Friday, May 01, 2009

Getting Fizzy Wit' It

Grated Zote soap

Thanks to the suggestions by some of you on my "Random" post earlier this week, I decided to try making my own laundry soap. I know...all of you granola moms out there are thinking, "So what. I grow my own food and dry my own herbs and can stuff." [Heather A!] Well, I have been more of a user mom that takes our earth for granted and done what was easiest for me. Lately, I've just felt the need to try to be better--to the earth and our pocket book.

Eric and I planted strawberries and corn in the backyard. I know--weird combination. But he wanted strawberries and I wanted corn. There is nothing funnier to me than seeing one lonely corn stock along the side of the road in Ghana. I did better than that though--I have four! LOL!

Back to the soap... I made some! To those of you who make your own liquid laundry soap, more power to you. I could just see horrible things happening with a 5 gallon bucket of slimy mess in my tiny laundry room. So instead of the $.01 a load liquid stuff I splurged to make the $.03 a load powdered stuff. I used Zote soap, washing soda, and borax. 1 cup grated Zote to 1/2 cup soda and 1/2 cup borax. Since I'm a scent person, I added some essential oil.
Finished Laundry Soap

Another thing I learned about this week was vinegar! Of course I've always heard these old women talking about all the uses for vinegar but I chalked it up to an old woman thing! Come to find out, vinegar is pretty cool stuff. So from now on we'll be using it as a fabric softener (no it doesn't make your clothes stink) and a rinse aid in the dishwasher. Which reminds me...

I also made dishwashing soap! 1 to 1 portions of Borax and washing soda, 2 Tbspn per load. I have less high hopes about the dishwasher soap, as the reviews are very mixed online. But it was just yesterday that Eric was talking about how much diswasher soap we go through. We'll see how it works.

I feel so "granola" with my corn and homemade soaps. Ha! I just also realized that we are doing a tie-dye project with the kids this weekend. Hmm...


Salzwedel Family 10:43 PM  

Were you wearing a tie dye shirt while you made said items? That would complete the package. Very cool that you did all this!

Bingaling 4:53 PM  

Very cool! Let us know how the laundry soap works for you...I was just thinking the other day that I had to find an alternative to what we use...we go through SO much more now!! And its getting crazy expensive to buy it!
PS...I just got in from planting my herb garden!

A. Gillispie 5:05 PM  

Chanda, we've done 4 loads of laundry today and so far I LOVE the homemade stuff. I especially like the vinegar as fabric softener. My clothes seem even softer to me out of the dryer than they were when we used downy. It's a little odd not to have such a strong scent on the clothes, but the still smell good. They just smell...clean! The Zote soap I used has a fragrence, and I've been throwing a washrag with drops of essential oil into the dryer with each load. It's just a faint smell, but nice.

Go for it!

Heather A. 10:42 AM  

You GO girl! I'm excited for anyone to add something green into their regimine! And I'll have to give your laundry detergent a try. I make my own cleaning supplies, but I haven't ventured into any soap making yet.

Vinegar is also great to clean with, especially on glass or glossy surfaces.

Rae 12:30 PM  

How much laundry soap per large load? Are you using just plain vinegar or mixing it with baking soda? Where do you find "Zote" and "washing soda" and "Borax"? (Actually I think I've seen the last at Walmart, but never heard of the others...)

A. Gillispie 12:36 PM  

Rae, I'm using plain white vinegar in the rinse. I know it seems like the clothes would smell like vinegar but they totally don't! I put some essential oil into the vinegar to add some fragrance--I'm a scent junky.

I found Zote at K-Mart in the laundry section. People say you can also find it at lots of hispanic stores or in hispanic section of stores.

Borax is pretty much everywhere, on the laundry aisle.

Washing soda is the tough one. I didn't find it at Target, dollar store, k-mart, or wal-mart here. You can buy the same stuff in the pool aisle. It's called "sodium carbonate" (as opposed to baking soda which is sodium BIcarbonate). It's more expensive in the pool aisle. I bought it anyway because I was impatient. Next time I will either order online or ask a local grocer to order it for me (they will do that).

Oh--I use 1 tablespoon for a regular/lightly soiled load and two tablespoons for a large/soiled load. So far so good!