I made a reference in the Seeds of Change blog post that I clean with natural products. I especially take delight in learning how to make things myself.
Laundry soap. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate to buy laundry soap. I mean, really hate buying laundry soap. It comes in this HUGE plastic container and you have to choose between types. Do I want the one for dark colors, whites, with bleach, with fabric softeners, scented, unscented, the one that claims to be eco-friendly and the list goes on.
In the book by Michael DeJong Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing he makes a reference to making your own laundry soap and gives a list of ingredients.
I had wondered years ago if I could make my own laundry soap. However, I had dismissed the notion as I just assumed it was this difficult process that I really did not want to bother with.
It is not a difficult process! It is so darn simple, I was a little upset at myself that I had not looked into it more. I have been making my own laundry soap for almost two years now. This is a more sustainable option and will save you a decent amount of cash in the future. Additionally, all the ingredients can be purchased at most grocery stores.
Borax (20 mule team is the brand I use)
Ivory Soap (or soap of choice)
Mix equal parts of each.
My Recipe is as follows:
3 cups Borax
3 cups baking soda
1 bar Ivory Soap
To shave the bar of soap I use a fine cheese grater. I mix all the ingredients in the container I intend to store the laundry detergent in.
Use one tablespoon per large load. Use two tablespoons per load if it is really soiled.
As a side note, finding bulk quantities of baking soda proved to be rather difficult for me. I ended up going to a restaurant supplier called Cash and Carry. They carry five and ten pound bags of baking soda.
I have heard suggestions to substitute Ivory soap with Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap (5 oz Bar, Unscented) . There are a number of options for scents. I have been using the liquid soap as my body wash for years. So I am excited to try the bar soap for my laundry, I am a huge fan of the rose scent (Dr. Bronner – Rose Pure Castile Liquid Soap, 32 fl oz liquid).
I have heard this mixture can also be used as a Dishwasher Detergent (I do not have a dishwasher). The difference is you omit the bar of soap when making a batch. Instead use two tablespoons of the powder mixture in the powder section and two tablespoons of white vinegar in the liquid detergent portion. The white vinegar is to eliminate food and water spots.