Somewhere in the last month or two I came across a reference to homemade laundry detergent. (I really thought it was on Mrs. Thrifty Household's excellent blog, but I can't find any related posts there. Perhaps it was in a comment.) Mr. M and I love to make our own cleaners - thus saving money, sparing our allergies, helping the environment, and politely thumbing our noses at Dow and Messrs Procter & Gamble, all in one happy chemical-free swoop. So you can be sure that when I read the words "homemade laundry detergent" I perked up my virtual ears and followed the Google trail of soap crumbs (mixing metaphors as I went) to this recipe for powdered laundry soap at the "Make Your Own" zone.
Nothing could be simpler: grate a bar of Fels Naphtha soap...
...add a box of Borax and a box of Washing Soda (washing, mind you, not baking)...
...mix well, then put into any handy container. Add a spare scoop or measuring cup, and there you are!
|2 tablespoons will wash an entire load.|
I mixed up my batch in a large bowl, which did make me sneeze a bit as the borax got into the air. Next time I'll probably shake it up in a (recycled) plastic bag.
We've done five or six loads with our new laundry soap, and the clothes and towels came out clean and fresh-smelling. One less plastic bottle in our lives; a bit more money in our wallets; fewer surfactants, optical brighteners, and other nasty things in the water supply. A win-win situation.
This mixture also makes a dandy all-around cleaner for heavily soiled floors and sticky baked-on stove grease. (Use sparingly, scrub with a damp sponge or rag, and rinse well.) I plan to try cleaning the bathroom with it next.
And now I have a date in the laundry room with a pile of dirty sheets...
P.S. If you decide to try this recipe yourself, give the box of borax a good allover thumping and massage before you open it. This will help eliminate lumps.
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