Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Make your own...laundry detergent?

I've been making my laundry detergent off and on for a couple years now. I like how cheap it is, how well it cleans our clothes (and believe me, we put it through its paces!) and how little we need to throw away. Those big plastic jugs take up some room!
For a long time, I've been using SouleMama's detergent recipe and been very content. It's simple, inexpensive, the ingredients are easy to find and does what it's supposed to. I wanted to have a go at a liquid detergent, however - I generally prefer how it dissolves in the machine. So, off to handy dandy Pinterest to see if some clever soul out there has figured out how to do it. I was not disappointed.

This is the first recipe I found and liked - after all, I had half the ingredients already. It looked pretty straight forward. I also stumbled upon this recipe, which included oxyclean. I've never used oxyclean before, but it sounded pretty good, though the detergent was a powder. So, when it came time to make my detergent one quiet Saturday morning, I decided to try for the best of both worlds and make the liquid with the addition of oxyclean. Now if you're a chemical person (which I am not, but my husband is), you can probably guess what happened. I melted the soap - fine. Added the powders - no problem. Brought the mixture to a boil - and that's when it happened. Evidently, one of the things oxyclean does is fizz. A lot. As the mixture began to boil over, I lifted the pot, hoping that the absence of heat would allow it to stop bubbling all over the place. No such luck. This stuff went everywhere - all over the stove, into the oven, over the counter. In trying to get it to the sink to try to control the mess, it made it's way to the floor and splattered all over several cabinets. It took longer to clean up the mess than to make the stuff to begin with (isn't that always the way?).
Once my chemistry lab/kitchen was cleaned up and under control, I was able to contain and use the detergent, and you know what? I like it. It was worth the mess and fuss to reuse the plastic containers with something that works well without costing loads. I definitely plan on using it again when we run out.
One suggestion, though: Follow the ingredients carefully and don't get clever trying to mix and match recipes on your first try. Not unless you like cleaning splatters on your kitchen cabinets for the week to come. That's not really my idea of a party, but hey - whatever floats your boat, right?

1 comment:

Zoanna said...

Oh, my. What a funny experiment. A detergent that doesn't cost loads? Ar ar. One thing I've heard about Oxyclean and I believe it because I've used it is that it causes tiny holes. For a while I thought it was 1) just my clothes wearing out at the same time 2) bra hooks poking thru thinner material. Then I saw a bunch of people say it's oxyclean. So I've stopped using it on everything except sturdy whites.