Friday, May 9, 2014

Laundry Soap Revisited

Finished soap
I made a discovery that I was not thrilled with last week.  I discovered that my laundry detergent has been separating and I didn't know it.  I had already planned to make some whipped laundry detergent, but since I was behind on laundry, due to running out of detergent, I had to make some more of my current detergent until I could get the other detergent finished.

Cut soap after sitting with
water overnight
Of course, I have issues with fragrances.  For this reason, I decided to make some lard based cold process laundry soap.  I started with measuring out the water and lye for a 5 lb batch of soap at 30% water.  Next I measured out and blended the lard and coconut oil for the batch.  I mixed the lye water with the oils after the lye water stopped fuming.  I did not color or scent this batch in any way.  I poured the soap into my large mold and filled my new flower mold.  The soap was ready to cut in several hours partially due to the low water content and due to the fact that it gelled quickly.  The resultant soap is very light and very hard.  Even right after cutting the bars had very little give to them.  I cut the soap into 3.5 to 4.3 oz bars.

I started making the whipped laundry detergent by adding about 3.5 oz of the laundry soap cut into small blocks into a quart jar.  To this I added about 6 ounces of hot water and left the soap overnight.  Although I will be honest, I ended up leaving it for about 2 days before I was able to get around to actually adding the other ingredients.  After adding the other ingredients, I allowed it to sit for about 3 hours.  
With Borax, Laundry Soda & Water

Allowing the mixture to sit was supposed to keep the resulting soap from being grainy.  After allowing the mixture to sit, I poured the entire contents of the jar into the bowl of my stand mixer.  I don't have a blender so I didn't have the option of blending in the jar like the tutorials I read recommended.

Because I whipped the soap in an less confined space, more air was added into the soap giving it a more airy texture.  This does not reduce the effectiveness of the soap it only means that you have to use a little bit greater volume to achieve the same results, due to the increased air in the soap.

So far it seems to work very well.  I have done about six loads of laundry so far with this laundry soap.  I use about the same amount of soap that is in the first picture, a heaping spoonful.  For this recipe I used about 3 1/2 - 4 ounces of soap, 3/4 cup of washing soda & 3/4 cup of borax.  I added enough water to bring the water level up to the bottom edge of the ring.

Update:  I found that I had issues with this recipe separating.  With having it in canning jars you could see about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the jar.  I am now using 5 ounces of soap per jar and it is working better.  My laundry comes clean and I am not using a fabric softener and really don't need it with the dryer.  Cautionary note: if you are using unscented soap and like for your laundry to smell nice don't forget to add your essential oils to your soap when blending.  ;)

I am linking with the following blogs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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