So back to Laundry Butter. I adore my liquid laundry soap. I worked a lot to get it to work for my family. Alas, when we moved to Bisbee in the late fall, it was too cold in my laundry room to keep my liquid soap, well liquid. I recycled on of those cheapo laundry detergent bottles with a spout for my laundry soap. (FYI I will never buy cheap laundry detergent again. I hated the scent and half my family couldn't use the stuff. It took me forever to use it up so I can put my own stuff in.) Let me just say it is so much work to get that stuff liquid again so I can get it out of the bottle and use the stuff. I decided that since it was going to be a butter anyhow, I might as well make it like that to begin with.
I do not like the typical recipe that calls for 5 gallons of water as when I have made it before I would have to a floating solid mass on the top with slimy liquid underneath the mass. I don't like the snot like texture and I don't like having to mix my laundry soap every time I need to use it. I know that Suzanne from Chickens in the Road did more concentrated laundry soap, so I knew I could make something similar.
Borax with soap shreds seem to coagulate rather well together. It seems too much water will cause a bit of a separation. It seems that even though you add a lot of water to bar soap, its structure wants to solidify despite the extra water. I know I use about 2 gallons of water for my liquid soap, so I didn't want to use anymore than that. Anyhow, nevermind my silly thought processes to get my formula here is the recipe I have been using since February.
Laundry Soap Base for Shredding
You need basic soap making knowledge for this. This recipe should only been done by a person who knows how to make soap and who has advanced knowledge on the subject. You can substitute Zote or Fels Naptha if you so wish. This is just what I have done.
50% Coconut Oil
-2% in the superfat (this is a lye excess, but if you are not comfortable with an excess, just use what superfat you'd like)
I shred this just as soon as it is solid enough as this base can get rather hard and I like to shred when it is still like cheddar cheese.
Laundry Butter Formula
This is very concentrated. I don't use more than a tablespoon for a big load. Mostly I have based this for the very hard water of where I live. I like this formula as it works well for my family and I.
2 gallons of distilled water
3 cups of borax
3 cups of washing soda
30 ounces of soap shreds
4 oz of polysorbate 20 or 80
1 oz of preferred essential oil (We love the citrus, so most of ours are lemon, orange or grapefruit)
- In a stainless steel stock pot, boil the first 3 ingredients together.
- When the water boils and the borax and washing soda are totally dissolved, turn off heat and add soap shreds.
- Mix together polysorbate 20 or 80 with the essential oil. When the soap shreds are completely dissolved and the liquid is just very warm, you can add the polysorbate/essential oil mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour into your preferred vessel. I recommend a big tub with a lid. I found an old laundry detergent tub in my garage that I use. Let cool completely. It always take overnight for me.
I only use a tbsp of this butter per regular load and I use white vinegar as my fabric softener. I still believe in extra rinses. I know that this works well for me because well I tweaked the recipe until it worked for my new home.
If you use this, please know it may not be as good or you probably need to tweak the formula to work for you. After nearly nine years of making my own soap and laundry soap, I know enough what to tweak, but mostly it is trial and error.
Note: The batch made in February was made using fresh soap shreds and the batch made in May was made using shreds I saved from February. I should have stored the shreds in a cardboard box instead of a plastic bin I did. I know that the soap would yellow, but I forgot that soap needs to breathe so this batch doesn't smell that great because of that.