I admit the task seemed daunting. After all, I barely passed chemistry class, and all those glass containers and chemical and goggles and formulas (oh, and that "in case you catch yourself on fire" emergency shower) freaked me out. I'm also terrible at math---well, except at counting grams of carbs and calculating sales at Pottery Barn.
But this surprisingly easy, simple, inexpensive, and quick recipe has me committed to continuing to make my own detergent.
Compliments of Charity---I'm able to pass on this recipe to you, my readers.
Directions to Use: 1/2 c per load (regular washers; for HE ones try 1/4 c)
- 3 pints water
- 1/3 bar soap (I used Dove White) grated
- 1/2 c washing soda
- 1/2 c Borax
- 2 gal bucket (and old kitty little container works great---well cleaned out, of course!)
- 1 qt hot water
Directions to Make:
Mix grated soap in saucepan in 3 pints water on low until dissolved.
Stir in washing soda & borax until thickened. Remove from heat.
Add 1 quart hot water to 2 gal bucket and then add soap mixture & mix (shake) well. Fill bucket with hot water and mix well.
Set aside for 24 hours or until mixture thickens.
The cost of the entire project: $18 (it would have been $8 but I didn't own a grater). I have A LOT of Borax and Washing Soda leftover, plus 2/3 of a bar of soap with more in the house. And the kitty liter container holds much more than the 60 load Tide concentrate container I was using, not to mention, for $8, I'm going to get several (my guess? 10 or more) containers full of detergent. The cost savings is amazing, and the time is well spent (and really, it took me less than 15 minutes).
You might be wondering, does it really work? Yep. My laundry is clean.
You might be wondering why the heck anyone would care to make her own laundry detergent? Well, if the cost isn't motivating enough, check out this article on all the harmful chemicals in detergents.
As the article states, and as I've read in many sources, cleaning products are highly unregulated and often do not list all the ingredients. When you make your own cleaning products, you get to decide what's going to be on your laundry and thus, on your skin, and thus, get absorbed into your body.
Powerful scents in laundry detergents disguise the chemical smells AND trick us into believing our clothes are clean and safe. If something smells natural, like scents typically used in detergents like lemon or lavender, we believe in the product. If it says "natural" on the label, we pat ourselves on the back for buying it. But "natural" really doesn't mean anything. You have to know your ingredients and read the fine print. And even if you do, as stated in the previous paragraph, all ingredients may not be listed.
Going green is confusing, but I'm learning and changing. That's what matters!