Friday, February 21, 2014

Homemade Friday: Homemade Laundry Detergent

In my quest to be all things hippie all the time, or at least reduce the amount of unnecessary chemicals my family comes in contact on a given day, I make things at home that normally would be bought.  Also it saves money, which I like.  More leftover for wine, you know?  Or maybe clothes for my children if I must.

The thing is, I enjoy making things myself.  It makes me feel like I’m putting forth an effort, and not just going the easiest route.  I know it sounds silly, but that’s how I am.  I prefer to make bread rather than buy it, or make yogurt from raw milk from my sister, or make homemade pizza every Friday instead of buying it.  Hell, my husband makes the beer we drink.  And the wine, when I can talk him into it.  If I can make it, I feel like I should.

I’ve always been that way about food, but lately it’s made its way into the household cleaner department, too.  I’ve made a few things: shampoo, dishwasher detergent, general cleaner.  But I’ve had the most success with laundry detergent. 

Once I decided I wanted to make my own, I searched around to find the recipe/instructions that looked manageable and included easy-to-find ingredients.   

I found Soulemama’s, and it was just what I wanted.  It’s an easy recipe, and one that lasts around a month or so, maybe more.  It was super easy to find the ingredients, and even easier than that to mix it up.  I actually had the most trouble grating the soap.  First I used a box grater, which was ridiculous.  The soap kept clumping up on the grater and I’d have to get a butter knife to scrape it off.  I tried a food processor, but that was worse – just clumping up around the blade.  

I finally settled on a handheld cheese grater, which you can see in the pictures.  It’s worked the best.  The gratings may not be super fine, but I haven’t noticed any adverse affects on the laundry.  I’ve been solely using homemade laundry detergent since the summer and couldn’t be happier with the results. 

Plus it totally ups my hippie cred.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda
1 ½ bars Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint.  I’ve also tried Lavender, but you can find the scent that you like the best.)

1.       Grate the soap in the easiest way possible, preferably not using a butter knife and box grater.
2.       Measure out other ingredients into a large bowl.
3.       Mix well with grated soap.
4.       Poor into air-tight containers – I use canning jars.
5.    When it’s time to wash – use 1 tablespoon per load. 

I get about 2 ½ pints out of this recipe.


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