Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rub a dub dub, I made soap in a tub

I have very talented and resourceful friends who make gorgeous soap. Or is it more proper to say they make soaps? Cucumber, lemon, lavender, rose - these bars look good enough to eat. And they're almost too pretty to use, but I do. As much as I enjoy these handmade bars of delight, I've never once been tempted to try my hand at soap making. Until today.

My soap making adventure didn't involve anything exotic, no lovely smells, no essential oils, no fancy molds or pretty wrappings. I made laundry soap, because I'm a practical kind of girl and heaven knows you can't just go out and buy laundry soap. Well, yes you can, but the point is I made soap. Well, really it was more like buying a bunch of different soap-like products and mixing them together, but without me they would never have mixed themselves up and made their way into the Tofurkey roaster. 

When we got our front loading washing machine, I felt pretty stinking good about all the water we were saving. And when I hang out our clothes on the line, I feel pretty stinking good about all the electricity we are saving. But I've been noticing lately our clothes have been kind of stinking, and not in a good way. Our water saving washing machine just doesn't use enough water. I have stood there and watched it. I have stood there and yelled at it to fill up with more water. (I have learned that the permanent press cycle uses the most water, more than the heavy load cycle, which makes no sense.) How could I get our machine to clean clothes better? I did what any person who wants answers does, I Googled "How to make your clothes stop stinking if you use a front loading washer and you hang out on the line." Google searches love when you're really succinct like that. I found a recipe for making laundry soap that is supposed to get the job done without any yelling. Here it is, because you also may have too much stinking time on your hands and may want to feel super crafty while impressing absolutely no one.

First buy a box of Borax. It's on the laundry aisle. I didn't know it existed, but trust me, it was right there the on the shelf at Raleys. Subsequent searches on Pinterest have poo-poo-ed using Borax, but I bet they never had laundry that smelled of poo-poo.

Now buy a box, a big box, of baking soda. Don't walk to the baking section of the store, because that's where the little boxes of baking soda are. The big boxes of baking soda are near the borax. Trust me on this one. Be sure to not get a big box of baking powder, because you can't trust that stuff.

Next, buy a big box of super washing soda. Not just washing soda, it has to be super washing soda. Again with the trust thing, it's on the same aisle as the borax and the big box of baking soda. Look for the arm. Then look for the hammer. They will be together, ready to handle whatever stink you throw at them.

Now you can leave the laundry aisle and head to the personal soap aisle. Look down where the weird soap is, not eye level at the razzle dazzle kind. You can buy Kirk's Castile soap, or Fels Naptha (which really needs a better PR department) or some other kind of soap your ancestors used while washing clothes down by the river. Grate it into the Tofurkey roaster. Be sure to use a grater that is old enough to remember the Hoover Administration. 

There it is, the recipe for making your own stinking laundry soap. Oh yes, be sure to mix it all up really well, that's the part that qualifies you as a super crafty person who makes their own soap. Your laundry will smell so good, you'll want to run out into the street and ask perfect strangers if your towels are not indeed April fresh.