Tide: My way

Posted On November 12, 2009

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One of my first blog posts (here) was for the dry version for homemade laundry soap.  For about I year I used the powdered because I was intimidated by the liquid instructions.  One day I finally decided to buck up and try the liquid.  I guess I must like it better because that’s what I always use now.  I have finally reached the point where I can whip it up in a free hour instead of considering it an ordeal.

This post is for my mom who stole my fels naptha and is still in the too scared to try it stage.  Give it a go.  Just don’t let the soap boil over.  It was bad enough to clean up on a flat top stove.  A Viking with melted soap scum would be cause for running away from home.

I didn’t take pictures of the process (you can find a dozen blogs w/ those pictures), just of my materials I use.

Step 1: Collect a bunch of empty liquid laundry detergent bottles and 3 empty milk jugs.  One is used for measuring water.  The other two you need to cut in half with the handle still in tact.  One you are saving the top to make a large funnel.  The other you are saving the bottom to make a scoop.  Also find a large bucket and set it in your sink.  I think mine is  about 3 gallons and given to me free at a bakery.  It formerly held frosting.Sept 2009 059

Step 2: Fill one milk jug + 6cups + 4cups with hot (ish) water.  Pour the 4c water in bucket and set the other water aside.

Step 3: Fill large pot (see photo) with water.  You do not need pans just for making soap.  It’s soap.  It’s clean.

Step 4: Grate 1/3 bar of fels naptha soap.  Some people use other things.  Ivory did not get my clothes clean.  Colgate was too harsh for my baby’s skin.  Fels naptha is a bit more expensive but worth it.  It’s also a little harder to find but one of your regular grocery stores should have it.  Use a Cuisenart or watch your knuckles.  Tonight I managed to grate my soap w/o grating my skin for the very first time.  (*I think 1/3bar is somewhere between 1/2-1c grated.  Every recipe you find has different proportions so wing it if you like).

Step 5: Measure out 1/2c washing soda and 1/2c borax.  Again, both should be available at your local grocery store.  You don’t have time to measure out later so do it now.Sept 2009 056

Step 6: Boil the soap until it melts.  I tried a shortcut once and didn’t grate it and couldn’t get it to melt all the way.  Again, make sure it doesn’t boil over.  It isn’t hard, just don’t act like a mom and get distracted.  No multitasking allowed.

Step 7: Stir in soda and borax and stir until well dissolved.

Step 8: Pour mixture into bucket in sink.  There should already be 4c water in bucket from step 2.  Mix well.

Step 9: Add the rest of the water (1gal + 6c) and stir more.

Step 10: If you like you can just leave it in this bucket and use from there.  However, I find this makes life messy twice a day.  I prefer to put mine in old detergent bottles and pretend I’m normal until I run out.  This part is a little tricky but I have gotten better at getting it IN the bottles instead of in my sink.  Set the milk jug funnel over the pouring part of the laundry bottle.  It’s a nice fit.  Use the milk jug scoop to get your goop from the bucket to the funnel.  It’s hard to tell when the soap bottle is getting full so just watch for overflow.

Step 11: Clean up your big mess – which is mostly in the sink.  And catch up on the laundry you put off while you found time to make more soap.

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4 Responses to “Tide: My way”

  1. Mutti

    How can I go wrong? Thanks!!! Love you lots! Can’t wait to come see you and babykins and Prince and Tackler and Pretty Girl and their great daddy next week!

  2. Sally

    Seriously? I’d never even thought of making my own. Hmmm. I should at least learn how so if I ever had to I could…

  3. Meg

    Do you have well-water there? And if so…how does your recipe work on “dinginess”?

    Barefoot says: no, sorry we have city water. Have you tried “iron out”? Sometimes dinginess is from excess iron and it makes whites back to nice and white.

    • Lisa Robbins Anderson

      I saw this on another blog too, tried it, and have been using it for a couple of months now. It seems to work just fine. I took some samples to R.S. and I think I made some converts.

      My next project is to try homemade dishwasher detergent. It’s just 1:1 Borox and Baking Soda (not Washing Soda). Mix them up dry in a container with a lid and use 1 tablespoon on each side of your dishwasher’s soap dispenser. Also, fill the “rinse agent” thingy on the dishwasher with JetDry or, if you’re being all homemade about it, vinegar.

      I’m also a fan of homemade granola, yogurt, and almond milk. Next up: ricotta cheese.

      (My mom, Rexene Robbins, is friends with your mom.)