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Make your own laundry soap or soap powder (UK)
Wed 23-Sep-09
2:04 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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I was thinking a good possible forum topic would be frugal ideas that are easy. (Because I admit it, if its not easy, I doubt I'll do it!)For instance, another blog I read every once in a while had a recipe for making your own laundry soap. I ended up trying it, it was really easy, and it only cost $1.74 to make enough soap to do 104 loads at 1/2 cup a load. If this sounds good I'll put up the recipe and directions.

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Wed 23-Sep-09
6:23 am
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fn
Newmarket
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Hello Michelle

I'd be really interested to see the recipe for laundry soap.

I think that you've hit the nail on the head, frugal easy gets the thumbs up from me.

Wed 23-Sep-09
4:34 pm
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Suky
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Yup, I'd like to see that too, please.

Wed 23-Sep-09
7:32 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Houston, we have a probelm!
A minor glitch behind the scenes means that I am unable to add the new forums right now. Hopefully this will be sorted by tomorrow.

Apologies all.

Never knowingly underfed

Thu 24-Sep-09
1:40 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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Make your own laundry soap-

To make sure credit is given where it is due, I found this recipe on the blog "The simple dollar", but this is my take on their recipe.

1 bar of laundry soap (Fels-naptha is what I have used and like)
1 box of washing soda
1 box borax
1 5 gal bucket
a measuring cup
something long enough to stir with
a pot big enough to hold 4+ cups of liquid

Start by filling your pot with 4 cups of water and heat this up to just below boiling.

Take a cheese grater and grate your bar of soap into flakes. Add these to your hot water, and stir untill you have a pot of soapy water. Some folks will just grate the soap into water and let it sit overnight.

In your 5 gallon bucket add 3 gallons of water. When your soap mixture is smooth (no lumps, or at least not big ones) add that to your 3 gallons of water. Stir untill it looks like the soap is mixed in.

Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir. (I was thinking very seriously about getting my paint mixer paddle out and attaching it to my drill at this point).

Then add 1/2 cup of borax to your mix and once again stir.
If your mixture is still hot at this point I'd allow it to cool before you use it. It should jell, and look a little odd, but it works really well. I give it a stir again before I use it, or save some empty laundry detergent bottles to store it in (I use empty milk jugs)and give your bottle a good shake before you use it.

After I did the math I found that this makes 104 1/2 cups of laundry soap. (I use 1/2 cup because I have a HE machine.) If you have a conventional machine, you may want to use a full cup. I really like it because using this mix has eliminated the nasty smell that can occur with the HE machines since they are so well sealed. Whites have been staying white but I have to admit I use bleach in my whites so I can't tell you how they would do alone. Smells don't linger, stains I have a doubt about I still pre-treat. As a frame of reference I have hard water.
The best thing about this recipe is the how much it costs. I got out my kitchen scale and did the math. It cost me $1.74 to make 104 loads worth of laundry soap.

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Fri 25-Sep-09
7:03 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Can anybody translate Michelle's ingredients into UK / Eur / Aus / NZ counterparts?

That's a brilliant contribution, Michelle. It's the kind of thing we want to see more of in this thread.

Many thanks for kicking it off.

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 26-Sep-09
3:32 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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Hi Danny,

I bought a snazzy kitchen scale since I started reading Fiona's Blog since she does her recipes by weight vs volume. Here's a great excuse to put it to the test. I put as many different units of measurement as I could come up with. The green is the original unit of measure, follow the column over untill you find a unit you can use.

Laundry Detergent-

3 Gallons of water - 11.35L of water - 12700 g of water

4 cups of water - 33 oz of water - 943g of water

1/2 cup borax - 4 oz of borax - 113 grams of borax

1 cup washing soda - 10 oz of washing soda - 283 g of washing soda

I hope that helps!

Also, here is a link to a conversion calculator that I also used to get some of the measurements. If I didn't list one that you recognize, maybe you can use the site and find one that works for you.

http://www.lenntech.com/calculators/mass-weight/ma.....weight.htm

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 26-Sep-09
8:05 am
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Danny
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Brilliant. Thanks, Michelle.

PS: what is a HE machine?

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 26-Sep-09
2:58 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
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HE machines are High Efficency machines. They are very popular in the US, and I assumed the world. Embarassed

They are popular because they use half as much water to wash a load that a regular machine, and the spin cycle is so fast that the clothes come out barely damp when the load is done, so they take less time in the dryer.

The problem is that HE machines are front load instead of top load, so the machines are very well sealed, and can develop a odd smell that get into your laundry. I have been combating this by proping the door open when I'm done washing, and since I have a tendancy to do one big wash every week I make sure that my first load is whites and add 1/2 cup od bleach to the load. It helps with the odor problem and keeps my whites nice. Since I have started making my own detergent the odor in my washer has (almost) gone away. I still keep the door proped open.  

If anyone is having a problem finding the materials to make the laundry soap, I found a site called "soaps gone buy" and they have everything you need to make your own detergent.  If you look at the top of their homepage they have their own recipes and ideas tab at the top for other uses.

http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/

OH! The bar of Fels-Naptha soap I used is 5.5oz. I should have put that in the conversion list too, sorry!

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 26-Sep-09
7:50 pm
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aromatic
Warwickshire

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Hi great recipe Michelle and I will most certainly give it a try... and not sure if this will help but one can find some of the old fashioned UK soaps at this link http://www.carbolicsoap.com and I am also trialling soap nuts at the moment which I was sent in a recent giveaway by http://compostbins.blogspot.com/ and so far I am very impressed with the results and after four/five washes when they are no longer usable they can be put into the compost bin. The link to them is http://www.inasoapnutshell.com/

Happy Washing!

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Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa

Sat 26-Sep-09
11:33 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
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Hi Jane,

Keep us posted about the soap nuts, would you? I'd be very intrested to hear your experence!

Michelle

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 3-Oct-09
2:42 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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*******UPDATE********

Since I started using this recipe I have turned my siblings on to making their own soap, (so I have got a lot of pratice in a short time!) so I have a few shortcuts. If this is something you have tried and want to do on a regular basis, you may want to try this-

- I got a plastic container with a lid that is big enough to hold the first 4 cups of water and I chopped the bar of soap up and put it in to soak. By the time I have to make my next batch I take it out and use my stick blender on it to get a smooth mixture, then I can skip the stove top phase of the recipe. I do this after I make a batch of soap, that way its ready for the next tiime. Use warm water for your 3 gallons to help blend the borax and washing soda to compensate.

-As you stir up your mixture, take out some of the water in a container and mix your washing soda into it first before you add it to the rest of your liquid. Do the same for your borax. I have had a couple of batches that the soda or the borax didn't blend well (and I'm not sure why).

-You can do a custom scent soap if you want, just add your chosen essential oils after you have mixed all of your ingredence.

I had a wonderful experence today, I walked past a display of Tide laundry detergent (my former first choice for laundry) priced on sale for $17.99. I didn't have to put any in my cart.Laugh

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Mon 12-Oct-09
8:53 pm
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sara
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well my partner/husband (without the wedding...lol) is a mechanic. so you can imagine the state the bath is in when he has used it!!  other than filling the bath with bleach.. which burns your nose for the whole day (i like to taste my food) i have found that bathroom soap on a cloth really gets the grease off. i suppose it makes sence really, if it cleans your skin.....

sorry if thats a naff tip.

sara

Mon 12-Oct-09
9:53 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Hi Sara - that is such a simple idea. Brilliant. Surprised

I hate bleaches and things like toilet Duck because we need bacteria in our sewage systems and bleach kills the poor buggers. The marketing industry has a lot to answer for. We do not need any of the "products" that we keep for bathroom cleaning. It's all an end result of TV advertising in my opinion.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 18-Oct-09
8:17 pm
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Suky
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I subscribe to an American site called 'Flylady' and one of the tips on there is 'soap is soap'  wether it's cleaning the bath or the toilet.  I put the last slivers of soap in the toilet brush holder with a little water and use this daily to 'swish' to bowl.  I rarely need to resort to bleach.  Flylady also suggests shower gel, shampoo etc.  especially the ones you get for Christmas and don't like! 

For stuborn marks a little baking soda on a damp cloth works wonders. kitchen or bathroom.

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