Monday, April 14, 2014

Laundry Day Project - Super Laundry Sauce Success!

Today is Laundry Day! We had some beautiful weather over the weekend, breezy and warm, and we were able to hang laundry out on the line, which is such a treat compared to cranking up the dryer. Fresh-dried laundry is simply superior to electric-dried, in my ever-so-humble opinion. :)

 Of course, today - Monday - Laundry Day, a cold front has moved in, it is raining buckets, and tonight it’s supposed to dump an inch of snow. Hello, spring! So we’re back in the laundry room, doing our work. 

One of the projects I did today was make some more homemade laundry soap. For years, we used the standard homemade gel recipe, or one of its variations. Then I saw this interesting looking pin on Pinterest
Photo (and recipe) courtesy
of Liss Burnell, Budget101.com
a few months ago and decided to give it a go, if only to save space. (For this family of almost 10, (plus animals,) we had to store our homemade laundry soap in a mega-sized frosting bucket we got from the Kroger bakery. The new recipe contains the same ingredients, but in a highly concentrated form so that the same number of loads fits in a few quart-sized mason jars. I love Pinterest for inspiration, and this project didn’t let me down. It was a complete success. The soap whipped up beautifully, and a tiny bit works very well. (Want to see some more of my Laundry-licious pins on Pinterest? Check them out! And be sure to follow me so you can see all my fun new pins every day!)

 Still, I have a few notes for whomever decides to whip up this recipe:
First, feel free to add essential oils if you like your laundry to have a scent. There are SO many to choose from, and with multi-level marketing being all the rage, I’m sure you can find a friend who sells some. If you’re only using oils for laundry purposes, you could probably find some at the local health food store, or a cheaper brand on Amazon. 

Second, the instructions encourage you to use a regular-mouthed mason jar and attach it directly to your blender. This was so exciting to me, not just for making laundry soap, but I thought of all the things I might be able to blend without dumping them into a blender (such as butter). Providentially, my blender’s rubber sealing ring had gone missing a few weeks before, and I had ordered a 2-pack replacement that showed up the day before. I say “providentially” because when I attached the blender to the jar in the way shown, it immediately sucked the sealing ring into the blender and shredded it. I was able to pick the pieces out, but needless to say, I won’t be trying that again. If you feel brave (and have a spare ring), you could try it with a jar of water first. I don’t suggest trying it the first time with soap. However, it works very wells to scrape the soap into a blender. It’s SOAP, after all, so it washes out very quickly. Or, an immersion blender would work well, too, if you own one.

Third, keep your soap covered. If your beautiful nine-year old is in charge of the laundry and she leaves the soap jar open, the top layer will dry out completely. Ask me how I know.

Fourth, if any of your children (or your husband) ever help out with the laundry, make sure they know how VERY little it takes! It turns out my darling son was using two big scoops to wash the boys' linens because he thought it was the same recipe as the former soap. Yikes!! Tape a label to the jar and keep a tablespoon next to it. (Seriously, a tablespoon is all it takes!!)

Finally, once you’re comfortable with the process, make it in bulk! It takes up so little room and really, melting four (or eight) bars of soap takes the same little time that it takes to melt one. For our large family, one batch lasts about a month and a half. That's only eight batches a year! (For those frugal mamas out there, like me, that's under $30 and less than two hours of work for a YEAR'S WORTH of LAUNDRY SOAP!) For the summer, I intend to switch out one or two of the Fels Naptha bars in a bulk batch and replace it with Zote, which contains citronella oil. Besides smelling lovely, it also keeps away mosquitoes and chiggers. (Now that’s laundry soap I can get behind!)

 Have any of you tried this recipe and loved it (or hated it?) What other tips do you have for making Laundry Day go smoothly? Let’s chat!

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(Laundry Day - What's That? and all your homekeeping questions are answered in my book, Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers, now available for Kindle. Go download yours today!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did adding the zote help with the Citronella as you had hoped?

Wondering how you liked the zote vs fel?

I use an emersion blender so much easier to use in the jars and takes away time of transferring from blender to jar.