Monday, March 3, 2014

Something Simplified

I'm taking a lighter note today and sharing one of those "That would make a good blog post" ideas that I've had. It's nothing too original... not at all original, really. But it's simplified and, you know, since this blog is about simplified stuff in life, this is kind of an obligatory post.

Homemade laundry soap.

See. Simplified. Obligatory. And I just made some last week, so this is pretty timely.

I've been making homemade laundry soap for a few years now. Before making my own soap, I was on the fence on doing it because I figured coupons could help me save nearly just as much money as making it homemade would (and really, they can.) But then I watched this documentary on the chemicals in our soaps and cleaners. Understand, I was already in the process of transitioning away from cleaners full of chemicals, which is why I watched the documentary in the first place, but that documentary gave this hypochondriac the motivation needed to make the switch. So I started off with a liquid laundry soap recipe - one that had to be measured and grated. Then melted and cooked up on the stove. And then mixed with a lot more water in a HUGE bucket. It would solidify into this laundry soap goop and would last about 3-4 months. And it was like pennies a load. The clothes were just as clean as they were with the store-bought stuff. It really didn't take too much time or effort to make the soap, and since our laundry room was literally just feet from our stove, I was good with it.

But then we moved into this house where the laundry is done in the basement. There was something about toting that 3 gallon bucket of laundry soap goop down scary basement steps that made me reconsider my soap making. I didn't want to go back to the store-bought stuff. I knew I could put the liquid in smaller containers and tote them down the stairs, but how many containers would I need? How would I accumulate them all without spending money and thereby eliminating the frugal side of making your own soap? Then it dawned on me: Powder. I just knew that some genius had to have pinned a good powder laundry soap recipe. And I was right.

This made me entirely too happy.

And I am completely sold on powder homemade laundry soap. There is no cooking involved in my laundry soap making now. It's still fairly 'natural' so I know what chemicals we have going into our soap (another plus) and it's still pennies a load. And it is SO pretty!


The ingredients in this lovely tub of sweet smelling laundry soap goodness include: one bar of Zote soap (shredded), one 76 oz. box of borax, one 55 oz. box of washing soda, and one 28 oz. bottle of Lavender scented Purex Crystals.

I shred the Zote soap and set it aside, and then I combine a third of everything - the shredded Zote, the borax, the washing soda, and the crystals - and mix completely. Add another third of everything, mix completely. Add the rest of everything, mix completely. And that's it. I store it in a medium (?) sized sterilite showoff's box (the lid secures on with side snap closures and it has a handle on top.) I keep a 1/4 measuring cup with it that also precisely measures 1/8 cup. You can certainly use just 1/8 of a cup per load - even a large load - but we do xl loads around here, nearly every load of laundry, so we use 1/4 cup. And it lasts 3+ months. And it smells AMAZING. I tried to do powder without the Purex crystals, because even though they're "natural" I know they still contain some other questionable ingredients. But then, one day, I had a coupon and I gave them a try and OH.MY.GOODNESS. Never again will I make laundry soap without them. NE-VER. Not ever. Even though they are only 92% natural, I take the risk because these crystals smell like heaven.

oh, and a tip - Zote soap in homemade powder laundry soap is definitely the way to go. I used Fels-Naptha in my liquid soap, and it was perfect. I tried Fels-Naptha in powder, and it was just ok. I tried a non-laundry natural bar soap (Yardley) and it was also just ok. But Zote... oh Zote soap. How have I gone this long without you? It shreds really easy (and I shred by hand...)

...and it dissolves in the water perfectly. AND it is GORGEOUS! Look how pink it is! I don't even like pink, but this soap is just pretty. Between it and those lavender Purex crystals, my homemade laundry soap is delightful to not just smell, but also to look at.

It's the little things, people. The simple, little things.

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