Miscellaneous_: Laundry Liquid Recipe

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Thursday, February 08, 2007 | 0 comments
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Thanks to ihbernstein for this Frugal Baby Tip!

This can from an issue of "Simple Times" online newsletter and I thought it might be right up some people's alley...
LAUNDRY LIQUID RECIPEby Margaret Van Emmerick -- Brisbane, Australia

I found the following recipe in an issue of "Soft Technology" (now ReNew magazine), a publication of the Alternative Technology Association of Australia . I've added some detail as to mixing and my experiences with it. The concoction saved me the price of the magazine with the first batch, comparing the price of a bucket of the 'goop' with that of a box of the commercial laundry powder I normally bought. They lasted approximately as long as one another. I have since seen variations of the same recipe from other sources as well, so in all conscience I cannot claim the recipe as my own. I have had quite good success with it and have been using it exclusively for the last three years or so.
Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe
Grate up one cake of yellow or pure laundry soap or one cup of grated soap ends into a small pot. Add enough *cold* water to 2/3 fill the pot.

Heat until all the soap is dissolved, stirring continuously and making sure it doesn't boil over. I had an accidental discovery one time I made up this brew. I had put the cold water in with the grated soap, had mixed it up and then got distracted. Several hours later I returned to find that the soap had got all nice and soft so I heated that and it liquefied really quickly. Unless I'm in a hurry, I usually do it that way now.

Add the melted soap to one large bucketful of hot water (I use an old nappy bucket because it also has a lid). Lastly add one cup of washing soda (also known as sal soda) and stir until dissolved. Do not do in reverse order or big gluggy lumps will result which are a pest to try and strain.

The mix cools to a huge gelatinous mess but when mixed up again looks like soap out of a pump pack. I usually find that my hands are the best tools for mixing it up again, although in the middle of winter this tends to be a little daunting so a potato masher or similar might do instead.

All preparation takes about 15 minutes (unless I let the grated soap and cold water sit a while first) and costs around 40 cents for an 11 litre bucketful.

I use about 1 litre (4 cups) of soap mix per large (7kg), fairly dirty load, and about 500 ml (2 cups) for smaller and/or less dirty loads. There is also a fairly good chance that I am a bit heavy handed with the stuff and could possibly use less. For smaller machines please do consider using less.

While I think of it, this brew does not suds up very much. Where the water is extremely soft, it may froth up a little.

The mixture is, or should be --- depending on the soap that is used --- phosphate free, reducing our impact on the environment.

I usually add a handful of baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda) to the washing cycle and about a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. The baking soda is to assist in the removal of odours from the wash and the vinegar acts as a mild disinfectant, fabric softener and rinse aid. Some people have been concerned about using vinegar in the washing machine. If I remember correctly, it wasn't recommended for enamel bowled machines. It didn't cause me any difficulties but your mileage may vary.

By the way, washing soda/sal soda and bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda) are NOT one and the same and are NOT interchangeable. Bi-carbonate of soda is NaHCO3. Washing soda is Na2CO3.10H2O.



About Catherine: I have been writing my Frugal Baby Tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three grown up sons, and a grandma - and happily married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and a rescue cat, Bella.

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