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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Homemade Everything - Laundry Soap pt.1 and Making Liquid Castile from Bars

How would you like to pay roughly 35 bucks for about a year's worth of laundry soap, dish soap, body wash, face wash, all-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, foaming hand soap, and shampoo? (I wasn't happy with my shampoo recipe, I'll try again sometime.)

That sound okay with you?

Well, that's what this next series is about!  Over the next 7 posts (hopefully in 7 days!) I'll tell you all about it.  I started this process because of my skin issues in addition to the price.  I've found that a lot of products that claim to be organic aren't and that even some of the "certified" ones I have odd reactions to even when their ingredient list is the same as other certified products I've had no trouble with.  It seems you just can't trust the labels at all, so I figured the hell with it, I'll just make it.  Been wanting to do it forever, but I've just now gotten around to it and now I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

This whole bit may cost you less than 35 bucks, but even though they are simple ingredients, I couldn't find the main ones anywhere around here, so I had to order them online and have them shipped to me.

Let's start with the basics!  In case you want to make a shopping list, to make everything I will be making over the next several posts, you will need the following:

3 (or 1) bars castile soap of any brand or scent
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap or any solid, bar laundry soap
2 1/2 (or 1 1/2 + 1/3) cups borax
2 1/2 (or 1 1/2 + 1/3) cups washing soda
4 cups oatmeal  (or 1 1/2 cups)
eucalyptus oil
1 cup sea salt (or 1/3 cup)
14 green tea bags (or 5)
32 oz white vinegar (or 10oz)
1c apple cider vinegar (or 1/3c)
8 tsp olive oil (or 2.5 tsp)

Keep in mind, you can cut the recipes for everything but the laundry soap in thirds using the numbers in parenthesis (roughly - I'll be more exact when I post the recipes) since I did a triple batch of the cleaners and skin care products because I'm a go-getter like that.  Also because it looks like MUCH less on paper.

Today, we'll be focused on the basics, which is turning all those bars of soap into liquid and getting day 1 of the detergent done - it isn't as daunting as it sounds.  It only takes two days for the laundry soap as it has to sit up overnight.

First thing, boil loooots of water.  You'll need 1 gallon per bar of castile soap, so that's 3 gallons.  I boiled them all separately to make sure I had the measurements right and because most of my pots only hold one gallon or so.  You'll also need to boil 4 cups for the Fels-Naptha.

This is the castile soap I used.  There's liquid castile soap online, but I opted to make my own since I can make a gallon for way cheaper than they want for a small bottle of liquid.

You'll also need some buckets to mix things in.

...and every empty container you can lay your grubby little mitts on.

Now, grate the soap!

This is the Fels-Naptha for the laundry detergent.

Once your soaps are grated and your water starts to boil, pour the four cups into a bucket, add the shredded Fels-Naptha soap, and stir until it is all melted.

Then, fill the bucket to the half-way point with warm water and add 1 1/2 cups each of Borax and washing soda and stir it all up.  Fill the bucket up the rest of the way with water, wait 15 minutes, stir it again, then put a lid on it until the next morning!  This was all super hectic since I did most of it alone, so I don't have pictures of every single step, sorry!

Once your laundry soap is sitting up, mix up 1 bar of castile soap to one gallon of boiling water and you should have a clear, liquidy, nice-smelling substance that looks like that above.  Repeat three times if you're doing a triple batch!  You've just made 3 gallons of liquid castile soap!  :)  Or one.  Up to you.

If you decide to make a triple batch, this is what you will get out of it - note the laundry soap and about 5 liters of other soaps aren't pictured.

Still pretty impressive, eh?  The only bottles not full to the top are the few you can see in the front and up top.  I'll leave an itemized list of everything this made at the bottom of the post.

I'll post day 2 of the laundry soap and the rest of the other recipes starting tomorrow along with my cute labels I ended up making for the bottles for my new cleaning and skincare lines!

Here's a sneak peek of one of them:

Itemized List for entire batch - not scaled down: (estimates close - allow a few ounces for adding extra oils, etc.)
201oz Shampoo
192oz Foaming Hand Soap
192oz Dish Soap
144oz Face Wash
288oz Body Wash
52oz All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate (at 2oz/1 3/4c water, so 26 - 16oz bottles)
104oz (I think that's right) Toilet Cleaning gel (can be cut 1/2 and 1/2 with water as it is a THICK gel, much thicker than store-bought)
7 gallons laundry detergent

This should last the Wookie and I about a year at least, for most of it (two person household, one bathroom).  Maybe longer.  I'll have to get back to ya!  Sorta-kinda worth 35 bucks!!!


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