Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I stumbled across some great websites today. I wanted to quickly share one.
Please visit this website for a Mei Tai baby wrap giveaway. Today is the deadline!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cloth Diaper Laundry Soap Recipe

I finally got around to actually making it! I made some new laundry soap for both my cloth diapering needs as well as our family laundry. It was easy, fast & inexpensive. All traits I was looking for.

After a ridiculous amount of hours searching for the perfect recipe for soap/detergent, I discovered the best bet was to make one & try it for myself. There is a wealth of information that I gratefully came across. However vast, it became more conflicting the more I read.
I have read that; borax is bad for cloth diapers, good for cloth diapers, doesn't make a difference, makes all the difference. I read that soap such as Fels-Naptha, Ivory, Zote, Castie,& Sunlight is both bad due to buildup and great for cleaning action. Although after much thought, I voted to leave it out of my CD recipe.

I was using All Free & Clear for my cd needs. I noticed & read that I must have been using too much detergent, as the diapers started smelling like a wet dog. Yes, it was yucky smelling! I was using such a small amount that I thought was appropriate. Upon my stinky discovery, I knew I had to do something quick. I have never had this problem with our clothes before so this was new to me.
It only took ONE soap free, detergent free soak, hot wash & double cold rinse to get the odor out. Some people use 6+ hot washes....but I escaped the "never ending soak, wash, rinse till it smells better" cycle.

I have a top loading washing machine by Maytag that is only 4 years old. The appliance repair guy just visited to do a checkup & says my washer is in tip-top condition with years of life left.
I explained that I cd & he says my washer is great for those heavy duty needs.

This recipe, as well as the Family recipe, has been approved for HE washers.
Both are low sudsing as required for the HE brands.
Be sure to use the appropriate amount of laundry detergent or soap if you decide to venture to the homemade side of laundering.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe for Cloth Diapers:
(Powdered, 3 minutes to make)
If you desire a fragrance, add two drops of your choice of essential oil to the water before adding diapers

2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda!)
2 cups of Oxygen cleaning powder, such as Oxyclean (I used Sun brand from walmart)

Mix well. Use 1 Tablespoon (15ml) for small loads & 2 Tablespoons (30ml) for large loads.
Store in recycled, air tight containers.

The Borax, 4lb 12 oz, cost around $3, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 55 oz $2.50 & Sun brand oxycleaner 30 oz $1.96. I had more than enough to make multiple batches of this recipe & decided to make my family laundry detergent with some of the extra.

Everyday Family Laundry Soap Detergent Powder Recipe (10 minutes to make)
Add 2 drops of essential oil for fragrance to water before adding clothes
1 bar finely grated Fels-Naptha Soap (you may use other bar soaps such as Ivory, Castile, Zote)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of Oxygen cleaner powder, such as Oxyclean

Mix all ingredients well. It will look like yellow & white granules. Use 1 tablespoon for light, small loads & 2 tablespoons for large loads.
Store in recycled, air tight containers.

The cost addition for this recipe was for the Fels bar, $1.29. I searched all over town, Waco Texas, & finally found the Fels Bar. It was located at the Keith's Ace Hardware (254-666-2520) across town, in Hewitt. I called before I loaded up the baby & they knew what I was talking about & how much it cost. I was so glad! None of the stores, HEB, Wal-Mart, Brookshires, Sam's knew what I was talking about or where to get it. I had been looking for it for a while.
The man who helped me said he keeps it stocked & can get it any time. He also said there are 7 Keith's Ace Hardware & they can have some transferred to any of the other stores for those of you who live elsewhere. I bought 5 bars, to save on gas. I figure they should last me a couple of years. :)

For grating my Fels-Naptha, I used my Pampered Chef grater that looks like the kind they use at an Italian restaurant to grate parmeasen cheese. I do not use the fine grating blade much & figured if I did, it is ok because I'm grating SOAP. Lots of rinsing of the blade was involved.

I used Mason Jars with lids to store my completed detergent. I wrote on a piece of paper the instructions & taped it to both the inner lid & outer ring with one piece of tape.
I had some measuring spoons that I no longer use & put a tablespoon next to my jar in my laundry room.

So far, so good. I am pleased with the washing & will keep you updated on the results. Feel free to ask questions. I will do all I can to answer them. If you live outside of the states & need a conversion recipe for the metric system, let me know.