Super Laundry Sauce.

 

I have been 100% content with my homemade dry laundry detergent (instructions here), and 90% content with my homemade dryer sheets (instructions here).  The reason the dryer sheets aren’t at 100% is that if you only do laundry once a week like I do, the baking soda tends to clump in the bottom of the jar, and then you end up with dryer sheets that have chunks on them.  It’s really not that big of a deal, they fall off during the drying cycle and end up in your lint trap, but still a minor inconvenience.  I found a recipe online for someone’s “Lavender Super Laundry Sauce” (website here) and was intrigued by the fact that it was the detergent and fabric softener all in one.  I’ve been burned in one too many rented houses as well as with the washing machines that I’ve owned as far as liquid fabric softener goes – either I’ve had to use the little Downy ball (which works until that one time when it leaks and ruins everything in your entire load of laundry), or used the fabric softener compartment in the washer (again, works fine til that one time it malfunctions and another load of ruined spotted clothes).  I tried this with trepidation but am pleasantly surprised so far at how well it works.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap (grated or cut into small chunks)
  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1/3 cup Purex Laundry Crystals
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 1-quart mason jars
Instructions:
  • Boil water in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat.
  • Add Fels Naptha, stirring constantly to dissolve completely over medium heat.  Watch carefully to be sure it doesn’t boil over.  Takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring constantly to dissolve.
  • Place pan back over medium/low, stirring until the grainy feeling of the dry ingredients is gone.
  • Remove from heat, and divide equally into two mason jars (a canning funnel is very helpful).
  • Add just enough water to bring the contents of each jar up to the rounded part of the mason jar.
  • Place lid on jar and tighten with screw band; then turn them upside down immediately (be careful, they are still hot!).
  • Let cool for 2-3 hours.  The soap will separate into layers.
  • Open each jar and use a long-handled spoon to break up the hard bottom layer (be careful as it will pop up at you once it’s in more than one piece).
  • Screw the blade from your blender directly onto the jar and whip it (while it’s still somewhat warm).
  • Repeat with the second jar.
To Use:
  • Fill the machine with dirty clothes.
  • Start the water (doesn’t matter what temperature).
  • Measure out one tablespoon (literally) of laundry sauce.
  • Stick the measuring spoon under the running water, letting it fall off the spoon.
  • Close the washer and let it proceed normally.
  • No dryer sheet or fabric softener is needed; it’s included in the mixture.
Notes:
  • As I said above – I did three loads of laundry today using this and it seemed to work well.  Clothes are soft, they smell good, and very little static.  I was amused to note WHAT had static this time around – with my other dryer sheets, it was always anything fleece (i.e. pajama pants).  With this stuff the pajama pants didn’t even so much as crackle at me, but anything silky did.  Odd!  Still, static was minimal, and it IS the middle of winter.
  • As you can see from the pictures, I was lazy with the Fels Naptha and cut it into chunks.  It was a busy day in the kitchen and I was tired.  Definitely should have gone with the grating method.  It took forever for the bigger chunks to dissolve completely.
  • I didn’t do a good job at tracking costs for this, but the original recipe prices this at $1.99 for 128 loads of laundry.
  • On a side note, I had read once before about being able to put a mason jar directly onto your blender and then forgot about it.  Was fun to actually get to try it out!
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