DIY post to check out;
Building our Coop
Before the Coop there was the Coop-et
Make Mulch, not Bags
Homemade Laundry Detergent -The one seen all over Pinterest just tweaked a bit for our needs.
One of the very first serious D.I.Y.'s that I tried was for the laundry detergent. That was well over a year ago, and I'm still lovin' the heck out of it! It takes less than 30 minutes to make two gallons...that doesn't count time for it to cool, though.
My Harry needs laundry detergent and softeners that are unscented and non-allergenic, but I wanted the expensive brands of detergent and softener that left the laundry smelling like it had been washed. Why was I was buying double everything plus paying for chemicals I couldn't even pronounce? So, just out of curiosity I tried the laundry detergent recipe from http://tipnut.com. It was very easy to make. The cost of ingredients to get started was less than what I paid for a large jug of my brand detergent - that got my attention! To start I made two gallons and stored it in clean, empty milk jugs given to me by friends. Everything was coming out clean. I really could not tell the difference when I compared some towels that had been washed with the brand detergent against some washed with the D.I.Y. recipe. The towels ( we have all white linens) looked great! And Harry said his shirts were "fluffier" - not sure what he meant by "fluffy", but he was happy.
I have been using the homemade detergent for well over a year and it's cleaning great (those starter ingredients lasted about nine months by the way). It was a bit hard getting used to having no suds…we've been brainwashed to think if you don't see lots of sudsy bubbles it can't possibly be cleaning. When I started using the homemade detergent we had an agitator style washing machine. We now have an HE washer, and they recommend low or no suds anyway, so it's perfect!
* I tweaked this recipe a bit from the original. There are many variations that are listed; this is just the one that works best for us:
|The old pot I use looks more like a witches cauldron!|
1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
1 bar Soap (grated) Any soap will work - Dial, Zest, any organic blend!
- In a large pot, heat 1 gallon of water.
- Add the grated bar of soap and stir until melted.
- Add Borax and washing soda
- Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
- It will get gel-like! Don't worry.
Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load depending on how dirty your laundry is. I rarely have to use more than the 1/4 cup. Shake before each use
This will be lumpy, goopy and gel-like. That's normal. Just give it a good shake before using. Make sure to keep a top on when not in use. You could also pour the mixture in old (and cleaned) detergent bottles.
The one thing I did miss, however, was the scent. I thought I could probably add essential oils to the detergent for the fragrance so I went to an all natural store and got a very good grade of lavender. I won't go into all the different ways I tried to make it work but bottom line is the lavender was simply being washed away. Frustrating! So I did research and found that one of the chemicals in the store-bought detergent was added to keep the fragrance bonded to the fabric (manufacturers also add chemicals to their products to make them flow smoothly, not glop up, produce lots of suds, and have a nice color...)
In the homemade version there is no fragrance but I know exactly what is in it and why! I did finally find a simple fix to get fragrance: Wet a natural fiber sponge, not dripping, and put a few drops of EO's on it and throw it in the dryer with the load. Not exactly a fabric softener - more like natural fragrance additive. So, fragrance problem solved. And you can still add EO to the detergent and your laundry area will smell heavenly--it just won't have any effect on your laundry after it washes and dries.
At Apartment Therapy I found another recipe for Scented Laundry Enhancer. I have NOT tried this one yet, but it looks easy and you can throw in EO's of your preference. I'll let you know how it comes out!
Scented or not, I do feel like I have control over what goes into washing our clothes and what drains out into the environment! And of course there's the money saved…