Ever since I first ran across a recipe for homemade laundry detergent, I have been eager to try it. After all, homemade usually beats store-bought in so many different arenas, so perhaps this would be yet another example.
However, I was frustrated early on because I couldn't get the main ingredient ANYWHERE around here:
Fels Naptha soap.
Sure, I could order it online, but I was just stunned I couldn't find it anywhere. I knew what it was... I had seen it many, many times... and yet when I needed it, it simply wasn't there.
Even the Mennonite store, for Pete's sake, had never heard of it. (Wouldn't you think that they would stock something like that? yeah, I did too...)
Thankfully, my mom came to my rescue!
Not only did she know what it was (she's been using it for years) and where to get it, but she even said that I was worth the $5 it cost to buy 2 bars of it and ship it down to me. (My mom just rocks! yeah, Mom!)
Quickly collecting the rest of the ingredients (that would be 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax), Thomas and I made our first batch of laundry detergent.
He was a bit freaked out watching me grate the soap on the cheese grater (and then give it an extra whirl in the food processor). He looked at me very seriously and said, "You're not going to forget that that's not cheese, are you, Mommy?" I assured him I would remember... and that I would clean everything thoroughly when I was finished. He trusted me after that.
We mixed it all together in a bowl and he (quite proudly) scooped it all into a glass jar... and then ran to the laundry room so we could try out our very first batch.
The clothes smell nice, seem to be stain-free, and are SOFT. This is pretty amazing, since I have been dealing with some horribly crunchy clothing as of late. I can never seem to make it back to the laundry room during the magical "rinse cycle," so I haven't been able to add vinegar (which removes all the soap residue and leaves clothes feeling nice and soft).
Am I just gimped? Does everyone else just have an innate sense of when "the rinse cycle" is happening... or is there some buzzer system that other washers have that mine does not? Certainly we are not meant to just hope for the best and try to hit the rinse cycle? (somebody help me, here!)
Will my children break out in a rash from this new detergent?
Will it get serious stains out?
Will I ever achieve rinse cycle mastery?
I'm not sure... but for now, I'm calling this a success.
If you are a fan of homemade recipes like I am, check out this great link from the grocery game!