{Making a Home}:: Preparing to Feather the Nest

I am nesting.  I’m only halfway  through this pregnancy, but I have a good excuse…  We should {finally} have our occupancy permit for the farmhouse next week – just before Thanksgiving!  What a wonderful something-to-be-thankful-for.
There is still an awful lot to be done, and there will still be much to do after we’ve moved in.  The next week or two will make the farmhouse look like a beehive. Brian will be making the nearly-two-hour drive from his job to the farmhouse to finish laying subfloor, paint, lay tiles, install cabinets, and oil and wax the wood floors.  Our dear friend and oil man will be delivering some oil and priming the furnace.  Paint and floor finishes don’t like to be applied in a chilly house.
Jack will be heading back to the farm every evening – a 40 minute drive – to help his Pa.  And the rest of us will be joining in as often as we can.  In the meantime, between placing orders for materials, I’m trying to get some work done on several projects, decide what will – and will not – be coming to the farmhouse, knitting… and making all-purpose soap.
It seems I make a new batch of soap every time a baby arrives.  This one is a little early, though I’ll probably need to make another right before he arrives.  Here is my recipe:
{Making a Home} | Soap Recipe
Nissa’s All Purpose Soap:
  • 1 Bar Olive Oil Soap (I used a bar of Sancta, which smells like Chrism), shredded
  • 1 c. washing soda
  • 1/2 c. Borax
  • Hot Water
  • Saucepan
  • long handled wooden spoon or French whisk
  • 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma lid

In a saucepan, combine soap shreds and water.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the soap is completely dissolved.  Pour into your bucket and add soda and Borax.  Stir well until combined.  Add hot water, stirring all the time, until the bucket is half full.  Place the lid loosely over the top of the bucket and store in a safe place, away from little folk (we don’t want them lifting the lid and falling in!).  Keeping the lid loose at this stage will allow the soap to do it’s thing without the gas bubbles blowing the lid right off.  Next morning, add more hot water, stirring all the time, until the bucket is full.  You can add more scent at this stage – up to 4 oz.  Fragrance oil is a bit stronger than EO, so add a little at a time until you’re happy with it.  Now clamp that lid down tight.

Use 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. in each load.

If you have a particularly dirty load, add peroxide to the wash (especially good for cloth dipes in my experience).  If your fabrics won’t tolerate peroxide, add some white vinegar to the rinse, or add more Borax and washing soda to your tub.  If you don’t want scent in your cloth diaper wash (or in any wash) just use unscented OO soap as your base.

This bucket will last you 160-320 washes (depending upon how much you use).  That’s pennies per load, and you control the ingredients.  You can also use this soap in the dishwasher, and on tile floors, countertops, sinks, and appliances.  We use it for absolutely everything.  It even makes an excellent pre-soak for baby stained (or other grubby) clothes.

{Making a Home} | Soap Recipe