That's Me

That's Me

Friday, February 1, 2013

Expert Soap Maker Stickin' it to The Man

The last batch of Eddi's laundry soap was kinda sorta a success. If success is defined as making a completely different recipe in a completely different way & ending up with a completely different form of the product you're after.

I ended up with laundry soap that got rid of stains & cleaned the clothes. I was happy. Until the stuff started forming a crust on the outside of the bottle. 

Not a gross crust, just dried up soap, but every time you opened the bottle, it got everywhere. Your hands were coated with a dry film & chunks of dried soap were all over the washer & floor. That just wasn't gonna fly with me. 

Back to the drawing board for me 'cause I've already got enough to clean up around here, I don't need to have chunks of soap all over too.

I once again scoured the interwebs for recipes & sorted through the recipes that others sent me after reading about my adventure in laundry soap making. As is typical Eddi Girl fashion, I came up with my own recipe of borax, baking soda, super washing soda, smelly stuff, & soap. 

I went to Wally World for my supplies & the checkout lady looked at everything & asked, "Do you make...?"

When she didn't finish her sentence I said, "Laundry soap. Yup."

She said I was the second person that day to buy the same things & was so surprised that "you young people do things that we did when I was little." She asked me how difficult it was to make the soap. 

I couldn't help it. I really couldn't. I told her how easy it is & how it's totally worth it because it saves so much money. She then came around her counter & assessed me, "Your clothes are clean." She sniffed me, "You smell good." She went back to her side of the counter & said, "That's all that matters, right?" 

Then she asked me all sorts of questions about making the laundry soap & added her own stories of making the soap itself & then turning it into laundry soap, how she made it as a child with her Mother. Of course I totally answered her questions as if I've been making this stuff for years. Of course.

I didn't tell her about my first run with it years & years ago when it left our clothes smelling like we'd just taken a bath in old man b.o. after that old man built a barn & then mucked out the stalls in the barn, or about my recent batch that took on a form all its own & took me half an hour longer to make than it should have. Is it my fault that she took me as an expert? 

She asked how you know how much soap to use in each load. I told her, "Eh, it's trial & error. After making it for so long you just know." Totally not my fault that she took it the way she did. 

So Ms. Walmart Cashier Lady, if you read my blog...I hope I encouraged you to try it & that you don't hold it against me that you put me in the Expert Position. 

And here's my new recipe for Eddi's Bucket o' Soap that I'll be sticking with, that was super easy to make, only a couple pennies more to make than the last recipe, smells oh so yummy, & is awesome at cleaning All The Things, complete with picture tutorial...

First I put the 2 bars of Fels Naptha in the microwave to soften them. Then I sliced them into quarters & threw them into the food processor. I poured a full box of borax, a full box of washing soda, & 3 cups of baking soda into a big bowl & stirred it all together. 

Then I remembered why I didn't want a powder & turned my head to cough. A lot. 

I added the soap.

Soap on top of powder.

I stirred. 

Soap mixing into powder.

Then I remembered that I used a Pampered Chef spatula last time (albeit a different one) so I wanted to recreate that first experience with all the same glorious utensils. So I grabbed the big metal stirrer thingy.

Soap really mixing into powder.

I mixed, mixed, mixed. I wanted to make sure it was all evenly mixed so that the first 10 loads didn't get all the soap while the rest of the 100's of loads got all powdery stuff. 

I then decided that my bowl was too small to add the smelly stuff to it so I poured everything into an empty (& clean) kitty litter bucket. I added the Purex Crystals which do nothing but add scent. They're not fabric softeners, they're not cleaners, just frivolous smelly stuff. When they first came on the market, I was all, "Wha...? Who would buy that? Laundry soap already has a smell. If you need more smell on top of that, to mask other smells, then you have issues & need a shower. Dude." Now I know why they make it. Purex was very smart in making something for the homemakingers out there who don't rely on their other products. Geniuses I tell ya!

Eddi's Bucket O' Soap

I closed the bucket & shook it. Really. Well. I was all She-Woman on that bad boy. Usin' my muscles to shake it up & down. Making faces that showed my powers. Lettin' that bucket know who is boss. Then I waited a very long time before opening it so that the dust would settle. 

Ain't it perty?

Then I got all cool-picture-y & played around with it.

It's like a picture in a magazine, no?

And that's my new laundry soap that comes out to 4-8 cents/load. 1 Tablespoon for lighter loads, 2 Tablespoons for heavier/nastier loads. I just pour it directly into my HE front loader washer before the clothes, not in the laundry soap drawer.

I have no idea how long this batch will last me but it's about 1/3 of a kitty litter bucket & I know it'll last a long time. I scoop it out of the big bucket into the empty Purex Crystals bottle to make daily use easy rather than hauling a big ol' ugly bucket out of the cupboard each time. Not to mention that the bucket wouldn't fit in my cupboard & even if it did, I would drop the bucket on my head when I reached up to pull it out & then I'd end up passed out on the floor & my family would see me there & leave me until they got hungry or needed a ride somewhere & then someone would kick me & tell me to wake up & when I didn't they would go make a sandwich & text their friend that their Mom won't drive them & be mad at me. Can't have that.

I use the top on the Purex bottle to measure out the soap. There are lines on the bottle that are 1 Tablespoon & 2 Tablespoons--I measured how much those lines held--so it's easy to use.

It would be slightly cheaper to make if I didn't add the smelly stuff (around $4 for the bottle) but I was missing Laundry Scent, so it was worth it to me. 

I still use my Eddi's Fabric Softener but I no longer add the baking soda because it was leaving white streaks on my black yoga pants. The clothes are just as soft without it as with it, still eliminate static cling, & still don't smell like vinegar, but now costs slightly less because it's one less ingredient. 

Whenever I walk through the store, I look down the laundry aisle & I give it a little smirk. "You can't have me any longer, Commercially Made Laundry Soap!" Won't you join me in stickin' it to The Man?

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