Friday, March 18, 2016

Liquid Laundry and Dish Soap

So, this is a recipe I've been working on for years and it seems I finally got it after several times of no issues.  It's quasi advanced, in the sense that it's a No Paste/Alcohol Method.  This means I add all my dilution water up front once the soap mixture emulsifies, which happens before trace.  So there is no need to dilute later.   The alcohol is a powerful solvent, so more clean, but also facilitates in making a gel soap, or at least a heavier bodied/thicker soap, as outlined by Catherine Failor in her book on LS.  Just make sure you use air tight containers. Add this slowly!
I also use a pretty high lye excess, at 30%, or -30 superfat.  This is done for 3 reasons: 1) it raises the alkalinity.  Higher alkalinity means the better it cleans.  Many laundry detergents run around a pH of 11, such as Tide. 2) the excess lye will bond with fats in clothing such a grease stains, or grease on dishes, turing that into soap . 3) My washing machine dose not get build up of any sort.  Now, some may be concerned by this excess in thinking that it will harm your skin.  It won't.  My entire household does their laundry and dishes with this with no harm.  My theory is that since there are 2 pH adjusters in this, Borax and Washing Soda, that they counter any harmful effects the excess lye may have, in the same way that using potassium citrate in our soaps will help adjust pH and make the soap milder as well. 
Another ingredient used is meat tenderizer.  The primary ingredient in that well known spice cabinet additive is bromelain.  If you can find bromelain on it's own, that's even better since the stuff from the spice section typically has anti caking agents added which leaves a gook in my pot.  But this ingredient is used in cooking to make meats tender, by breaking down protein.  In laundry, it will break down tough protein stains. This is an optional ingredient, however.
 This all may sound like a lot, but in the long run, it's still cheaper than the HE detergents from the store, hands down.  And cleans very well.  My husband worked on the oil rigs for 3 definitely cleans well.  Its also great for folks with hard water, since salt it used to combat that issue.

Remember, all ingredients are added in pretty much up front after emulsion happens when you add your dilution water.  Or, if it's easier, you can do ALL water up front by dissolving your lye in that, then add other parts at emulsion.  I used my big stock pot on the stove.  So if you go this route, keep an eye on temps and don't let it get too hot, as coconut oil soaps are prone to crawling out of the pot.  Add it all together, low boil for an hour.  put it to bed overnight, meaning wrap it up in towels and let sit.  Unless your oven can fit your stock pot, then preheat your oven for 170*F for 10 minutes, turn off, then place pot in.  Either way will allow saponification to complete.  If you do this in a crock pot, you'll have more control, but I don't think this will fit in even the largest crock.  Plus, on the stove is by far faster since the mechanical agitation from the boiling aids saponification.  Don't expect this to be perfectly clear due to the use of salt.  It should be slightly murky once cooled.  I use a little lemon extract to scent and counter the alcohol smell.  If after cool down, the soap is a little too thick, just add a little more alcohol, or hot water, your preference.  Being a strong solvent, alcohol incorporates faster.

Will fill 1 Persall detergent bottle plus 1 Palm Olive bottle, just to give you an idea of how much you'll get. All ounce measurements are by weight. And how much you use is up to you.  I just go by the fill lines the dispenser in my washer.


48oz Coconut Oil
16.62oz KOH ( - 30% superfat ) Will vary slightly based on the lye calc you use
60oz water (20oz to dissolve KOH if you choose to separate)
1/3c (1.5oz) Borax
1/3c (3.5oz)Washing Soda
1/8c (1.4oz)Salt
10oz 91% Rubbing Alcohol
1/3c Unseasoned Meat Tenderizer ( 3.37oz container) (optional)