I casually looked for MONTHS at every store I went into. I finally had to get serious about finding it and the ONLY place in our area that carries it is Ace Hardware. I found Borax in several places, but washing soda was far more challenging to locate locally. Good luck!
Exactly! I did a bit of research online tonight and it seems that it had been pulled from most stores because it was such competition for laundry detergents... not good for store margins! I'll post if I can find it or have a store order it for me. Thanks.
The only place I can find it is a "Mom and Pop" hardware store locally (not in CA) or ACE hardware does carry it here too. Sometimes they have to special order it tho... you might call your store and see if they have it in stock first.
Berkeley is a bit far for me, I am in the tri-valley. Same thing about an ACE hardware store. I'll make a trip in the coming month if I cannot find it locally. I still have enough laundry detergent for a couple months but wanted to try out recipes before I run out. I tried an Asian market and Sprouts today, nothing, niet, nada... I'll keep looking.
Thanks for your help.
Local WF does NOT carry it.
An option, mentioned above, is to order through Ace online, and pick a store as near as possible to you and have it delivered there. That way, no shipping charges. Don't know if Walmart, etc. has a similar policy.
Anyhow, strange how difficult it is to find!
Definitely call Ace Hardware before driving there. Ours has a spot for it, but they told me it is out of stock more than it is in stock. You'd think that would be a good indicator to increase the stock, yes?
When you do locate it, have fun making laundry soap! I made six recipes from tipnut dot com's list of ten. (I cut them all down to one gallon of liquid or 2 cups of powder since I was using old vinegar bottles and very old plastic ziplock containers and that was their max capacity.) The first liquid and the first powder are handsdown my favorites!!! It does matter if you have soft water or hard water. It also matters which minerals are causing the hard water. Experimenting is the only way to know and it is fun! :)
Do you guys in the Bay Area have the supermarket ShopRite? Today, at the store in my area (East Coast), I saw at least 20 boxes of washing soda on the shelves in the laundry aisle. Good luck with your search!
I mostly followed the instructions, but tweaked the quantities. I had several bars of Fels Naptha and very little liquid castile soap at the time.
One tip for getting bar soap grated:
Before opening the package, bang and crush the bar of soap against the counter edge or sidewalk or other such hard surface. ;) What isn't broken up can be coarsely chopped with a heavy knife after opening the package.
Then -- toss those small pieces into a food processor or similar to grate it.
I learned this after sitting at the kitchen table grating my first bar of soap by hand for what felt like HOURS and having nearly all of my "crafting" time taken up before I even got to MAKE anything...
Another tip I have read about, but have not done myself yet:
Simply drop the bar or half-bar into the amount of water for your recipe and let it melt on its own over time. Some folks put the pot of water and bar of soap outside with a lid on for some solar action. Others just let the water and soap do their thing in a corner of the kitchen. All wrote that grating and stove-top heating were unnecessary. I might try that the next time I make laundry soap. Grating was the most tedious part. My tip above cut down on the time required drastically, but increased the number of dishes needing to be washed.
Either way, I don't plan to use Fels Naptha anymore. I did not care for the smell of it and read enough online to question it's health-ful-ness. I covered up the smell easily enough with an EO blend that was no longer therapeutic, but still smelled good. I have been collecting clearanced out bars of castile soap here and there for awhile and plan to use those. They are more cost-effective than the liquid castile soap in most cases and only have a paper wrapper versus a plastic bottle plus lid.
I'm not sure liquid castile soap works the same way as melting bar soap in water. Try it in a sample size and see for yourself. It's fun to experiment! :)
I can't get washing sode here in so. cal either. My online homework suggests that it is sold in pool supply stores. Apparently it is used to maintain the Ph balance. I haven't gone looking for it yet, but will soon since no grocery stores seems to carry it down here. Good luck!
I live in the trivalley area too, in Pleasanton. Somehow I have missed reading thro' this specific topic.
I have found washing soda at Raley' s supermarket in Pleasanton. They also carry Strauss milk & a few staples in open bins. Hope this helps for future purchases.