Skye’s Saturday Project

My granddaughter, Skye, spent the day here on Saturday. Among fun things we cook up in the kitchen that are edible, we like projects for other homemade stuff most people buy at the store.  Once we made lavender hand cream.  Recently we put together homemade insect repellent using essential oils.  This time we tackled making laundry detergent.  Skye did most of the work and took all (except the above)  photographs and decided somewhere along the way she would turn this into her next science project.  We researched several recipes online and when we saw that one of them had indeed been used by another student for a science fair, she read the steps, but turned away from the computer and said firmly “Don’t tell me the conclusion – that is for me to discover!”   I don’t think I was this scientific when I was in fourth grade.  How about you?

Since I posted that these next few weeks would focus on art of cooking and beauty in the kitchen, I started to announce  “This program is interrupted by breaking news…”  when I decided to feature Skye’s work.  But immediately following that thought was the realization that there is no more beautiful thing in my kitchen than a child, especially a grandchild!  And when you stop to consider the art of homemaking, crafting and cutting costs is most likely higher art than cooking with flowers!

Skye’s Laundry Detergent

1 bar of soap, any kind

1 cup Borax

1 cup washing soda

2 gallons of water, divided

2  one gallon containers with lids

3 gallon cooking pot

Long handled spoon


 Use food processor or hand grater to grate bar of soap into cooking pot.  Add borax and soda, stir to combine and add one gallon of cold water.

Bring to a boil.  Mixture will begin to coagulate.  Remove from heat and stir as you add the remaining 1 gallon of cold water.

Mix well and pour with funnel into 2 one gallon bottles.  Mixture thickens as it cools and sets.  Use 1/2 cup or less per load.  OK for high-efficiency washers. Ingredients may be halved to make only one gallon.

9 thoughts on “Skye’s Saturday Project

  1. Hi Mary Ann. This is Karen, your classmate from our online blogging class. What a fun experiment to do in the kitchen, and very practical too. Using the ready-made bar of soap is a terrific shortcut. Very nice!


    • Good to hear from you Karen! It was indeed fun, and now I can report that it does a great job with the laundry. Help for the budget, earthkind, and a memory made with Skye. How good is that?


  2. Mary Ann, Kudos for you for nurturing a smart and inquisitive granddaughter! Thanks for the laundry soap recipe and for the wonderful reminder to enjoy watching the kids in our lives explore their world. I’ll try the laundry soap recipe (halved, since there’s only one of me to do laundry for!), but now that you mentioned the lavender lotion, I’m curious about your recipe for that too. 😉


    • Thank you, Susan. When my son and his wife told us a baby was on the way, I began a letter/journal to my first birth grandchild (her now 19 year old sister was almost 5 when she and her mom came into our family). In the months leading up to her birth I wrote to her about our joy and expectation, bits about our family, traditions, and celebrations. And I wrote with yearning that there were wonderful things I could hardly wait to show her – picking herbs and smelling the fragrance on our fingers, cooking and tasting and enjoying each other. Little did I know – the joy has been far greater than anything I could have expressed. I thought the recipe was in a post on another of my blogs but I see now it is not, so I will give you this link now and the recipe as soon as I find it!


  3. Just wondering if Skye’s laundry detergent has been tested, yet? How did the clothes turn out? Clean, I hope…….but how did they feel? Rough, soft, etc.?????


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