If you are on social media, or anywhere on the web, for that matter, chances are you have seen this image, or one like it at some point in the recent past:
If you have read our website and know what we are about, then you know that toxin-free living is our passion and goal. It can be overwhelming, and the internet is a vortex that steals your time. Here is a simple rule to follow: 1 STEP AT A TIME!!!
That's right- don't try to do it all at once. It is utterly overwhelming!
We started simple- many, many years ago- with laundry detergent. Not only is it a first step in eliminating unwanted chemicals from your home, it is also a very affordable option!
Chances are, you have found a liquid laundry detergent recipe online:
1/2 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup washing soda (from the laundry aisle)
1/2 cup borax (also in the laundry aisle)
2 Gallons of water
grate your soap, melt it on the stove top, add washing soda and borax, add more water... let sit for 24 hours, stir... Sound familiar? yep- that's the one we used for years. For full step by step instructions go to http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm
This detergent works very nicely, but I didn't like storing 2 gallons worth of detergent AND then there was also that other half bar of soap... If you double the batch, which is easily done, you now have to store 4 gallons... you get the point.
I have modified this recipe slightly;
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated in my food processor
1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup of Mule Team Borax
2 quarts of water
optional: 40 drops of Lemongrass essential oil (this is totally optional, but it does wonders for stinky athletic clothes!)
Step 1: grate your bar soap, either with a hand grater or in your food processor. The smaller the pieces, the easier it will melt.
Step 2: Heat 2 cups of water in a large pot on your stove. Add soap and stir until dissolved.
Step 3: Add 6 more cups of water, washing soda, and borax. Stir while bringing to a slow boil.
Step 4: Let this concoction sit covered overnight (~24 hrs). you will find that the top is fairly thick and almost solid and most of the liquid will be separated underneath.
Step 5: using an immersion blender, carefully mix until you get a nice, smooth and creamy result. It will almost be the consistency of lotion or mayonnaise. Now you can add your essential oils if wanted.
Step 6: Store in 2 quart sized Mason Jars (or any other empty jar you can find) I use between 1-2 tsp (yes, teaspoon) per load. If you average 1.5 tsp per load, that's 242 loads!!! (and it costs less than $4 to make)
Try it out...let me know what you think!
If you prefer a powdered laundry detergent option, try this one from diy natural: