Saturday, February 23, 2013

Desert Boy's Super Washing Detergent

 So when we last left, we had a 1/4 bar of Ivory soap all big and bubbly after 90 seconds in the microwave as part of our Ivory soap experiment. Have you tried it? It's funner than you might think!
After watching the amazing transformation and then feeling the changed texture, what do you do next?

You could use the soap in the bath or shower, although it might be a little crumbly.
You could make a soap sculpture.
Or you could make some laundry detergent! It turns out this option is quite easy, in fact, much easier than I had ever imagined.

 You only need three ingredients:
Washing soda (sodium carbonate), borax (sodium tetraborate), and soap (Ivory, Fels Naptha, Zote, and homemade soaps are the most used ones I've seen while searching the Internet). 

We had microwaved 1/4 bar of Ivory, and I grated another 1/4 bar (on the right side) to compare the volume. The grated soap had a lot less volume than the microwaved soap, but I figured it didn't matter much. So we mixed 1/2 bar Ivory soap, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1/2 cup Borax together.

I saw some recipes that added essential oils, baking soda, and/or oxiclean (which you can make with washing soda, water, and hydrogen peroxide), but I wanted to start with the simplest recipe and then add from there if it needed a boost.

Desert Boy was the happy mixer. Then he made a label for the detergent. I told him he got to pick the name for it. I made some suggestions, but he went with his own name: 

Desert Boy's Super Washing Detergent
1/2 bar Ivory soap (grated; or microwaved 90 seconds, cooled, and crumbled)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Mix well. Store in closed container with a cool label. Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry (and slightly more if the load is really dirty). Safe for HE machines.

Easy--and cheap! So far we've been happy with the results. I thought the laundry detergent I was using was ecofriendly, but a check on the Environmental Working Group's website showed it wasn't as nice as I thought. How does yours rank?

I guess we'll go microwave some more Ivory soap!


jhami said...

Haha that's pretty cool!

trav4adventures said...

I agree! I'm going to have to try that sometime!

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