Laundry Soap Revisited

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Susie

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We had a necro post about laundry soap that caused me to re-visit the "Mike in PDX" lard laundry soap, and the "gekko62" CO version that was around back in 2009. *Sigh* So, now I have the "curiouses" all flared up. Does anyone still make either one of those? If you used it and stopped, why?

Originally Posted by MikeInPdx View Post
I keep this soap on hand all the time. It takes a few days to set up but it's really easy to make and works well in soft water. People with hard water will want to have it softened with borax or washing soda before adding soap.

1 gallon heavy plastic or glass container with wide mouth
1/2 gallon cold water
2.25 ounces lye
1 lb lard, melted
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax (up this to 1 cup if you can't find the washing soda)
Fragrance oil or essential oil of your choice (optional)
Hot water to fill the container

Add cold water to container. Add lye; stir well (this barely gets warm because lye is so diluted) Add lard, washing soda, borax, fragrance oil. Add hot water to finish filling the container and stir well with a wire whisk.

Whisk 3 times a day or so until set up. Initially, it will start with a glob of soap on top but will set up more each time you whisk it. After three days or so, you will be left with a nice, powdery liquid that you can use in your laundry.

Add 1/2 - 1 cup for a top loading machine. Dissolve in hot water before adding to a very cold wash. Otherwise, just add it while the machine is filling. Use less in a front loader; this one WILL suds if you add too much.

gekko62 CO version
Here is the coconut/metric version I did.....

500g Coconut oil
2 Litres cold water
92g NAOH
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1.25L hot water
20ml orange 5x eo
5ml lemongrass eo
 

snappyllama

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Interesting. I've been curious about making my own but have been too nervous to try it out. I'm worried it would upset my happy septic bacteria friends and/or gunk up the HP washer. Does anyone on septic with HP washer use handmade?
 

Susie

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I used my KOH laundry soap with a septic system for years. I had no problems. I might leave out the borax, but it is such a small amount (1/2 c to a whole gallon that you then use only 1/2 c of per load) in the overall scheme of things, that I doubt it will affect anything.
 

dixiedragon

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The MikeinPDX is on my list to try. However, so far I am very happy with my liquid laundry soap. One reason I like it, snappy, is because I too have my concerns about my septic tank. Mine is 3 ounces of soap shreds (weight) by 1/2 of borax and 40 cups of water. Makes 2.5 gallons. I uses 1 cup per large load. Sometimes 2 cups. Whereas my dry recipe called for 1/4 c per load and that was all soap, Oxyclean and washing powder. So a lot more "stuff". So far, no problems with the septic tank.

BTW, our plumber told us that we should pour sour milk down the drain. Basically, it's like yogurt for your septic system. Loaded with good (for the septic system) bacteria. So now I make it a point to send all expired milk and yogurt down the drain.
 

dibbles

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I have a septic system, soft water and a HE washer. We have our septic tank pumped every few years. FWIW I once asked the septic guy about handmade laundry powder detergent. He asked what was in it and said it should be fine to use. Commercial detergents use bentonite clay as filler, and that is what causes the problems as it doesn't dissolve and can clog the septic lines. That said, I'm still cautious and use both commercial liquid detergent and my homemade powder detergent. I haven't attempted a LS yet, and it isn't very high on my 'to try' list. It's just the two of us now, so there really isn't that much laundry. I do hope this was good information that was given to me, and would love to know if anyone thinks differently.
 

miheypete

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I just saw this post; hadn't been checking posts for a few days because I had been ill. I still use Mike in PDX's laundry soap with good results. I've tried lard, coconut oil and a combination of the two, and found coconut worked best. I also use it in my top-loading HE washer. I now use distilled water and make it in half batches because when I made the larger batch and didn't use it quickly enough, it went off on me. Also, I stir in a small amount of grated homemade laundry soap into the lye water before adding the coconut oil. It makes the product gel more easily so you don't need to wait for three days before it becomes creamy. I add lemongrass EO when it's all mixed. I also use white vinegar in the softener drawer, and, finally, I use an additional rinse to make sure all the soap comes out of the clothes.

All in all, I'm happy with this laundry soap and have enjoyed never having to add it to my laundry list! Every once in awhile I'll make a different laundry soap, but I always come back to Mike's. Hope this helps.

Mary
 

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