So, I actually laid awake for just a short while last night thinking about it and what I might could do differently. When I awoke this morning, I was fully prepared to start spooning gloop into my laundry bottles....but when I peered over the edge of that large pot, I was totally shocked!
How gorgeous is that??? I did more than one thing different so I can't be entirely sure of which one made the difference but I think I know what it was. When I checked before going to bed and saw what I thought was the beginning of it turning gloopy, I dumped in a small container of purchased concentrated liquid detergent, stirred and walked away. Before that, there was a definite skin developing however, there wasn't even that this morning!
So here is the NEW and IMPROVED homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe!
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 large pot
1/3 of a bar of soap grated using fine grater (I've used several different brands so pick your favorite!)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup Sodium Carbonate *
1/2 cup Baking Soda
*Sodium Carbonate is also known as "Washing Soda" or "Soda Ash". I had difficulty finding either until I read that you could find it in the pool products. Sure enough, look in your local discount store aisle at the pool products for balancing the Ph in a pool. Read the ingredients carefully and you should find something which contains nothing but "sodium carbonate."
Put 3 pints of water into large pot and heat till hot but not boiling. Add in grated soap and stir gently until dissolved. Add in Borax, sodium carbonate and baking soda and stir until thoroughly mixed and dissolved. Pour carefully into large bucket. Add an additional quart of hot water and stir. Top off with enough cold water to bring total to one gallon then set aside to gel. The finished product will not be gelled completely like gelatin but will be more "gloppy" (for lack of a better word). Other websites say this is expected and just to use as it is. Use 1/2 cup per load.
***IMPROVEMENT*** I started with a batch that had already cooled completely but you could probably add these steps at the end of the original recipe with the same result. I had all the detergent in my large pot and added one tablespoon of lemon juice (because the acid is supposed to prevent gels from gelling, right?). Then I brought it to a boil and allowed it to continue an easy boil for 5 minutes (because prolonged heat is also supposed to break down gelatin bonds). At that point I turned off the burner but left the pot in place, allowed it to cool for a short while and then added one small container (1 1/2 qrt) of purchased concentrated liquid laundry detergent. The end result looks and smells just like purchased detergent! It's wonderful!
Now I'm off to read the paper, cut coupons and then make some homemade toaster pastries...I think I'm on a roll so I can't wait to see how great these turn out!!!