Monday, January 26, 2009

Detergent Update

In my first post about detergent making I explained that the detergent separated and gelled. When I went to do a load this morning I noticed that it not only gelled, but the top had a thick layer on it that I can only describe as fat collecting on the top of milk. I tried to stir it, but it was too thick and the layer was floating around in large chunks in the bucket. I then used a wire whisk and even a potato masher, but the detergent was still lumpy. I was seriously considering getting out my electrix mixer.

I ended up spooning it (lumps and all) into an empty laundry container about halfway, filling the rest up with water, and shaking it aggressively. This seemed to work okay, although it wasn't smooth the way I wanted it. To be safe, I did a load of dirty towels I use for cleaning bathrooms, floors and countertops. Nothing much to report yet on the condition of the cleaning, I won't have that until I wash everyday clothes stained with ketchup and smelling of urine. I will say though that the cleaning products I use were quite smelly before washing, and I could detect none of the icky cleaning/mildew smells on my towels.

After some Googling during naptime regarding lumpy homemade detergent I think I'm going to put the whole batch back on the stove, reheat, and stir until completely cooled. It seems that others who have had my problem do the same and this will prevent the separating I experienced and just create a gel I can stir or shake. Apparently I needed to dissolve the washing/baking soda and borax over hot water...

I'm going to try that tonight and get back to my washing. I've got a load of whites and some sheets I'm ready to try.

1 comment:

Mallory said...

So far so good. Just did a load of whites and they turned out great. My recommendation is to put detergent in a container as much like regular laundry detergent as possible, it is easy to mix and keep from getting lumpy. Since I made A LOT of detergent I can't fit all mine in my empty bottle, so it's in a large bowl with the thick layer on it again. The detergent container doesn't separate...