There's always the laundry

No matter what is happening on the world stage, or the national one, we still gotta clean the clothes. It would be great if some of our current problems were as easy to fix as this recipe is to make, but hey, at least you will have clean clothes while fighting the more complex issues of they day, eh?

We have been making our own laundry soap on/off for years. In effort to reduce plastic (large plastic laundry containers), go easy on the earth (not polluting groundwater), reduce exposure to harmful fragrances and phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates and are used to make plastic flexible and have other uses like as an emulsifying agent. Bad news, they serve as endocrine disruptors. In short, they mimic and displace hormones and interrupt their production.) Oh and a host of other concerns about conventional laundry detergent I won't go into here. But if you are curious, check Environmental Working Group for how your detergent ranks. And last but not least we do this to save a buck (or many!).

It really is easy.  My kids can do it. There are a million recipes out there - for powdered, liquid, those without borax, those with baking soda, those with essential oils, etc. I am definitely not going to go into the science and chemistry behind this (ie: hard water vs. soft water and chemical make-ups of the ingredients and how they do or don't work together), but let me tell you, there are many blogs that will. So if that is your thing, I can find a link for you! But here is just what works for us, what is simple to make, and easy for me to remember. Note: it works with high efficiency washers and either top or front loading. And, it works great on cloth diapers.

Homemade Laundry Soap

  • 1 bar grated soap (we use Dr. Bronner's castile soap)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 five gallon bucket
  • 1 cup water and a pot (optional)

  • Heat water in a small pot in stove and add grated soap. Stir until dissolved. (I skip this step because our water comes out of our tap hot enough to dissolve the soap, and because anything to save time!)
  • Put bucket in tub and fill half way with hot water. Add dissolved soap water. Stir.
  • Add 1 cup washing soda. Stir.
  • Add 1 cup borax. Stir.
  • Fill the bucket to 3/4 full. Stir again.
  • Periodically stir throughout the day (if you forget, it is ok. Really).
  • By the next morning it will be partly gelled. Stir again. And presto! Done!

I fill old detergent bottles with it and add about a 1/2 a cap per load. (And in case you haven't seen the post on wool dryer balls, check it out to see how to completely avoid ever using fabric softeners (also toxic). Sorry to be the bearer of bad news about the not so good things in these products if this is new to you, but the good news is, alternatives exist. Never too late to go green! The earth and your family will thank you. (Oh and did I mention it saves money? Lots of it! So if nothing else, lighten up your family's budget. That's always nice.)

If you make this, let me know what you think!


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