Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Time for Laundry

I know there are easy DIY laundry powder recipes out there but I've never had the chance to try it myself.  Why?  Because it's better to use lye heavy soap than regular "healthy" soap (lye-discounted or superfatted) and I don't have any lye heavy soap unless I specifically make one batch.  The reason behind using lye heavy soap or non-lye-discounted soap is so you don't give the chance for that extra fatty acid from the oil to soak into your cloth.  The point of laundry is to clean and degrease, not to pack oil back in, right?!
For the longest time this post had remained as draft for months!  Well, it finally got its chance to be published!  This is somehow the bad news good news bitter sweet situation to me.  Bad news, I finally accidentally made a batch of lye heavy soap and it was so pretty, see this previous blog post: lye Heavy Soap  Good news also is, I finally made a lye heavy batch of soap now I can try out DIY laundry powder... yikes...
See the difference between the lye heavy soap shred and the lye discounted soap shred?!  Lye heavy soap is very crumbly and dry and this is a fresh one day old soap.  Lye discounted soap shred literally feels like cheese.
One thing I worry about is the color I used in that accidental lye heavy soap.  Hot pink and charcoal grey for laundry anyone?!  In the effort of lightening the color, I used 2/3 lye heavy soap + 1/3 white lye discounted soap.  To adjust the free lye percentage I "cooked" it in my crock pot with some water and apricot kernel oil.  This laundry powder should end up with just slightly lye heavy according to my calculation.
Hey, not too bad!  Pink laundry powder anyone?!
There are many different DIY laundry powder recipes, some recipes call for borax and some don't.  It is said to soften the water and help to lift stains.  I have no borax in the house at the moment but I do have oxyclean powder, will use that instead.  I added equal parts of washing soda AND baking soda then drizzled some lavender and lemon essential oil.

Oh gosh, its a lot of work!  My fingers hurt!  It take a lot of effort to get it fine powdery look, I give up, this is good enough.  It's only for laundry for God sack!

I have front load energy efficient type washer that requires much less laundry detergent than the conventional top load type.  Front load washer uses minimum water and cleaner therefore the less bubble the cleaner produces the better.  This is the only application we actually want the opposite of what we usually ask for from a soap.
I tested one fully packed load right the way using one small scoop of this pink powder plus one small scoop of oxyclean powder.  I'm surprised by how well it did!  My cloth came out smelling light and fresh, I didn't even need to put any fabric softener which I need when I use commercial detergent.  Bonus feature, it cleaned out 75% of that musky wet dog smell of my 5 year old front load washer!  Woohoo!


  1. That is such pretty laundry soap and if your laundry soap can clean wet dog smell, I think you have a winner. :)

  2. How did you get the powder from the cooked soap? Waited for it to harden and grate? Blend? My laundry powder takes a lot of work as well, so I make it in large batches and have been using it exclusively on my clothes for a few years now. Would love to have one of those blenders or food processors that grates it up on its own... xo Jen

    1. Since soap is just 1/3 of the recipe, I mixed in equal parts of washing and baking soda into the cooked soap. That got it into dry dough crumb. Then it gets dryer as it cools down. Then my fingers breaking the crumbs down. I also tried stick blender, not much help. Food processor probably would be better for the job but I don't have one.

  3. Such pretty laundry soap! Thanks for sharing the differences between the two. =)

  4. I'll take some to test! Love that it took the musty dog odor out of the front loader~ heh heh

  5. I'm going to try cutting my soap into small cubes and throwing into the food processor to get it crumbly and then add borax and washing powder after that.