Ah, the scent of fresh laundry, so clean and fresh. Did you know that what you are really smelling is the sweet smell of poison?? It’s true, most household brand name laundry detergents contain toxic chemicals. They don’t have to tell us about these chemicals of course (how convenient…), since it is not required that laundry products list ingredients on their packaging in the United States. So how can you tell what’s really in your detergent? You can research it online (go here, here or here to get started) or you can be like me and just stop buying brand name detergents altogether. I don’t mean that I stopped cleaning my clothes or anything (ewww) – I make my own using all natural ingredients. This way, I know exactly what’s in my detergent.
When I first decided myself and my family were going to try to lead a healthier lifestyle, of course Pinterest was the place I went for ideas and inspiration. While looking for a homemade detergent recipe the two most important things were that it was all natural and that it would save me bookoos of money (because laundry detergent is NOT cheap!). I decided on this pin, originally from The Frugal Girls. I could not believe how simple and inexpensive this is to make!
The Frugal Girls’ recipe calls for Fels Naptha soap, which can be found on the laundry aisle of Wal-Mart or similar stores for about a dollar (told you it was cheap). In my first batch I used Fels Naptha and it worked great, but I found out that it is not an all natural product. So this time I went looking for a substitute soap and found Grandpa’s Unscented Baking Soda Soap at my local health foods store. It is vegetable based and boasts to be a natural dirt, grease & grime remover. Sounds good enough for my laundry!
Here is my recipe for an all natural, homemade laundry detergent:
You will need:
- 1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (around $4 at Wal-Mart)
- 1/2 Cup Borax (around $5 at Wal-Mart)
- 1/2 Bar of Grandpa’s Unscented Baking Soda Soap (around $4 at health stores)
- Bucket or some other container with a lid to store detergent in (I used an old Tidy Cats litter container – fully cleaned)
Grate half the bar of soap over a large saucepan and add 6 cups of water.
Heat and stir until the soap dissolves. Next, add your Washing Soda and Borax, and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Now pour 4 cups of HOT water into your clean bucket, then add the soap mixture from the stove and stir well. Finally, add 1 Gallon + 6 cups of water (that’s 22 cups total for all you math rejects…like me) to the bucket and stir it up good.
Viola! You’re all done! Put the lid on and allow it to sit for 24 hours. It will have a watery, gel-like consistency. This batch will last about a month and a half in my house, and I use a dry measuring cup to scoop 1 to 1-1/2 cups per full load of laundry. Also, you still have a half bar of soap left for your next batch and your Washing Soda and Borax will last many more batches.
I encourage you all to try making your own all natural detergent , it’s a much healthier alternative for you and your family and it will save you some major $$$ over time.