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afbrat

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I was thinking about subbing 1 oz of lemon juice in my lye water ppo in my 100% CO soap for cleaning and laundry. Do you all think this would give any cleaning boost, or is it wishful thinking? And would you personally put it in your lye water or in your oils before/after trace?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The citric acid in the juice will neutralize with the lye to form sodium citrate and will therefore increase your superfat unless you use more lye to correct for it. With laundry soap, you do not want a superfat at all
 

afbrat

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Oh! Thank you, Gent! I didn't even think about the acid in it eating the lye! Duh. Lol. I was just reading a thread about that the other day, too! Ok, next question then. What if I did hp and added a little lemon juice after the cook before I glop it into a mold? What do you think that would do? Would it un-saponify (is that even a word?) my soap?
 

DeeAnna

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"...What if I did hp and added a little lemon juice after the cook before I glop it into a mold?..."

Doesn't matter when you add the acid to a soap -- it will STILL cause problems if you don't account for the lye it wants to react with.

"...Would it un-saponify (is that even a word?) my soap?..."

To simplify a complex matter to one word ... yes.
 

afbrat

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Ok. Thank you, DeeAnna and Gent! I guess I'll scrap that idea then I appreciate the input!
 

Seawolfe

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Now, if you have hard water you might want to try adding citric acid to your water before the lye BUT it is still an acid and you must alter your lye amount to compensate. Click those that link in DeeAnnas signature for tutorials on that, and search the forums for "citric acid calculations".

FWIW I use pure CO laundry soap with borax and washing soda, and put a splash of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser and that seems to work really nice making everything clean and fresh, including the HE washing machine.
 

afbrat

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Ok. Thank you both. I bought citric acid the other day from my local Mennonite store. I'll look at those links and do some search those calculations. Thank you both!
 

kumudini

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Not answering your question sorry, but I've a question of my own. Before my house move I had a front load washer and the homemade laundry powder used to just sit there in the detergent compartment. So I made a liquid. Now that's over, and I've a top load washer where you just pour the liquid in the main tub. Can I just use the powder as is in it? Will it dissolve and not cling to my clothes?
 

afbrat

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Hm. I can't help you on that one since I have a front load washer. But I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do that. Maybe run a little water into your machine then add the detergent before adding your clothes? My mom does that with her bleach tabs when she uses them. Hopefully someone else will chime in with a better answer.
 

DeeAnna

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Vkumudini -- I make a powdered soap laundry soap, and it works very well for me even when washing in cold water, but there was a learning curve I went through for my first few batches.

You can put powdered soap directly into the washer tub or into the soap dispenser, whichever works best for you. I add the soap either way and get decent results, but I gravitate toward adding it to the tub. If you want to add the soap to the tub too, put it in the bottom so it gets mixed with water and get started dissolving as soon as possible. If you have a HE washer like I do, this is important, because there's not much water in the tub -- soap sprinkled on top of the clothes may not get a chance to dissolve right away.

There are three things to remember when using any powdered soap in a washing machine --

(1) Make the soap as water soluble as possible by using mostly coconut oil (or PKO). I use 70% CO and 30% lard, but many use 100% CO. You probably already know this, but I'll include this for the benefit of others who might not.

(2) Also keep the powder as fine as possible. You don't want granules the size of "cracked pepper", you want a powder closer to fine grained table salt. Do this by powdering the soap with a food processor within 24 hours of making the soap. The point is to not let the soap dry too much after it's made, or it will be too firm and hard to physically shatter into powder that's fine enough to dissolve fast. This is especially true of a high CO soap.

(3) Last, if you see particles of soap remaining on your clothes after washing, try using warmer water for washing until you use up this batch of soap or dissolve the soap in warm water before use. Warmer water in the wash will increase the solubility of the soap so it is more likely to fully dissolve. And if (3) happens, rethink your strategy for (1) and (2) so your next batch of laundry soap will work better.
 

DeeAnna

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To answer your question directly, Afbrat, the added acid won't really do a lot as a "cleaning boost", since it reacts with the lye long before it ever sees your clothes. What the citric acid in the lemon juice will do is become a chelator to help reduce the sticky soap scum that forms when real soap is used in hard water.

The idea of mixing an acid directly with a base (like baking soda and vinegar) and thinking the mixture cleans more effectively is a little off base. You are better off to do what Seawolfe does -- wash with alkaline soap and follow with an acid rinse.

I use a 50:50 mix of powdered soap and washing soda as my laundry detergent. I make the soap with a chelator as well (I use EDTA, but citrate also works). I sometimes use this powder mix for scrubbing the shower and sinks, but mostly I use it for laundry.
 

penelopejane

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I haven't made laundry detergent yet but I wash in cold water and if I put commercial laundry powder in my top loader I dissolve it in hot water first then pour it in. If I use liquid I just pour it in.
 

kumudini

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You are awesome DeeAnna, how did you know that I waited couple of weeks to process my CO bars after they were made? How in the world did you know that my laundry soap is not a fine powder but a coarse ground pepper, lol. Well, I will try to blitz that mix in my blendtec to see if that could pulverize it. If not I'll make more liquid with it until it's over and then make a fresh batch following all your tips. Thank you very much.
 

DeeAnna

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I'm chuckling ... I've made all those mistakes, so that's why I am able to "read your mind" about what you've done!

If any thing can pulverize soap into powder, the Blendtec can. I have one too. Just be aware that the soap might dull the blender mixing pitcher. My food processor bowl is getting pretty cloudy from chewing through my soap.

I put about half shredded soap and half washing soda into the processor bowl. The washing soda keeps the soap cooler so it is less likely to ball up and form a sticky ball, rather than break down into powder when I'm trying to pulverize it. Another tip learned the hard way!
 

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