So It’s Wednesday, and that means new recipe posting! This week’s recipe: homemade laundry detergent
As with all my recipes, this one is tried, tweaked, and true, and while I got them from somewhere on the internet (can’t remember where specifically), I do know that I’ve tweaked it a bit and adjusted the amounts of various ingredients to my liking. I can say I’ve been using this for a while, and my clothes certainly get just as clean, for a whole lot cheaper and with less unknown chemicals!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups Borax
- 1 and 1/2 cup washing soda (look for it in the laundry aisle)
- 1 and 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cup Ivory soap, grated (about 1 bar)
- 5-7 drops essential oil fragrance, if desired (I personally prefer lavender)
- Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle for fabric softener. This also helps clothes rinse clean
- Store in an airtight container, and add 1/8 cup per wash load
I think the original recipe calls for using a bar of soap brand called Fels Naptha or Octagon soap, but I can’t ever find either of those. Ivory soap is very similar to this kind of soap and grates easily too. And grating the soap up makes my cheese grater really clean 🙂 This stuff won’t suds up like the store-bought stuff you’re used to, but I can assure you that your clothes will get just as clean. And if you want to save energy as well, use cold water instead of warm or hot. Again, your clothes will still get just as clean, without using the extra energy to heat the water up.
Now, on to the drying cycle.
If you can, hang as much out to dry as possible. This will cut back on your energy usage. We got one of those retractable laundry lines and put it up inside. I like the fact that I can get it out only when I need it and otherwise, it’s out of sight. We’ve got ours in the doorway to the hall, so it runs the whole length of the hallway when it’s out. I’ve found that stuff dries pretty quickly, usually within a day or two, and in the winter, it helps to add some moisture to the dry air inside.
For making reusable dryer sheets, cut up some old t-shirts into 4-inch squares. T-shirt fabric works well because it doesn’t fray or leave little threads all over everything, and you won’t have to do any sewing or hemming. Put 4-5 drops of essential oil (make sure it goes well with your laundry detergent scent!) on each cloth, and place them in an airtight container for storage. Toss one in with your dryer load, and it will add a nice scent to your clothes the way a dryer sheet would.
The only issue I have with these dryer sheets is that while it gives a nice fresh scent, it doesn’t take care of static too well. Or at all. I have a set of those plastic re-usable dryer balls, but I’ve heard from some places that they might release some nasty plastic-ey chemicals when they heat up in the dryer, so I’m not really all that excited to get another set. I found a posting here on how to make your own dryer balls and that apparently wool is a really great static deterrent. I haven’t tried these yet, but I have plans to, and I’ll let you know how it works out when I get around to making them. For now, feel free to give it a try for yourself, but know that I haven’t tested it yet, it just sounds interesting, so I’m passing it on.
And as always, have fun saving money and buying one less bottle or box of chemicals!