Saturday, October 8, 2011

Liquid Laundry Detergent - Attempt #1, Two Fails

Well, I did it. Or tried to.
I've waited for what seems like months for the detergent we had to run out so I could make some of my own. I'm trying to replace as many commercially made products with homemade, greener products. We've already gone "poo free" here, and I have the supplies to make some body soap (I have both "Melt & Pour" and rebatched soap base for hand milled), but haven't gotten around to it yet. More on those later.

So, as I'm addicted to Pinterest, I was able to find many different types of laundry soap recipes.
Most boil down to a several key ingredients:
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
A bar of soap

Optional Ingredients: Salt (for hard water)
Essential Oil (or fragrance oil)

I decided to start with this recipe from The Simple Dollar as I love their blog. Here's what their final product looked like:
First fail.
Now, we have hard water. On several other blogs, I read that you can dissolve 1/2C Epsom salt into a cup of warm water and add that to the final product and it will soften your water AND act as a fabric softener.
Silly me, I thought I'd skip a step and after the grated bar of soap had melted into the water, I just poured the Epsom slat into the soapy water.
I wasn't trying to do a science experiment, but that's what I did. Here's how it turned out:
It was like cottage cheese in water, and no longer smooth, sudsy water. I was determined to carry on though, and continued with the recipe.
Here comes my second fail.
I had purchased an essential oil blend called "Karma", which is a blend of the following: Patchouli Oil, Orange Oil, Lavendin Oil, Pine Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Elemi Oil, and Gardenia Extract. It's great for lotions and soaps or as a body scent - if you like to smell like an earthy dirty hippy! My husband loves patchouli. I think it smells like dirt, but I kind of like it (just a teeny tiny little bit).
Instead of adding a recommended essential oil (Lavender, Orange, Lemon - you know, something CLEAN smelling!) I thought it would be a good idea to add some of the Karma oil. Bad idea.
What I ended up with was a liquidy cottage cheese water that smelled heavily of dirt. It never set correctly even though I tried (and burned out the motor) using a stick blender to break up the cottage cheese soap pieces.

My second attempt will soon follow...

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