My Life in Knots

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softner

I was looking for laundry detergent and fabric softner a while back that was pretty much allergen free. There is absolutely nothing you can make that you can say NO one will have a reaction to, but, I did foster care and had kids coming in allergic to fragrances, allergic to certain soaps or with various skin conditions like eczema set off by many detergents.

I also have senstaive skin myself and a son with a skin condition plus it's much more economical to make my own. It now costs me roughly $2.00 to make enough detergent for 80 or more loads of laundry.

Here's what you need:
1 bar fels naptha soap (its in the cleaning products isle not the bath soap isle: if you can't find this you need 1 bar of hard laundry soap or 3 bars of soap of your choice from the bath isle)
1 1/2 cup Borax
1 1/2 cup Washing soda (not baking soda and you can substitue soda ash from a pool store if for some reason you can't find washing soda)
1/2 cup of biz or powdered detergent booster of your choice
32 qt stock pot you will never use for anything but making this again

Step 1:
Grate your soap and add to stock pot (I have a kitchen aid mixer with the grater attachment I use but you can do this by hand with a cheese grater and the item can be washed and reused for food as this is just soap)

Add 12 cups of water and set heat to med Let cook until soap has melted

Once soap has melted turn off heat. I do not remove this from the heat as i let it sit on my stove overnight to cool so it doesn't matter.

Add 8 cups of hot water from the tap and then stir in the washing soda, borax and Biz. You will see foam don't stir to create more foam just enough to disolve the powders.

Now I fill the stock pot with water about 1inch from the top...this will be about 40 cups of water.

place lid on pot and let cool/set over night. It takes about 8-12 hrs for this to set up into a thick gel liquid.

You can pour this into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid or I persoanlly just place the pot on the floor next to my washer once it'scooled. I then use an old measuring cup and scoop 1/2 cup out per load.

Fabric softner:

Theres 2 I use

Softner 1: The easy breezy
Need distilled white vinegar
2 Downey balls

to use: Fill both balls up to the line and drop in washer (2 per load)
If you have a dsipenser addd 1/4 cup of vinegar to it for fabric softner.

This will make items made from cotton (except jeans) get back that feeling like when you purchase them. If you hang clothes outside it aids in helping boost brightness in clothes as well, also it won't set stains as much as a commecial fabric softner will.

Softner 2: I am still perfecting this

you will need:
10-12 cup container for storage and mixing
1 cup baking soda (not soda ash this time we want real baking soda)
6 cups white vinegar
essential oil of your choice (optional)

Place baking soda in container then slowly pour in vinegar. This creates a chemical reaction so will fizz and foam up thus why you need a larger container then needed. Just keep pouring then let this mixture sit about 15 min until the reaction is over.

Stir the mix to ensure all the baking soda has reacted with the vinegar then add about 10 drops of essential oil for fragrance.

Use about 1/4 cup per load. This adds some softnes like a commerical softner but not as much. However, it still doesn't set stains like a commercial softner.

On an added note since we're here
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
1 cup vinegar
4 cups boiling water

Put soda down drain, then salt and then pour in vinegar
let sit 10 min
Add 4 cups boiling water and let sit for 30 min

Helps clean basic clogs and sanitizes disposals and traps so no more drain smells.

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