Friday, August 1, 2008

Homemade Powdered Laundry detergent

Hello my Beautiful Sisters in Christ!

I hope your day is going well!

I wanted to show you my homemade laundry detergent. I have been using this for a couple of months now and am VERY pleased with it. It is much less expensive than other laundry soap.

I decided to try it after realizing how expensive things were getting, and because I wanted to reduce some of the chemicals we use. I am not one that thinks "everything natural is good, everything synthetic is bad" (botulism is natural...but it is not good for you!), but I also want to reduce what I can, in price, waste, and exposure to unnecessary "junk".

I know that some people use this in liquid/gel form, but dry works better for me.

First we need 1 cup of grated soap (that is what is in the baggie). I have used fels naptha, but that is more expensive and harder to find. I find that I like a white dial bar better (I think it is mountain spring?). I use a regular box grater to grate the soap (it IS just soap after all! BUT rinse the grater off well before putting it into the can get a LOT of foam oozing out of the washer if you have items with too much soap on them. BTDT!). Letting the soap dry out a bit is good, but I have made laundry soap with fresh grated soap too.

I have found that I can get two cups grated out of one bar soap (if it is not precise, do not fret, it is just laundry!)

Then I take 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup washing soda. NOT NOT NOT baking soda. Washing soda can be more difficult to find. You can call the Arm and Hammer people and tell them your zip code and they can give you stores that carry it in your area. HOWEVER, do not be discouraged if they tell you that there are not any. They told me that there were none, but I found it at my Fred Meyer....they probably do not count EVERY Fred Meyer individually in their system, but rather the main stores or something.

If you cannot get the washing soda, you can get the same chemical (sodium carbonate) in the pool chemical aisle (it is a MUCH more expensive there, though) or order it online. I was originally going to use the pool chemical from Fred Meyer which was about $7 if I remember correctly. Then we went to the laundry aisle and found the washing soda, which was about $3.50 for a much greater amount!!

I put all the ingredients in this bale jar and shake them until they are blended.

I have a coffee scoop in there which is about a tablespoon. I use one tablespoon for lightly soiled clothing and two for heavily soiled clothing. I have a front loading machine, so you might need to use a bit more.

I also use vinegar in the rinse water for a fabric softener. I will be honest, it is not as "softening" as a bounce sheet (though it is more softening than nothing). However, it is much less expensive and has fewer chemicals. I put a few drops of lavender oil in the vinegar too. It does not make the clothing smell very much, but I enjoy the scent as I am doing laundry :-). I am considering putting a few drops of lavender oil on a cloth and throwing that in the dryer to scent the clothing itself, especially the sheets and towels.

Some people have had trouble with their whites getting dingy. I have not noticed that so far. I have noticed that, either because of the soap or the vinegar/lavender in the rinse cycle, that the clothing does not sour as quickly if I forget to take it out that evening. I cannot tell you how many loads I have had to redo because the clothing soured when using regular laundry soap.

As always, keep the ingredients, and the laundry soap, out of the reach of children and pets!

I hope this is helpful to you! Let me know how it turns out if you try it!


The Jersey Homesteader said...

I came across your blog and found you make the same laundry detergent. That is neat.

arrowsparrow said...

I LOVE this stuff! It is incredible!

I am also working on a dishwasher detergent blend, but it needs tweaking somehow.

Domestically Inclined said...

I used to "cook" my own laundry detergent with these ingredients, but found by trial and error that I could use exactly what you posted. I love the lavendar oil with the vinegar. I've used bluing to hlep with the dinginess of the whites...Have you found anything that works better?
I realized I was allergic to chemicals about four years ago and went all natural in food and meds and cleaning back then. I also use a half and half vinegar and water mix to clean the pergo floors. Works better than any store bought liquid I've tried.

Cheryl said...

I have just started washing my own cloth diapers. Since I can't use fabric softener, I also use vinegar in the rinse. But to get the actualy "softening" effect in the dryer, add three new tennis balls. I keep a tube of them in my laundry room. They also work great for fluffing up pillows and comforters!