Sunday, November 03, 2013

Homemade Detergent, Fabric Softener Crystals, and Liquid Hand/Body Wash

I made laundry detergent today!

Here is the recipe:

1 - 4 lb 12 oz - Box Borax
1 - 3 lb 7 oz - Box Washing Soda
1 - 4 lb - Box Baking Soda
1 - 3 lb - Tub Oxi Clean
3 - 4 oz - Bars Ivory Soap

The soap can be microwaved for 1 minute then crushed into a fine powder.  Much better than having to grate three bars of soap!
I also added my own homemade fabric softener crystals:
4 pound bag Epsom salt - 10 drops essential oils to every 1 cup.

I layered each ingredient one cup at a time. Then mixed and repeated until all ingredients were mixed together.  Use about 2 Tbsp per load of laundry.

Chloe was a my helper when I made the fabric softener crystals :)  We layered one cup of salt and then dropped in the oils - 10 drops to 1 cup - and stirred until the bag was empty.

I decided to use Ivory soap in my detergent because I had read that you can put it in the microwave instead of having to grate it and that sounded like a better idea to me than grating.  It's so crazy how it grows in the microwave and then crumbles into a powder!  I started with one minute and added a few seconds at a time as needed.

One word of caution when mixing all these powdery ingredients: You may want to wear a mask or even just tie a handkerchief around your nose and mouth to keep the fine, powdery dust from getting into your lungs.

I used three bars of Ivory for the laundry out of a pack of 10 bars so I decided to try making some liquid soap out of another bar.  I think it turned out okay, but I will update after I have had a chance to use it.  I used 1 bar microwaved, crumbled and melted in 3 cups of hot water.  After it had it melted and dissolved I removed it from the heat and added 1 Tbsp of grapeseed oil and 1 Tbsp of coconut oil.  The recipe I found also added 1 Tbsp of honey and I had just about 1 Tbsp of honey left so I added that as well.  After it had mostly cooled I added about 20 drops of essential oils.  As it continued to cool it got much thicker so I added about two more cups of water and whisked the mixture until it was the right consistency.  Then I poured it into some reusable shampoo, conditioner, and syrup bottles.  So one bar of soap almost filled four 12 oz bottles.  Pretty cool!  I think it looks good and smells good, but it seems to leave a "film" on my hands so I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I think it's from the oils maybe?  It's not a bad feeling, just different so like I said I will update after I have a chance to use this in the shower.  This can be used as hand soap or as body wash for the entire family!  I figure even if we end up not liking it too much it was something fun to try and really didn't cost much.  One bar of soap out of a 10 pack was less than fifty cents and everything else I already had on hand at home so I'm really not out much at all :)

If you are curious here is how much I spent on the ingredients for the laundry and crystals: $22.81

If I did my math right I got 319 oz of powder laundry detergent out of all the ingredients and it only takes 2 Tbsp/load.  2 Tbsp = 1 oz so I should be able to get 319 loads of laundry out of this at about seven cents per load!  That is some awesome savings :)

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