The Year of Quitting task for the month of August was a shopping fast. I was getting ready to move, so I wanted to be getting rid of things rather than amassing things. I was allowed to buy groceries and pay for transportation.
My friend S was visiting at the time, and one night she used the last of my laundry detergent. I thought briefly about buying more, but I felt that wouldn’t be true to the shopping fast. That night I researched How to make your own laundry soap.
It took more time than I expected to find a recipe that didn’t require me buying more things. Finally, I settled on one that required a bar of soap, water, and washing soda (which can be made from baking soda by baking it.) The next morning I made my own laundry soap for the first time.
My friend was really into it, and said “Why stop there? What other soaps can we make?” So we also made dish soap, shampoo, and conditioner. We even looked up deodorant, but I wasn’t quite ready to cross that bridge yet.
The recipe we found for the dish soap, however, was not convincing. It was too watery, and my dishes still felt greasy. One of the articles we found during our research reminded us not to be fooled by the lack of bubbles. “Lack of bubbles does not mean less clean,” it claimed. It’s true. I’ve been trained to think more bubbles means whatever I’m washing will be cleaner. I knew theoretically, bubbles were not required to clean my plates. But this bubble-less soap didn’t have me convinced. I couldn’t totally commit and would go back and forth between store bought soap and the homemade stuff.
This week I ran out of both supplies. I made a new batch, but the results were worse than the first time. So back to the internet I went, looking for something else that might work better. Finally I found the solution I was looking for. This recipe calls for water, a bit of soap shreds, a bit of vinegar, and a bit of washing soda. The consistency already is a winner. So far my dishes feel cleaner and grease free.
My favorite part of the story is the name of my soap.
Yup. It’s named after me.
But not because I made it. It’s made from bars of apricot scented soap a friend from Jochiwon gave me before I left. I’d never heard of 살구 soap before, but apparently it’s a thing. And I still have several more bars to satisfy all my soap experiments through the end of the year! 아싸!