I've never been big on directions... especially recipes.
I've always thought that recipes were a loose guideline, really just a set of suggestions, and I have always ventured off on my own. I've come up with some great meals this way.
However, I recently had an experience that made me think that following a recipe can be a very good thing. That sometimes, sometimes, recipes are the way they are for a reason and that diverting from them can result in an outcome that is not desired.
A couple of months ago I made my own powdered laundry detergent, read the details here.
I have been extremely satisfied with the detergent - it works FANTASTICALLY and I have used it on everything... including some VERY dirty loads of laundry (dog beds, towels used to clean up mud, all kinds of nastiness). The only thing that was a bit of a pain was that since it was a powdered detergent it had to be used in hot water so that it would dissolve. It wasn't too big of a pain, if I needed to do a load in a cold wash I just turned on the hot for about 20 seconds at first, then switched it to cold, then loaded in the items I was washing.
This dilema had me wanting to make my own liquid detergent (recipe here). The recipe for the liquid detergent essentially calls for the same ingredients that I used in the powdered version, just melt them together, pour into a 5 gallon bucket, add water and let sit overnight to gel, then use 1 cup per full load of laundry.
Thats what the recipe said. However, that is not what my insane mind said.
My thoughts went like this:
"What if I used double the ingredients so that you would only have to use 1/2 cup per full load?"
"Heck, if I'm going to make a concentrated version, then I could quadruple the ingredients so that you only use 1/4 cup per load. Thats even MORE environmentally friendly! Its conserving water, and since Northern California is practically always in a drought conserving water=GOOD!"
So, this past week I set about making my super concentrated laundry detergent. I did not end up with laundry detergent. What I ended up with was something closer to a super soft playdough. Now, I have to go buy a couple 5 gallon buckets so I can mix some of this stuff with hot water and try to thin it out to an actual detergent like consistency.