Monday, June 14, 2010
Use it, Use it, Use it!
I have been noticing a homemade laundry detergent recipe pop up all over the Internet - again. It uses as main ingredients Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha soap.
I acquired this same recipe prior to the Y2K fervor, and when we moved to an empty shop on 30 acres with no power and no money, I thought it would be a good time to put it into use. It turned out great! It gelled nicely, smelled good and made a lot of detergent! I was so excited.
I used this homemade detergent exclusively for about 6 months. At first, I thought it was great, probably because it was so inexpensive to make. However, after about 2 months, I began to notice that our clothes didn't smell very good. It wasn't all that noticeable until we got sweaty and hot, and then they really stank! Pretty soon, I noticed that our clothes look DIRTY. After about 6 months I gave up in despair and went back to a standard store brand. The difference was HUGE and IMMEDIATE! Clean clothes again!!!!! Yeah!
Now, there are a couple of factors that could have hampered the homemade detergent's effectiveness. First, when I began using the homemade detergent I was doing laundry by hand on our wood cookstove. Essentially, I was just scrubbing the clothes with my hands. Not very effective. Secondly, after using the detergent for about a month, Sir Knight hooked up my washing machine, but I only had cold water. Washing in the washing machine did not seem to make any difference in the cleanliness of my clothes.
My caution is this. Don't stock up on ingredients for laundry detergent (or anything else for that matter) that you haven't first tested and found to be reliable or produce the desired results. Don't just acquire things....use what you have! You are going to be in a serious pickle if you have a huge stock of something that doesn't work just when you need it most.
I am not in any way advocating that you don't make your own laundry detergent. By all means - try it! See if you like it. It very well could be the best thing since sliced bread. Just know what you have, know how it works and be sure that you can rely on what you have when you need it!
Don't take my word for it. Use it, use it, use it!