Introduction: Soft Soap Surface Spiffer
Second Prize in the
Spring Cleaning Contest
Here is a semi-solid cleaning solution for delicate surfaces; microwave oven doors, glass-top ovens (MUCH less expensive than the commercial products), table tops, car interiors, windows, walls, and just about anything else that isn't harmed by water. Microfiber cleaning cloths are ideal for soft surfaces, such as coffee makers and microwave doors. The cleaner cuts grease, and washes away easily, and can be used to buff most spills out of carpets with a damp terrycloth towel. Also, with a couple of tweaks, it becomes a super-high-quality laundry detergent, at a small fraction of the cost of any store-bought product.
Step 1: Soft Soap Surface Spiffer Main Ingredient
Any bath bar or bar-type laundry soap will work fine. Use a standard 4-ounce bar (a little larger or smaller is fine), or half of a larger bar, such as Lirio or Zote, which can both be purchased in stores that sell Mexican products, or online at stores such as Walgreen's.
Step 2: Borax
Borax! Cheap, efficient cleaning booster
Step 3: Washing Soda
Washing Soda -- this is one of the major ingredients in many commercial cleaing compounds. Like Borax, it is EXTREMELY inexpensive, and can be bought at most major groceries, as well as some online retailers.
Step 4: Grater
For the soap. Grating helps the soap to dissolve in the water more quickly and thoroughly.
Step 5: Empty Containers
You can store your custom cleaner in any waterproof container.
Step 6: Step 1 - Grate the Soap
Step 7: Step 2 - Get the Other 3 Ingredients Ready
1.) Measure a scant 4 cups of water into a bowl or measuring cup.
2.) In two small cups or bowls (one for each powder), measure two rounded tablespoons of Borax, and two rounded tablespoons of washing soda, respectively.
3.) Pour the water into a two or four-quart saucepan, and heat the water on high until it begins to steam.
4.) Add the grated soap to the water, and turn the heat down to low or medium-low (you don't need it to boil), and stir with a large spoon until the soap is completely dissolved.
5.) Add the washing soda and stir until dissolved. The solution will thicken slightly, which will help keep the Borax from forming lumps.
6.) Add the Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Step 8: Step 3 - Pour Into Containers
7.) After 20 minutes, the cleaner will be cool enough to pour into containers, but still warm enough to pour smoothly. You can use a spatula to scrape out the saucepan.
(The rose-colored glycerine soap is next in line!)
Step 9: The Finished Spiffer
Now, all you do is to let it cool to room temperature, and then put the lid on. The soap will be opaque when completely cool.
Step 10: Two Different Batches, Cooled & Ready to Go
Here are two finished batches of cleaner -- less than 15 minutes of work, and cheaper than a cup of coffee!
Step 11: Bonus Laundry Soap!
If you would like to try a batch of laundry soap, here are the details (the steps are almost the same).
You will need:
1.) A 5-gallon bucket
2.) A LARGE saucepan (standard pasta-pot size)
3.) 3 one-gallon pails (optional)
4.) 1 bar of bath soap or 1/2 bar of laundry soap (same as the original recipe)
5.) 1-1/2 cups of Borax
6.) 1-1/2 cups of washing soda
7.) 3 gallons of water
Pour approximately half the water into the 5-gallon bucket, and half into the large pot. Heat water (in the pot) until steaming, and turn the heat to low or medium-low. Add soap and stir till dissolved. Add washing soda and stir again until it dissolves. Add Borax and .....stir till it dissolves! Pour contents of pot into the bucket and blend soap solution with water (separate into one-gallon pails if desired). Voilà! World's finest laundry soap. Use between 1/2 and 1 cup per load of laundry, depending on load size, level of YUCK, and personal preference.
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