Phase Eight: Laundry Detergent

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday we are going to go back to My Healthy Green Family to look at her recipe for laundry detergent. Not only is this a good recipe, but her post is very thorough in convincing you why you should use this instead of store bought. For one, you save a lot of money!

The first challenge is getting ingredients. If you’ve been making the dishwasher detergent, you may have already decided who your citric acid supplier is. Great! What you’ll need to consider, though, is how you’ll obtain your glycerin soap, washing soda, and desiccant.

For the soap, I did not trust Amazon. I wanted to be able to read the ingredients. I ended up at Whole Foods looking through all their soaps and eventually finding 4 oz (the desired amount) of their store brand for less than $2. The only ingredients were coconut or palm oil and glycerin. This is the purest soap I’ve found. Olive oil soap has also been reported to work.

For washing soda, I decided to make my own. It is expensive to buy, but can be made from baking soda (which you already have a lot of!). I preheated my oven to 400 degrees. I put a layer of baking soda in a baking dish (about two cups) and put it in for 15 minutes. I then took it out to stir it a bit and examine what the washing soda looks like. I then put it back for another 15 minutes. The best way to describe washing soda is duller than baking soda. You really have to see it and gauge for yourself if you think it’s done.

For the desiccant, check out Free Range Mama’s instructions. I couldn’t get one right away and actually found I don’t need one.

To test this, I first washed old towels, jeans, karate bottoms, etc. I always wash with cold water to save energy. I used about a tablespoon, maybe a little less since it was a small load. During the rinse cycle, I added half a cup of vinegar, which makes a good fabric softener. If you’re lucky and have a washing machine that automatically releases fabric softener, add it into that compartment. In theory, the detergent should be rinsed out so it doesn’t react with the vinegar. Upon initial inspection while transferring to the dryer, the items looked good. There was no residue and even the towel that smelled like sheep smelled good.

The next test, of course, is my every day clothes. The shirts felt good and it passed the two smell tests: my underwear and my workout shirt I haven’t washed in over a month. The smell wasn’t completely gone from the workout shirt, but that shirt has been a kickboxing shirt for 7 years and I just went over a month without washing it. The detergent did well. I am very excited to have yet another natural product in my home.

The following fun idea came from my mom: This has been shown to be a good stain remover. Why not try it on the carpet?

Update 12/28/12:
I have now been using this detergent for over 4 months. All my clothes are doing well and getting clean. Even my Lunapads. I am very happy with how everything turned out. I haven’t been using the vinegar fabric softener much, and the clothes are still turning out very well.

About How We Flourish

Welcome! I'm Chloe. I have a passion for creating a healthy life and a healthy environment. Join me as I explore homemade and reusable products, essential oils, and real food. Look around a bit. I look forward to getting to know you.
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2 Responses to Phase Eight: Laundry Detergent

  1. Pingback: Making Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent « Thrifty Livin

  2. Pingback: Transition to Chemical-Free: A Picture | Healthy People, Healthy Planet

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