Part of what started me on my coupon kick was researching cloth diapers a year ago. I came across some sites that touted the benefits of making your own laundry detergent to save a buck, and maybe a little piece of the environment. I am all about saving a buck, but I quickly became sidetracked with couponing and forgot all about my laundry dreams. Last week, however, dove soap was on sale and giving register rewards at Walgreens, and I had coupons that made it all come out to be nearly free (after RRs). That motivated me to look back in to my past apothecary discoveries. So tonight, using my newly acquired cool melon dove bar soap and some ingredients I had on hand from general household use, I did it! I also tried out making some liquid hand soap while I was at it. You can make your own household cleaners too, as well as hair care products!
I was able to keep the soapmaking process going while feeding myself and little B some delicious leftovers and doing a few dishes as well. Overall, I was out MAYBE 15 minutes of my time. I now have 2 gallons of wonderful goo sitting in a bucket waiting to be poured into old detergent containers, and it is totally AWESOME!!! The directions recommend letting it sit overnight to gel, but I couldn't resist poking at it to see if it was working yet...and it totally was. The consistency is that of a soft cooked egg, or softset jello, or maybe stagnant slimy pond water. I would be lying if I said I didn't stick my hand down in the gooey middle of it and squish it around between my fingers ;-)
I did modify a few things from the recipe- I added a little more borax because I believe I have hard water, I used my nearly free dove soap instead of special laundry bar soap, and I used baking soda that I baked at 450ºF for about 20 minutes (to convert it from Sodium Bicarbonate [Baking soda] to Sodium Carbonate [Washing soda]). Right now, I am off the wall excited about the prospect of nearly free laundry, not to mention a lessened environmental footprint AND I am not paying big bucks for gallons of water.
I am a little giddy about the goo too.
***Note, these are images from other websites, they should show the URL in the source code. I was not super mom enough to photodocument my own process tonight, maybe next time.