Thursday, March 7, 2013

Natural Laundry Soap DIY Kits are here!

Soap nuts, soapwort root, and papaya leaf
I had been using a liquid soap nuts laundry detergent for our diapers but the company I'd been purchasing from closed shop. From there, it was find a new source, or make my own. Anyone can easily make liquid soap nuts to use as a laundry detergent from instructions online.  It's just boiling actual soap nuts in water; pretty simple.  But, same with cooking, I have this inability to leave a recipe alone . . .

This is something I've been formulating for a little while now. I've always wanted to try soapwort root for washing.  And while researching that, I learned that papaya leaf not only posesses mild cleansing abilities, it is also antibacterial and has been used internally to rid of intestinal worms.  (Saying that, PLEASE do not drink the laundry soap!!!)  I decided to combine the three to see how well it would work on my son's stinky diapers. (If you have a toddler, you know just how stinky those diapers can get!)

1 DIY kit yields 1 pint jar of Natural Laundry Soap
My first batch, I left uncovered and let simmer down too  much, yielding a very small batch.  But the strength was perfect!  My second batch, I covered it to help retain the steam but I didn't watch it carefully and lost a little bit.  At least it yielded a bigger batch!  The strength was still good.  Seeing that, I made a big batch and made sure not to lose any of the steam.  That yielded a  nice big batch, but the strength was diluted and I had to use at least triple the amount I had been using to get near the same strength.

I expected it to clean the diapers at least as well as the previously purchased liquid soap nuts.  Not only did it, but it made them softer - at least in my hard water, I could definitely tell a difference. So then I tried it on my clothes - and they were softer too! However, my mom, who has soft water, didn't feel a difference. Now, I haven't used a fabric softener for years - didn't want to risk buildup on the diapers - so the next test - bath towels.  Since we have ridiculously hard water, some of our cheaper bath towels feel rough, even after being dried in the dryer.  Not only that, but we live in a 112 yr old home, which has no bathroom ventilation besides a window.  Although we use a good fan for air circulation, we still can get that stinky wet towel smell.  Suprisingly, the rough bath towels didn't feel softer like the rest of my clothes, but there was a benefit I didn't think of, which I believe to be due to the papaya leaf.  Normally we use our bath towels for a few days before grabbing clean ones.  As soon as they start to stink, they go in the basket.  I took one of these newly-laundered ones and used it as a test.  It took much, much longer to get that musty wet towel smell!  I also have a waffle weave fabric shower curtain that I wash right with my towels.  It gets lime and rust buildup on it, and while the new laundry soap didn't get it pristine white by any means, it did a heck of a better job than bleach ever did.

The downside: this liquid laundry soap does not take out oil-based stains.  If you wish to use it on your regular laundry, you may still want to use a stain-remover.

Initially I thought I'd sell the Natural Laundry Soap already made into liquid, but I wasn't happy with the bottling choices available.  Then there was the extra cost involved in bottles, lids, seals; not to mention how much extra shipping would cost for the weight.  To save money, I'm offering instead a Do-It-Yourself Natural Laundry Soap Kit (instructions are included): Natural Laundry Soap DIY Kit.  The recipe amounts provided when made fits perfectly in a pint size jar.

Natural Ammonia Remover
I'm also offering 8 oz bags of clinoptilolite zeolite for ammonia stink: Natural Ammonia Remover  Clinoptilolite zeolite is awesome at getting rid of ammonia stink!!  It's a natural zeolite; it looks like small pieces of gravel but actually has tiny holes all through it that attract ammonia via ion exchange. It does not dissolve in water; rather it traps and carries away the ammonia, washing away with the rinse water.  Just use 1 tsp to 2 Tbsp in your initial wash with  no detergent.  It works best with warm or hot water.  It can be used with each pre-wash to prevent ammonia build up.   May also be used in conjunction with white vinegar if desired, depending on water hard/softness. This is one of the same ingredients used for ammonia removal with fish tanks.  Clinoptilolite zeolite is some really cool stuff with a variety of uses!  I'll be putting some in my garden this year to help hold water in our drought-stricken area. 

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