4/14/07

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I finally did it. I made my own laundry detergent!

The whole process was super simple and took no time at all to make.

I used the recipe that Stephanie used for hers:

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Bar Ivory Soap, Grated


Use 1T per load.

I even had to use just the regular baking soda rather than washing soda Like Stephanie did. My local grocery store carries washing soda, but this week, I was shopping at Wally World and they only had the regular baking soda.

I made triple the recipe just because I bought a 3-pack of Ivory and there was plenty of the soda and Borax to make 3 with a lot of each left over.

Matthew asked what I was doing and he jumped right in and wanted to help grate the soap! I used the small grater (the one for harder cheeses) figuring that the smaller pieces would dissolve better.

One plus of this detergent is that it doesn't take much of it for a load. The original directions call for one tablespoon per load. Steph used 1.5 T per load since she used regular baking soda. I actually am using 2 T per load. 1.5 T because of the soda and the other .5 T because my washer is called "Super-Capacity Plus".

My first test was dark clothes. They came out great!

Next, it was a load of whites. I added bleach because I was doing towels and socks. They also came out clean and fresh!

The true test was actually when DH and Steven wore the clothes washed in it. DH breaks out whenever I switch detergents- even if I just switch scents or types within the same brand. Mostly he breaks out around his waist. Steven has eczema and is also very sensitive. His has more to do with fabric softener and whether I use liquid or dryer sheets, but I am still brand-loyal with my detergent. I made sure they each wore clothes washed in the new detergent. Neither one of them has had any problems and these are problems that show up right away.

I figured the cost at about $1 per recipe, so my total is $3 for the batch I made. I am counting how many loads I get out of my whole batch and I'll update on it when I run out. I really think this is worth making again and again!

9 comments:

Margaret said...

What do you store this in?

Stephanie said...

Glad it worked for you. I wonder if the washing soda would be too acid for their sensitive skin?

Heidi said...

Wow, I think I need to do this again. I forgot how cheap it is! Glad it worked for you.

Celeste said...

That is great! I am thinking I need to try this!

Matt Johnson said...

Soap Nuts (Soapnuts) – The Environmental Detergent

Have you ever thought about all the chemicals that we pour down the drain daily? What impact do they have on our environment? What does this mean for our children’s future? How can we minimize the harmful chemicals we use & save the environment at the same time? Soap Nuts are the answer.

What are Soap Nuts?

Soap Nuts are not actually nuts at all, but berries (also known as soap berries) that grow on trees in India & Nepal. They contain high concentrations of saponin, which acts as a natural soap when it comes into contact with water.

What can I use Soap Nuts for?

The most common & easiest use of soap nuts is as a laundry detergent. Just place three or four half-shells of soap nuts in a muslin bag (provided with most soap nuts orders) and throw it in with your laundry instead of regular detergent and you are on your way to becoming environmentally friendly. When using soap nuts in your laundry, you do not even need a rinse cycle, thus preventing gallons of water from unnecessarily going down the drain. If you want to expand your soap nuts into a multi-purpose cleaner, simply boil 100 g of soap nuts in 12 cups (3L) of water for 30 minutes. Fish out the shells, throw them in your compost, & you are left with a highly concentrated, natural, liquid detergent. For more applications, visit http://SoapNuts.Wordpress.com

How does the use of Soap Nuts affect Grey Water?

Soap nuts are antimicrobial. After their detergent goes into the sewer system, it helps break down the grey water into a more usable form. The use of soap nuts actually benefit the environment, rather than hurting it as the harmful chemicals we use do. Because of their unique antimicrobial properties, soap nuts are also used in aid of soil restoration.

What harmful chemicals are found in my regular laundry detergent?

Regular laundry detergents may contain any or all of the following:
Enzymes – Are a skin sensitizer, but may cause dermatitis and allergic reactions
Sodium Hypochlorite – Causes lung irritations, bronchial or respiratory reactions, cardiovascular damage, as well as eye and skin damage.
Nonylphenoxy Ethoxylates – Is an edocrine disruptor, and can cause an activation of cellular estrogen receptors (even at low levels) This is implicated in causes of a rise in breast and prostate cancer, infertility issues, a decline in amphibian populations and the reversal / feminization of birds, fish or reptiles.

Are Soap Nuts Gentle on my skin?

Yes. Soap nuts contain no chemicals, and are therefore non-allergenic. Many people (myself included) who suffered from eczema and other skin irritations have seen their problems diminish after switching to soap nuts as a laundry detergent.

How does my Purchase of Soap Nuts affect India & Nepal?

Your purchase of soap nuts is beneficial to both the economy & environment of India & Nepal. In these two countries, there are many poor people. Because soap nuts are plentiful, they become non-saleable locally. Therefore, soap nut trees become more valuable & marketable as firewood than for the environmentally friendly soap nuts that they grow. When soap nuts are marketed overseas, it employs local residents to harvest them, which in turn, stimulates the economy. At the same time, it makes the trees more valuable living than dead. This helps save our tropical forests.

Soap Nuts are the Environmental Detergent.

The use of soap nuts reduces the use of harmful chemicals, helps in restoring our polluted earth, and saves our tropical forests. Isn’t it time you did your part in painting a greener future for our children?

For more information on soap nuts & pricing visit http://Stores.HotterThanHealth.com

Soap Nuts said...

Soap nuts work unbelievably well!

Soap Nuts said...

Soap nuts are the best for getting the musty smells out of towels, washcloths, etc..

Laundry Detergent said...

I love soap nuts. When we started using them, the eczema on my belly cleared right up.

Tea Tree Oil said...

Tea tree oil is a good additive to homemade laundry detergent.