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: