|You can add essential oil to give the soap a different scent, but since it doesn't really give the laundry a different scent it seemed like a waste of a moderately costly ingredient; it would nearly double the cost of the batch most likely.|
Then, I stumbled a recipe using the same readily available, inexpensive, low-impact, sensitive skin-friendly ingredients that makes a concentrated cream. It would take a bit more work, but would make over 240 loads' worth of soap. Pow! I set about making it and ended up with way more than the recipe said I would. WOW! I was looking at nearly 450 loads worth of soap for about $5 (+ the price of canning jars bought to store it in).
|The cream was dosed out at 1 tablespoon/load and like the liquid I was using before leaves clothes pretty much unscented which I prefer.|
I did my first load with it only to find that the cream didn't leave the liquid detergent dispenser. Shoot. I tried again with the powdered dispenser and a bit of the soap went down, but most just slid a bit toward the washer. Now what? I had almost 7 quarts of this stuff and had spent about 4 hours over the course of 2 days making, bottling and cleaning it up. I decided to try diluting it by half with water and it worked! INTERESTING FACT: If you wash your towels 3 times in a row, even without soap two of those times, they will leave next to no lint (or dog hair) in the lint trap when you dry them.
So then I had to go about turning those 7 quarts into 14 diluted quarts. Sigh. Well, at this point I was kind of cranky about it and realized I was wasting perfectly good canning jars on all this soap when we had a steady supply of jars from the kitchen getting tossed, because except for some beer and wine bottles at certain breweries and wineries you can't recycle glass around here. (I know!) So, I've started shifting the contents of the canning jars over to the recycled food jars. I decided it was kind of vain and a waste of time and resources to work very hard at getting the labels off if they didn't come off easily, too. They sure don't look as cute, but I get the satisfaction of knowing I've saved a few jars and lids from the landfill and will have that many more jars for some actual canning which I hope to do this summer and autumn.
|Hopefully it won't be long now until we're drying our laundry on the line again.|
Yes, this is not a quick project, but since we're a 2-adult household with 2 not-especially dirty dogs, I think this batch will last us about a year. Doing a year's worth of laundry for about $5 is a nice reward for the time spent, but more importantly we're not putting detergent and other man-made chemicals into our septic and not irritating our skin or our sinuses with strong scents. OK, my skin and sinuses. Have the people at the laundry detergent companies every smelled an actual mountain meadow or a real sea breeze?