Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making Do

I admit, I have one or two idiosyncrasies. One of them is that I absolutely hate buying a commercial product, when I can produce our own cheaper and with higher quality.
This runs the gamut, from our own milk products to soap. I started making our own laundry soap a year ago, as the powder stuff we had been buying made me cough when I used it. Many people make their own laundry soap, using basically the same recipe, with very satisfactory results. You can make a gel, or use it as a dry product, which is my preference. If you have a high efficiency machine, like the boss’ wife, a gel is probably the better choice for you.

She had some of my ‘dry stuff’ up there and decided to try using it to clean her stovetop covers. It worked so well she decided to then use some for washing dishes in the sink. She set a couple of copper bottomed pots in the water and as she started to wash the outside and rinse them, she noticed to her amazement, that all the years of built up black stuff on the copper bottoms was wiping off!

Being very neighborly folk here on the ranch, she raced down to my house to demonstrate this admirable quality in our soap. I stood transfixed as she extracted my copper bottomed pot from the sink, gleaming with a minimum of scrubbing. Granted there are a couple of speckles, but I suspect those will disappear with a more thorough cleaning. But this pot was 30 years old with layers of black tarnish. Years before I had tried some copper cleaner with no success so gave up on the idea of having shiny copper bottomed pans.

About this time, two of her kids came in and with extremely puzzled looks on their faces asked,

 “Why is our mom doing dishes at your house?”

To which I replied,

“She was looking for a job, so I hired her. Maybe if you are lucky, you can hire her to do your laundry.”

Their reply to that was,
“She already does it for free.”

She said,
“Not anymore.”

Doncha just love to mess with teens? 

Laundry soap recipe:

grate 2 cups of soap (such as Zote, Castille or Fels Naptha)
whirl in Food processor with 
1 cup borax
1 cup super washing soda (NOT baking soda)

use 2 TBL per washload


Grate a bar of soap into sauce pan and add 1 qt water. Simmer until melted. Meantime, fill a 5 gal. bucket 1/2 full of hot water. Add 1 cup borax and 1 cup super washing soda. Stir until dissolved.
Add melted soap mixture to bucket and stir well. Fill to top with water, and stir occasionally for next couple of days until gelled.

You can add a few drops of essential oils to either recipe. (such as Lavender, Orange or Tea Tree)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! Thanks for the recipes, I can't wait to the powder detergent!