Monday, January 31, 2011

What is soap without the bubbles?

100_3890 A whole lot healthier that’s what! I have for years tried to do things more organically and without all the chemicals. Hubby is resistant to say the least. I firmly believe that our children’s health problems could have been non-existent if our society had quit trying to save a buck (or make a buck depending on who you are) and stopped (or never started) using chemicals like formaldehyde, parabens, and phthalates. Hubby has an issue with soap not looking like soap. So I decided I was going to try again and make homemade laundry soap but all the recipes I found called for 5 gallon buckets and I just do not have that kind of storage.
I found a recipe on and tried to gather everything I needed from our local store. It was late, I was tired and I bought Baking Soda instead of Washing Soda but I had heard that was ok since my recipe did not have vinegar in it. I decided to make half a batch to try it out since I did not have that 5 gallon bucket just lying around. So I grated my Ivory soap into the pot on my stove and added hot water, cooked it until the flakes melted, added the Borax and Baking soda and let it all melt together. It seemed to be doing ok but I added some more water because it was taking a while to melt. I poured the mixture into a 2.5 gallon jug I had and added about 2 gallons of water. Now it just had to cool, r
I was a little disappointed when I went to use it. Essentially what I had was some soapy water with a floating soap cake on top. While I can scoop it out it is very lumpy and runny at the same time if that makes sense. Well being determined to try it out I put in a load of wash and 2 scoops of my mix. You know what the soap ran right out my front loading dispenser which was ok as long as I don’t have it opened all the way! HOWEVER, my laundry was clean!
 100_3954 100_3955 After Shaking before use we have bubbles!
Now my hubby wasn’t crazy about all this, but this is what got him on board. He watched me make it, which took less than 20 minutes, mainly waiting for water to boil. He saw when I added everything together how it bubbled a little and when I go to use it I shake it up first and there are soap bubbles. You can’t really see it much when the washer is going but it is working and I am wanting to try again to tweak it and get it less watery. I think my problem was that I added too much water during the transfer stage. I have heard it gets more gel like the longer it sits but after 1 week it is pretty much the same. Or maybe I should have used Washing Soda in the first place. (Update April 24 2011: I made another batch a few weeks ago using Washing soda and Fels Naptha and it gelled beautifully.)
100_3959                 Look at all those wonderful bubbles!
As an aside I do use vinegar in my rinse and I love it. I just wish I did not have to smell it to use it! I may start adding in some scents for the dryer but not sure about that yet.


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