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Friday, January 21, 2011

Rosy Laundry

Things in the laundry department are smelling very rosy, I just made another batch of homemade laundry soap, I usually make it with a non-scented bar soap, often I use Kirk's Castile Bar Soap, or even Ivory bar soap. The last time I needed to make up a new batch, I didn't have (read-couldn't find) any of the Kirk's or Ivory, but I did have a bunch of Bee & Flower bar soap. This soaps have a strong scent that lasts for a while on your skin, so I decided to try that. The one I like best is the sandalwood scent, they also have rose, jasmine, ginseng, and bouquet. When I sent the sandalwood bar soap through the food processor, the scent was amazing. I mixed it in equal parts with borax and washing soda then used it on the laundry. I was thoroughly amazed to find that the scent lasted through the wash and after the clothes were dry. It had become very mild, it was not at all strong, it's not like someone is going to ask you what perfume you are wearing, but the clothes did smell great. PS, these soaps are very inexpensive, especially for how luxurious they feel!

The next time I went to the grocery store, I bought several more bars of this soap, I picked out my favorite sandalwood scent and the rose scent. The rose scent reminds me of my mother, she really loved the smell of roses, the only perfume she would wear was Roses Roses by Avon. I used the last of my last batch of sandalwood scented laundry soap today, so I decided to make the new batch of homemade laundry soap from the rose scented bars. I can't wait to try that on my next batch of laundry, I think I'll wash my bedding soon. 

For those who don't have the recipe I use for the homemade laundry soap, here it is:

  • bar soap (grated fine)
  • washing soda (not baking soda)
  • borax

I take the bar soap and run it through my food processor with the grating blade, I remove the grating blade and replace it with the chopping blade and I chop the soap even finer. I then add an equal amount of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 20 Mule Team Borax, I don't measure, I just eyeball it, I put the lid back on the food processor and whiz it all together. When you open the lid, be careful not to breath the fine dust, in fact doing this outside is even better. I pour this into a container with a lid, I use 1-3 tablespoons per load, this doesn't sound like enough, but it gets my clothes and laundry very clean. This will not suds up, bubbles are not what cleans your stuff anyhow. Adding more to your laundry will not get your clothes any cleaner, in fact it make it harder to get completely rinsed, so stick with 3 tablespoons. This will work just fine in HE washers too. Some people like to take a further step and make this into liquid laundry soap, I don't bother, it takes up much less room in the powdered state, and since I grind mine so fine, it always dissolves just fine for me.

Hints: I don't measure my ingredients, I just eyeball it, one batch typically starts out with 2 bars of soap, once that is grated then ground, I add an approximate equal amount of washing soda and borax (if you had 1 cup of ground soap, then you would add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup of borax).

Washing soda is not baking soda, though the box looks the same if you buy Arm & Hammer brand.

If you are using your gray water to water your lawn or any other plants you wish to keep, then omit the borax, this will kill your plants, you do not need to alter the amounts of your other ingredients, your clothes will come out just as clean.

You can usually find washing soda and borax in your laundry department at your store, if you can't find it, then ask the store manager to get it for you, or you can get it online.

Use the plainest bar soap possible, you don't want ones with gritty scrubbing stuff, oatmeal, extra moisturizers and such. I like castile soaps, such as Dr Bronner's, Kirk's Castile Bar Soap, I have used Ivory and now the Bee & Flower bar soap. Added scents are fine, but no other additives are needed and might even be a problem. There is also a soap called Zote soap, it is specifically made for laundry, it works pretty well, but I don't care for it too much. There are 2 different kinds of Zote soap, there is white and pink. If you are going to use this brand, get the white bar. The problem with the pink bar is it's moist, when you try to grate it, it becomes gummy, the white soap is dry and much easier to grate. 

If you worry about your whites getting dingy, then you can use liquid bluing. In commercial laundry detergents, they add optical brighteners, you can use liquid bluing to replace this, it was what your grandmother or great grandmother used to keep her whites sparkly white.

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  1. Thank You for sharing your recipe. I have made my own liquid laundry soap, but may just try your recipe next.

  2. Hello sister!!! One correction to your post. Mom wore one other perfume that dad bought for her...Chanel #5. Dad bought her a bottle the Christmas before she passed. I have the bottle and use it on ocassion. Tell PB happy belated birthday (sorry PB).



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