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Monday, November 3, 2008

homemade laundry detergent

last week i finally had ALL the ingredients to make my own homemade laundry detergent. i bought my washing soda from ebay for the bargain price of $4.99 ($4.75 shipping). i got borax from walmart for like $3 and the soap flakes for $12.90 (shipping included). total: $25.64. those are the items that a normal household would not have. the baking soda, i already had, and that's a few bucks a pop. all the ingredients will last me a good amount of time that i won't have to replemish. normally detergent, liquid or powder, costs about $7 already and for the pricier brand names like Tide, they cost even more. i'd say i spend about $25/year for commercially made detergent. and i think with what i have, my homemade stuff will last me about year, maybe more... and it's eco-friendly. i dig that.

HPIM4065


Homemade Laundry Detergent
adapted from The Habit of Being

basic recipe for soap flakes
using a cheese grater, grate a bar of gentle
castile soap or gentle glycerine soap.*

*do not use non-foaming varieties

all-purpose washing machine laundry soap
1 cup baking soda
1 1/2 cups unpacked soap flakes*
1/2 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate)
1/2 cup borax

mix the ingredients together and use as you would a commercial washing detergent (about 1/2 cup per full load). the finer and dryer the soap flakes before mixing with the other ingredients, the longer shelf life.

*the soap flakes must be from glycerine or castile bar soaps.

i also added 15 drops of lavender essential oil. i left the lid off to allow the mixture to completely dry out. i also didn't make a lot on purpose just to make sure i don't break out etc.

HPIM4070


so far, so good. :)

Today's soundtrack: Anggun, In Your Mind (french version)

i discovered anggun in college and i've been a fan since.

"`cause a woman should do/What she wants to do/Nothing wrong with this dress I wear/Nothing wrong with this smile I dare/Nothing wrong with my long black hair/It's all in your mind, in your mind..."

9 comments:

  1. that's awesome.
    could you add any smells?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes. about 15 drops of essential oils but be sure that you let the soap dry completely before closing the lid.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow. I am seriously impressed! I hardly ever even do my own laundry except for my "dainties" - I'm a New Yorker and the machines are in the gross basement of my building! some day I will make my own detergent and think of you!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I made my own recently too. I box of washing soda that I bought on sale for a little over $1. $2 box of baking soda. Two bars of 89 cent Zote and something else soap.

    I found that soap a bit harsh on my hands and clothes. And it doesn't clean as well as my usual Arm and Hammer.

    In the end, I figured there weren't cost savings since I had to use a cup of homemade soap to wash and the amount I made was about equal to what it'd cost to buy. But it was an interesting experiment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. chessa - i'd never even heard of homemade laundry detergent until i became acquainted with the blog-world. i don't even know why i'm so all about it but it makes me feel good that it's eco-friendly.

    wc - so far so good for me. i will, however, use store-bought detergent for major stains tho, just to be on the safe side!

    ReplyDelete
  6. A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to do laundry is to use 3 or 4 soapberries which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.

    ReplyDelete
  7. chessa - i'd never even heard of homemade laundry detergent until i became acquainted with the blog-world. i don't even know why i'm so all about it but it makes me feel good that it's eco-friendly.

    wc - so far so good for me. i will, however, use store-bought detergent for major stains tho, just to be on the safe side!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I made my own recently too. I box of washing soda that I bought on sale for a little over $1. $2 box of baking soda. Two bars of 89 cent Zote and something else soap.

    I found that soap a bit harsh on my hands and clothes. And it doesn't clean as well as my usual Arm and Hammer.

    In the end, I figured there weren't cost savings since I had to use a cup of homemade soap to wash and the amount I made was about equal to what it'd cost to buy. But it was an interesting experiment.

    ReplyDelete