Laundry Detergent

laundry soap

OK.  So, uh, don’t eat this.

My husband is starting to get that glazed look in his eyes when he reaches for what used to be store-bought items but have now been replaced with Michelle’s new home-made-chemical-free-and-cheap-as-heck health and cleaning products.  Yup.  I’m on a role.

Who makes their own laundry soap for heaven’s sake!?  Well… people who have children with skin problems who are working hard to remedy those problems without applying prescription steroids (which are dangerous and after years of dabbling are still not working anyway) are the kind of people who do this sort of thing.  People like ME you might say. 🙂

My new natural laundry soap is easy to make, cleans just fine and is loads (get it?) cheaper than anything you can buy off the shelf.  And if you’re not interested in actually making your own, I’m in the process of getting my Cottage Food Operator’s permit (OK, yes, we already agreed that this is not edible) which will allow me to sell prepared foods/other items from my lovely blue-kitchened home.  Check me out, sista!

My product line name is “Gladys told Zelma” which is also a new page on the top of my blog.  Click on it to see what the deal is.  Go ahead.  It’s fun.

Gladys told Zelma about… Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

Ingredients: one bar natural soap  (I used Dr. Bronner’s Castile Citrus,) 2 cups Borax, 2 cups Washing Soda*.

Directions: Grate your soap with a food processor or cheese grater.  Mix with the other two ingredients and honey you ‘R done.  Yup.  It’s that easy.  Use one rounded TBSP (that’s all, seriously) per load.  It won’t make suds like commercial brand detergents and that’s OK.  It’s because it doesn’t have all the chemicals in it that they use.

Tips: I like the citrus soap because it has a fresh scent, but it’s not perfumy.  The fragrance comes from essential oils.  If you grate your soap by hand, use the large side of the grater and then rub the soap bits between your hands to break them up a bit more.  The first time I made this mixture I used the tiny little side of the grater.  The soap bits looked tiny and fabulous, but it took me FOR-EH-EH-EH-VER.

** What the heck is “washing soda?”  You can order Arm and Hammer’s Washing Soda online if you can’t find it in a local store.  OR, you can actually make your own.  Just take two cups of baking soda and heat at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Google it if you don’t believe me or just look here.   My Grandfather, former Chemistry and Physic’s teacher would be so dang proud of his little Liberal Arts lovin’ granddaughter for sharing this!

Final tip: if you would like to use this detergent but have absolutely no inclination to make your own… lemme know!  I can hook you up!

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Better Broth–and that’s not all…

better brothOK.  Yes.  This looks gross.  But it’s not. I mean it won’t be when I’m done with it.

I recently posted a great way to make your own broth with the bones of whatever animal you just served for dinner.  You may or may not recall that one of my dilemmas was that I liked to cook the bones for a long time, but didn’t like leaving it on my stove top for multiple hours as it was using energy and I couldn’t leave it.

Well, I’m not sure why I couldn’t come up with this on my own, but–earth to Michelle–use a crock pot!  And then, go ahead and cook those bones for about 24 hours ( bring to a boil then reduce to low) after adding a couple of teaspoons of cider vinegar and whatever other seasonings you like.  The cider vinegar helps to pull all the nutrients (including calcium) out of the bones.  When done and chilled your broth will be a bit gelatinous (this is good!) and all the fat will rise to the top so you may grossly and easily skim it off.

I have had a few epiphanies over the past week as my commitment to solve Josie’s not-horrible-but-still-persistent eczema problem.  I’ve taken her off gluten which is a bit pricey but in a modern metropolitan area not all that hard as there are tons of gluten free breads, crackers, pastas and more.  No more little dabs of prescription chemicals  and petroleum based products on my daughter’s skin please!  They are not working and I have hated them for too long!

One thing led to another and through my hunt for creative diet options I also began exploring natural skin products.  Long story short (is it already too late for that?) I have since made my own deodorant (I know, right. What the …?) and laundry detergent.  Then (it gets better) I traded some of my elderberry syrup to Didi who made me her homemade hand soap and body butter.  How crazy awesome is that!?

I am so proud of my wild west apothecary trading post that I’m considering making some of these all-natural-chemical-free better-for-my-family-my-pocket-book-and-the-environment  products, after having tested them on my family (wouldn’t dream of using animals!) for sale to, well, anyone who would want to purchase them.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller…?

How did I get from bone broth to hand soap?  It’s just been that kind of week…  Stay tuned folks.  I’m not done yet!

p.s. Thank you Kate Doubler (aka: realfoodrn) for starting me on this journey!

p.s. #2 Lesson learned today: grating one bar of natural soap to make laundry detergent is a lot harder than you think.  Next time grab the food processor.