That's Me

That's Me

Friday, January 11, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap Instructions

Since I love my Eddi's Fabric Softener so much, I decided to give a go at the whole homemade laundry soap thing again.

The last time I did it, I wasn't thrilled. I was actually pretty ticked because I ended up replacing a lot of dingy white socks & unders (ew, not-exacctly-white socks & britches is one of my pet peeves). So the soap that was supposed to save me money ended up costing me tons more money 'cause I had to replace clothing. And the yellow-ish clothes that I washed smelled like they had just taken a spin in BO-scented water & the dryer had baked in that all-too-lovely scent. Argh. And gag.

Well, now I don't live in The Area of Extremely Hard Water, so I thought I'd give it a shot again.

I searched & I searched & I searched for a decent powdered detergent that wasn't just "shred the soap, mix with borax, add to washer". Seriously, I think laundry soap should be a wee bit more than just a grated bar of Ivory if I expect it to actually clean basketball jerseys & wrestling singlets.

I finally found one that, when I researched the various ingredients, sounded like it would work. The ingredients & instructions were simple enough:

Pour 1/4 cup liquid castile soap into a big bowl, mix in 1 cup washing soda. Mix in 1 cup baking soda. Slowly mix in 1 cup white vinegar. Break up any clumps. The recipe said "the mixture is a thick paste at first that will break down into a heavy powdered detergent, just keep stirring."

Easy enough, right? Either I'm so incredibly inept or this recipe poster LIED. You be the judge...

I doubled the recipe because dude, I have 8 people's laundry every week. I was not going to put in the work for only a couple days' worth of clothing. I used almond castile soap, because it's the best scent in the WORLD (besides mulberry & newborn baby head). The almond soap smelled so good, I wanted to eat it. 

Grab the ingredients & you can follow along to make your own laundry soap! 

Step 1. Mix. Slooooowly add in vinegar. 

Lookin' good.

Step 2. Realize the whisk is a very bad idea. Take time to bang whisk 172 times against bowl to release all the chunks it is keeping captive. Throw whisk in sink.

Stick with spatula.

Step 3. Realize that while you were threatening the life of the whisk, your "thick paste" has become a hard rock.


Step 4. Bang spatula against laundry soap rock, not to break it, but to let it know how unhappy you are. Get out big metal strainer spoon thingy.

Now you're in for it, Soap Rock!

Step 5. Take all frustrations out on Soap Rock.

Take that, Soap Rock!

Step 6. Soap Rock does not listen well. Enter: food processor.

Who's laughin' now, Soap Rock?

Step 7. Beat that monster till you get a lovely paste again. 

That's right, I'm takin' you down!

 Step 8. Keep doing this about 3,698 times because the food processor does not like to chew up more than 4 Soap Rocks at once. Or at least you think that is why it makes that loud, bangy noise. You don't want your hubby to give you The Look (the one with The Sigh) when he comes home to find out Soap Rock broke the brand-new food processor because you know he'll blame Eddi Girl & not Soap Rock, so you be nice to food processor. And hubby's grey hair.

Step 13 (I don't know, I lost track). Why is there that 1 chunk that is rolling around & around, dodging the blade, mocking me?

Damn you, Soap Rock!

Step 14. Thinking back to chemistry class (whoo hoo, that class wasn't wasted money!), throw the last remaining Soap Rock into a bowl of vinegar. Vinegar breaks down baking soda, right?

Soap Rock did not read about vinegar
breaking down baking soda.

Step 14b. While Soap Rock is soaking in the bubble bath, decide to do the most disgusting thing. The thing that makes your skin crawl. Mix. With. Hands. Shudder. 

Goopy. Wet. Gross.

Step 14c. Mixing by hand does not cause goop to turn into powdered detergent. This recipe forgot to tell me about all of these steps & it lied about it becoming a nice powder! Recipe writer is laughing at me, somewhere across the interwebs.

Step 15. Because Soap Rock will not win this war & because the "powdered" soap has now become a wet glop, throw everything into a pot with 3 quarts of water. If Soap Rock will not be pulverized by food processor & defies the Rules of Vinegar, boiling it has got to work, right?

Reminds me of cheese making.

Step 16. As the cold water hits the goop (that has been, for some odd reason that I don't care to research, hot ever since the vinegar was added the first time), Soap Rock makes babies.


Step 17. Realize you didn't take rings off before reluctantly & hesitantly delving into the goop. Curse the moment you decided to do this while the minions are at school; you could have  bribed   threatened   coerced  asked them to hand mix it for you. 


Step 18.
  Figure that adding this water now altered the effectiveness of all of the ingredients. Add 1/2 cup soap, 1 cup of each sodas, 1 cup of vinegar. 

Resist the urge to taste it.

Step 124. Bringing soap mess mixture to a boil breaks down & softens Soap Rock & his babies (hey, if a Soap Rock can make babies without another Soap Rock assisting in the procreating process, then it might as well be a boy). Rejoice! Scoop out all Rock Babies & throw (with a vengeance) into food processor. Grind those suckers up. Rejoice again! 

Take that, Soap Rock!

Step 325. Pour back into pan with 1 quart of water. Stir. 

Success! (?)

Final product: A yellowy liquid with white congealed gel on top. The white goober-consistency gel is what my last homemade laundry soap turned into (it actually was supposed to that time) so I figured this was a good thing. 


45 minutes, 3 measuring cups, 1 whisk, 1 spatula, 1 metal spoony thingy, 1 glass bowl, 1 huge plastic bowl, 1 pot, 5 soap-caked rings & 1 food processor later....

...I had a filthy stove, some very sparkly rings, & a mostly water, somewhat congealed soap. 

...or Ring Cleaner?
Laundry soap...

No, I don't know why some of my pictures are sideways. I blame that damn Soap Rock.

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