Laundry Soap Question

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dillsandwitch

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Before I embark on the make my own laundry soap wagon I have a couple of questions I'd like answered if at all possible. I was thinking of 100% CO.

First things first. Will my homemade soap be as good or better as a commercial one in cleaning power? The reason I ask this is both DH and I are tradies and mpore times than not our work clothes come home with mud, dirt and silicone and who knows what else on them. Not to mention the lovely BO funk that you get with a physical labour job no matter the amounts of deodorants used.

Will I get build up of gunk on my washing machine? Its a fairly new machine and I dont wanna wreak it.

I also use a fabric softener, liquid disinfectant and some of this stuff in most loads https://www.aldi.com.au/en/grocerie...p/disan-oxy-laundry-soaker-in-wash-booster-1/
Will I still be able to use these products or will they no longer be necessary?

Also do I need to use borax, baking soda, washing soda or vinegar if using the above mentioned products.

Also do you grate before or after cure? Im thinking before so its easier to do. I do have a food processor but would prefer not to use it for soap.

So many things to be confused about.

TIA
Dill
 
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Susie

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Many things to be concerned about, not confused. And rightfully so. You should always gather your information first before embarking on new projects.

My first question to you, however, is do you have hard water? If so, and your current detergent is not causing scum buildup, I would stick with what you know works.

Liquid soap cleans my normal day-to-day dirty stuff fine. I do not, however, work with silicone and whatever else. So you will have to figure that part out.

There's no reason you can't use the Oxy type cleaning booster with home made laundry soap.

Will you be looking to make liquid laundry soap, or bar soap to grate up and mix with borax and/or washing soda?
 

dillsandwitch

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Thanks Susie. There is nothing wrong with the stuff I use now. It does the job perfectly fine but I figured it was something that I could have a go at myself and see if I can do just as well. I was looking to make a powder. The only reason I asked about the gunky build up is my last washing machine actually got a buildup of silicone around the edges of the drum. It did take something like 5+ years for it to happen though. This was back in the day when I used cheap store bought powders.

Im not sure what level of hardness we have here. I found a page that has this info:
Ranges of hardness, usually
expressed in units of milligrams per
litre (mg/L) of equivalent Calcium
Carbonate (CaCO3) are rated by
the National Health and Medical
Research Council (NHMRC)
Australian Drinking Water Quality
Guidelines as follows:
<60 mg/L Soft but possibly
corrosive
60-200 mg/L Good quality
200-500 mg/L Increasing scaling
problems
>500 mg/L Severe scaling

and the water we get here is

Grahamstown
Water Treatment
Plant
30 - 105



 

Susie

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That should be soft enough, then. I would make 100% CO soap with 0% superfat. As soon as that is hard enough to unmold, grate it up, then mix with washing soda to make it more alkaline.
 

Seawolfe

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I have a super disgusting job working with ships and fish and stuff. My 100% CO soap works for me - I mix it 2 parts grated soap with 1 part borax and 1 part washing soda (by volume). We usually wash in warm, I usually also add a scoop of generic oxyclean when filling the machine. I also add vinegar to the softener compartment (same amt - whatever fits there). I use soap chunks for stain sticks, or awesome cleanser for grease. I grate my CO soap as soon as I can, or I dont and grate it months later - and I dont worry about powdering or mixing in a blender. I just grate with the regular holes on a box grater or salad shooter, mix well with the powders and it basically powders up itself.

Now I do add citric acid to my 0% superfat soap (with the loss of lye compensated for), but we have hard water.

Our clothes get clean and odorless, hubby is super sensitive to scents so we dont use them in the soap or rinse or dryer, but you can do as you like. Start experimenting and see what you like. Sometimes I pre-wash, sometimes I add an extra rinse. Im loving the steam option on my new machine for stinky clothes.

After 2+ years using this on my front loader HE machine I see no issues, buildup, nada.
 
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dillsandwitch

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Awesome. Thanks ladies :D I will have to give it a go over the next couple weeks. I will report back how it goes on the yucky work clothes. Again thanks.
 

KristaY

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Just for another viewpoint, here's what I do:

100% CO CP, -1% SF. I still get a neg zap so it's good for me.

If I want my laundry soap scented, I just add FO as I normally do when I'm making the batch.

Definitely don't insulate, this one will really heat up. I ALWAYS get a huge crack down the center of my loaf from the heat but haven't had a volcano.

Unmold and cut as soon as it's starting to cool. I usually cut at 2 1/2 - 3 hours but not longer. If you wait you might end up breaking your knife or wire cutter as this stuff gets HARD! I always wear gloves when cutting because I'm sure there's still active lye at this point.

Save a piece or 2 to use as a stain stick then grate the rest. I normally grate it at about 6 hours so it's still soft enough to grate without burning up the salad shooter motor or killing my arm. I spread the grated soap on a couple of lined cookie sheets and let it air dry for days or weeks. During this drying time I toss it around every now and then to get air flow to the whole thing.

When I have time I grind it in my food processor then store in a plastic tub.

From there, mix with the ingredients you like or just use it as is. When I was experimenting with the usage rate per load I added a scoop (1/4 cup) to my first load of wash. I ended up washing that load without soap 3 times to rinse out the extra, lol. So I recomend starting at Tbsp or so depending on the load size, amount of grime, etc.
 

dillsandwitch

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I think i will try unscented for a first go and see how it travels. I have a big machine (9 or 10kg) so the amount will need a bit of trial and error i think. Im also thinking of just adding washing soda to the soap shavings as susie mentioned that the water here isnt that hard.
 

dillsandwitch

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Okay so the soap is made and I am currently doing a test load on work clothes. Iyt was under 2 hours from pour to un-mould and cut and grate. I also got to see my first soap volcano. It wasnt a bad one though, more of a soap hump. almost killed my arm trying to grate it all up so I went out and bought one of then salad shooter dealies. I mixed aprox 1.5kg of soap to the same of washing soda by weight. going by volume seemed like it would have been way too much washing soda. we will see if the laundry fills up with bubbles or not. hahahaha
 

DeeAnna

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If you use vinegar when washing clothes, add it in the rinse cycle -- don't put it in with the soap.
 

earlene

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Before I embark on the make my own laundry soap wagon I have a couple of questions I'd like answered if at all possible. I was thinking of 100% CO.

First things first. Will my homemade soap be as good or better as a commercial one in cleaning power? The reason I ask this is both DH and I are tradies and mpore times than not our work clothes come home with mud, dirt and silicone and who knows what else on them. Not to mention the lovely BO funk that you get with a physical labour job no matter the amounts of deodorants used.

Will I get build up of gunk on my washing machine? Its a fairly new machine and I dont wanna wreak it.

I also use a fabric softener, liquid disinfectant and some of this stuff in most loads https://www.aldi.com.au/en/grocerie...p/disan-oxy-laundry-soaker-in-wash-booster-1/
Will I still be able to use these products or will they no longer be necessary?

Also do I need to use borax, baking soda, washing soda or vinegar if using the above mentioned products.

Also do you grate before or after cure? Im thinking before so its easier to do. I do have a food processor but would prefer not to use it for soap.

So many things to be confused about.

TIA
Dill
Dillsandwitch, I used to make dry laundry soap using fels naptha bar soap (and later a combo of fels naptha and other bar soaps) plus borax, washing soda and oxiclean (did that for at least a decade), and it never caused any gunky build-up in my HE washing machine. It got my laundry much cleaner and smelling better than the store bought stuff I used before (I was never brand loyal to laundry soap, so I can't tell what exactly it was better than, just whatever was the least expensive.)

But last year I switched to homemade laundry butter, and I love the laundry butter so much more. The recipe uses 100% Coconut Oil 0% SF bar soap, which I make just for this laundry butter, plus borax and washing soda. It gets my laundry even cleaner than my previous laundry powder did, if that's even possible, but it does. It also works far better on grease than the powder did.

I don't add vinegar to my rinse anymore, either and find my laundry is even softer than it was if I do this: Run pre-wash mode in my HE washer, then run a second rinse. The second rinse seems to be what really makes the laundry softer. It's an HE washer, so it doesn't use much water in the first place, though so maybe in a traditional washer an additional rinse wouldn't be needed for the additional softness.

I got the recipe online last year and made my first batch in September, 2015. I still haven't run out, but am planning another batch soon because I am down to half a jar. I use old peanut butter jars to store it in the laundry room cupboard. Don't use glass unless you are positive you will never drop it and have it break. Yes, I did that the first week of storing some of it in a glass jar! Luckily, due to the consistency of this product, I was able to salvage most of the laundry butter.

Usage is: 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry. Storage space is much reduced over the powder, so I really like that.

Drawbacks: Not airplane travel friendly because it is considered a gel, but fine for road trips, which I do far more often anyway. Another drawback is that it takes longer to make than the powder because it requires several hours of cool down time before whipping it into a buttery consistency.

Link to recipe: http://moreonless.vbulletin.net/for...dry-butter-with-permission-from-miki-odendahl

Oh, to answer your question about when to grate. I have only grated after cure, but I have seen others do it the next day after making the 0% SF CO soap. I don't think I'd do it that way, though. I just made a 2 pound batch of the bar soap last week to prepare for making my next batch of laundry butter as well as to send some grated to my SIL, who wants to try her hand at making her own laundry butter. I'd make it for her, but since she wants to do the process herself, I'm just going to send her the grated soap and a small sample of the finished product along with the recipe. Less postage that way, too.:)
 

dosco

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DeeAnna:
In this application, would a 100% CO soap made from potassium hydroxide work more effectively than one made from sodium hydroxide?

-Dave
 

DeeAnna

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I prefer to use a powdered dry mix with NaOH soap, but that's just me. If you can't break a dry soap into a fine powder so it dissolves quickly, a liquid or gel version might be a better way to go. I have never made a liquid/gel laundry mix, however, so this is just my opinion.

Here are a couple of gel recipes from Tienne and Mike in PDX: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=393183&postcount=14 IMPORTANT: The "lye" called for in the first recipe is NaOH.
 
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I wanted to add something to this thread, albeit a bit late. I use -10 SF in my laundry soap. I found it works great for dishes and laundry, and whatever I need to clean. The next thing to add: The last time I made a batch, I let the lye cool to room temp and had the coconut oil about the same. This was the first time I did not have a full-on volcano. I hope this helps.
 

Scooter

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I wanted to add something to this thread, albeit a bit late. I use -10 SF in my laundry soap. I found it works great for dishes and laundry, and whatever I need to clean. The next thing to add: The last time I made a batch, I let the lye cool to room temp and had the coconut oil about the same. This was the first time I did not have a full-on volcano. I hope this helps.
That was not too late. I am finding that if I wait around long enough, someone will mention something that I'm wondering about... and this was exactly what I was wondering about--using a negative SF when making the CO base soap.

If I may ask, were your "full-on volcanos" when making negative SF CO soap? Have they happened in any other soap-making circumstance? I hope you did not get hurt.
 

DeeAnna

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I have never (yet) had a volcano, but a coconut oil soap would be the most likely one for me. Use more water to slow things down -- 28% to 30% lye concentration for example. Soap on the cool side. Don't insulate or CPOP. Don't add sugars or other "heaters." Superfat has little or no effect on the rate of heating -- it's just the nature of coconut oil to saponify fast and thus get pretty hot.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I soaped very warm last time that I made a 100% co bar and noticed a crack forming - shoved the moulds in to the freezer stopped that from growing. Even when I took it out to cut, I had to work quickly because it was so hot to hold
 

Susie

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I soaped very warm last time that I made a 100% co bar and noticed a crack forming - shoved the moulds in to the freezer stopped that from growing. Even when I took it out to cut, I had to work quickly because it was so hot to hold
I stick my overheating soaps (new FOs) in the sink with some ice water to cool them off fast. I found out that soap can volcano in the freezer, you see, and everything had to be cleaned afterward, and I had to throw food away. Ice water that comes just to the rim of the mold works much faster. It won't help folks with wooden molds, but my silicone molds tolerate it fine.
 

mommycarlson

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I'm so glad this thread was revived, I have made my own laundry soap for years, fels naptha, washing soda, borax. But since starting to make my own soap I have wanted to replace the fels naptha with my homemade soap. This is some great information. I was wondering what lye concentration to use though, before I give this a whirl. Thanks for your help!
 

earlene

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I'm so glad this thread was revived, I have made my own laundry soap for years, fels naptha, washing soda, borax. But since starting to make my own soap I have wanted to replace the fels naptha with my homemade soap. This is some great information. I was wondering what lye concentration to use though, before I give this a whirl. Thanks for your help!
I did the same, mommycarlson. That's all I used for a very long time until I switched to milder soap that wouldn't strip colors so much. I felt that the Fels Naptha was too color stripping.

Now when I make my laundry butter, I make 0% SF CO soap to use for the grated up bar soap.

A negative SF would work as well. After reading about the Andalusion-style superlye soap (very high negative superfat), it appears than any lye heavy soap would be great for laundry because that particular soap is supposed to get whites really really white. Not sure how it treats colors, though.
 
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