Friday, March 29, 2013

Natural Living Part 2 - Homemade Laundry Detergent!

Once I started on this journey of finding and making more natural products for myself and my home, I was surprised to find out how easy, affordable, and more healthy it is to make your own laundry detergent! And boy does it save on costs! From my reading on the Internet I learned that most of the laundry detergent available to purchase in stores is made up of fillers, and chemicals that are not great for you or your clothing. After lots of research I decided to try this recipe and have been sooo happy with the results!
It's a powder detergent recipe and only takes 4 ingredients...borax (look for it in the laundry detergent section of your grocery store - it's only a few dollars for a big box), washing soda (also in your laundry detergent aisle and very affordable), 1 bar of pure castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's 100% unscented castile soap, available at lots of stores in the natural health care aisle, usually around $4 to $5), and your favorite essential oil for smell (I chose lavender).
Step 1: Finely grate your bar of soap
Step 2: Mix in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda
Step 3: Stir together well, breaking up any big chunks
Step 4: Add about 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil for smell (this step is optional).
Step 5: Store in an air tight container
Step 6: Using cold, warm, or hot water, simply add a few tablespoons of the detergent and then your clothing.

When you are ready to use your new laundry detergent, it's always good to test it out on some linens or clothing you don't care about to make sure your mixture works well. I have now used this recipe a bunch of times and have never had a problem. I wash all my clothes in cold water and have never noticed any residue or spotting, etc. Also remember that this detergent is not going to suds up like the store bought kind. It doesn't need to and will get your clothes nice and clean, probably even more so than the store bought kind. The sudsing you see in the store bought detergent is actually the product of a chemical they add because customers expect laundry detergent to be sudsy.

For more detailed information and instructions, you can check out The Thrifty Mama website for a nice detailed article. which includes price breakdown, step by step pictures, and additional helpful information in the comments section.

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