January 3, 2013 by Kriscinda Lee Everitt
How’s this for taking my resolutions head on? I made laundry detergent! Okay, so making it once doesn’t count as having really fulfilled the resolution (gotta get to the end of 2013 without buying commercial detergent), but it was so stupidly easy that if I can’t manage at least this one of my resolutions, I should probably be taken out and shot.
So, I found this recipe at My Merry Messy Life. There are laundry soap recipes all over the Interwebs, but I was looking specifically for a liquid recipe, for 1) I like it better than powder, 2) we already had some liquid Castile soap, and 3) the homemade powder stuff requires hot water to dissolve properly and I like to save energy by using cold.
I used Dr. Bonner’s peppermint liquid Castile soap, and Big A fetched me some 20 Mule Team Borax (which I love the name of), and some Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.* I gathered: one bucket that holds at least 2 gallons to mix, containers to hold 2 gallons of finished product, a set of measuring cups, a glass measuring cup, a small funnel, something to mix it all with, and some hot water.
I can say that the mixture smells pepperminty, but the clothes coming out of the wash (before the dryer) have no smell. Which is fine by me—so long as they no longer smell like filthy, dirty unwashed laundry (no matter how metal that is \m/). The recipe I used says you only need about 1/3 of a cup of liquid detergent per wash. I actually ended up using about a cup, only because it was what was left in the bucket after I’d filled my bottles. I will try 1/3 cup in the next wash and see how it goes. Honestly, even if you feel like you want to use more than that, it’s still more cost effective than buying commercial laundry detergent.
It’s funny how psychologically dependent we are in seeing all that lathery foam when something is being “cleaned.” But, here’s what it used to look like, folks, all those many years ago before it was taken and commercialized and marketed. Even sans foaming agents, it makes your clothes clean. And it’s better for the environment. It’s also better for you. So, there you have it.
Now, the only thing that can make this better is some Motörhead. Because Motörhead makes everything better. Stay Clean.
*By the way, apparently, you can make your own washing soda simply by baking some baking soda. See how here. I thought about it for a moment, but comparing the money already saved on commercial laundry detergent vs. the extra step added to the process, I figured I can skip this step to start. Maybe I’ll try it eventually, though.