 cups water and Sal-Suds on med heat until it heats up but not to boiling. Add in the washing soda, baking soda and borax and heat until disolved. Take it off the heat and add essential oils and equal amounts of Polysorbate 20 if desired. Into a 3-4 gallon bucket pour 4 cups of hot water. Add to that your heated water Sal-Suds, sodas and borax mixture. Next add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of cool water and stir. Transfer into 2 clean 1 gallon containers and let sit for at least 24 hours before using.