Tuesday, August 28, 2012

White Silk Purse Laundry Soap

~ makes 4 quarts {one gallon} of concentrate ~
~  that's 256 loads of laundry! ~

2 bars Fels Naptha
2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax
2 cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
6 cups of hot water (+ more water as needed)

Put 6 cups of water on to heat. It will almost boil by the time you are done.  While the water is heating, grate the Fels Naptha.  I cut the bars in half the long way and run them through my food processor with the grater attachment, but it could be grated by hand. Add the soap to the water that is heating, and stir frequently.  This part takes 10 – 15 minutes.  Keep stirring until the soap is completely melted. Don’t let this boil or you’ll have soap all over the place.

When the soap has melted turn off the heat and add the Borax and the Washing Soda. (Do not confuse Washing Soda with baking soda.  They are NOT the same.  Washing Soda is in the laundry aisle.) Stir and stir and stir. You will stir for about three minutes.  The powders will dissolve into the liquid.

Pour the liquid equally into 4 quart jars. Now, add just enough water to bring the contents up to the “shoulders” of the jar.  This will leave about 1 ½ inches of headspace.  Put lids on the jars and let them sit overnight (about 8 hours).

The soap in the jars will separate while it is standing. This is OK. There will be firm soap on top and kind of gel-like soap on the bottom. Sometimes "crystals" form at the bottom of the jar, don't worry.

This next part is really quite fun.  Take one of the jars and cut up the firm soap.  I just stick a knife down into the jar and cut it up like a pie. Next, pour all of this into your blender of mixing bowl I have a BOSCH. Now, because I am frugal I pour about 3 tablespoons of water into the quart jar and swish it around to get all the rest of the soap out.  If there are crystals, I use HOT water and stir a bit. I add this to the blender too.

 Start on the lowest speed of your blender or mixer and increase  the speed gradually.  Your result will be something that looks like really thick, pale yellow whipped cream. You may need to scrape the sides down with a spatula a few times to get it all the way blended/mixed. It's like creaming the butter, sugar and eggs when you make cookies. (I can blend/mix two jars at a time in my Bosch bowl.) 

Pour/spoon the now blended soap back into the quart jar(s).  Your jar(s) will be all the way full now and you may even have a little more for another jar. Pop a lid onto the jar(s) and your soap will keep indefinitely. It gets a little firmer in the jar when it sits, but it stays spoonable.

Just a few notes: The following makes 12 quart jars of laundry soap--

•  6 bars of Fels Naptha (.99 each), 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax ($4.15), and 1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($2.79) {then there was a little tax - .86 cents}

• I made 12 quarts of concentrate for $13.74.  That means it costs 1.7cents per load J. That also nearly uses up the above ingredients. (Sometimes I find the products on sale for even less, then I buy more!)

• I had a little Borax left over… It’s good for lots of stuff. Read the box.

• 12 quarts of soap would do just over 14 loads of wash a week for a year!

• I thought I’d need about 18 quarts for a year’s supply at my house.

• The supplies for the soap are easy to store.  I don’t feel compelled to make it all at once.

• I use a Bounce Bar in my dryer.  I think it is the best anti-static and smell good invention of all time.

One tablespoon of soap does a whole load of wash!

Powder and Liquid Dishwasher Soap

Automatic Dishwasher Soap
1/3 cup White Vinegar
½ cup Castile Soap (liquid form/low suds only)
4 drops Tea Tree Oil
½ cup Water
2 tsp Lemon Juice

Put in a glass jar.  Use 2 – 3 TBSP per load.

Powdered Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Baking Soda or Washing Soda

Mix ingredients in a container with a removable lid.  Add 2 TBSP per load along with a splash of white vinegar in the rinse chamber of dishwasher to prevent spots and/or residue.  Add several drops of favorite essential oil (naturally antiseptic tea tree oil is an excellent choice) as an optional finishing touch.

All purpose Cleaner

~ No matter what volume, and the follow ~
~  Make one variation for the bathroom and add cedar wood oil to fight mold and mildew or add Geranium Oil in another formulation to create a cleaner/bug repellent for patio furniture ~

1 cup Water

½ cup Vinegar
10 drops Essential Oil

Use on kitchen counter tops or tables.  Add mixture to a stainless steel or glass bottle.  Shake and spray away

Amazing Air Freshener

~ OTW – Open The Window ~

1 cup Water

10 drops Essential Oils

Shake, spray in air, on furniture, carpets, window coverings.  Spray, spray and chase those stinky stinks away.

Invisible Window Cleaner

~ You can also use fresh lemon juice and use a lint-free cloth ~

1 cup Vinegar

5 cup Water
1 tbsp Isopropyl Alcohol

Mix in spray bottle.  Use a microfiber cloth or used newspaper to ensure a streak-free window.

Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer

4 tbsp Baking Soda
4 cups Water

Mix in spray bottle and use as needed.

Furniture Polish

~ Love It! ~
Not oily, smells great!

½ tsp Olive Oil

¼ cup Vinegar

In a 1-quart canning jar add olive oil and vinegar.  Fill the jar with water until you have a total of 1-quart of liquid.  TO use: Carefully pour a small amount into a clean free cloth and wipe wood surface.  If you put to much on your wood wipe with a dry cloth to remove any excess.