C and I are both sensitive to fragrances and chemicals so in an effort to reduce our exposure to these, I have been researching non-toxic and natural cleaning methods for our home and clothing. Also, I switched our bathroom cleaners to non-toxic brands and started using a steam mop on the hardwood floors (which is an awesome piece of equipment). If you have hardwood floors, go get yourself a steam mop. You won’t be disappointed.
Tide has always been my favorite clothes detergent, but it is expensive even with coupons. I used to use the powder, but since we have really hard water that does not dissolve the powder very well, I switched to liquid. In reading about alternative cleaning methods, I found that there were many people making their own laundry detergent, either to save money or to lessen chemical exposure to I decided to give it a try.
Since I didn’t know if C would be allergic to one of the three ingredients, I only used it to wash towels this week to test it. So far so good! The towels were also pretty clean, but I did notice that it did not remove some tomato sauce stains from one dishtowel, but I left out the bleach I usually use for that, also. This “recipe” came from the website Our Greener Acres, which is full of ideas on healthier and more natural living.
(Note: This recipe is for a full batch of detergent, but I just made a half a batch to test it so the pictures won’t quite correspond with the text.)
1 bar laundry soap (I used Fels Naptha)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Start by bringing 4 cups of water to a simmer on the stove. While the water is warming, grate the bar of soap.
Once the water is simmering, add the soap in small batches. Don’t put it in all at once or it will take a very long time to melt. Once the soap is melted and the mixture is smooth, add the washing soda and borax. Cook until dissolved.
I saved an old Tide jug to use. Pour this mixture into the jug and fill it up the rest of the way with warm water. Leave a little room because you will have to shake it up to use it. Let is set for several hours with the top off to cool.
When I washed the towels with it, I almost couldn’t get it to pour out of the container because it was so thick but I may not have let it cool long enough before I tried it. This detergent smelled nice but it wasn’t overpowering so I hope that it gets our clothes nice and clean because it was easy and cheap to make. I will keep you updated on the results.