A few weeks ago, a friend of mine made some homemade laundry detergent and gave me some. I imagine that she looked around her kitchen at all the filled half gallon jugs and said to herself, who is both cheap and likes to pat herself on the back for at her half-hearted attempts to save the environment? That's when she snapped her fingers, reached for her phone and texted me.
I have to admit, I was suspicious at first. The stuff is not pretty. And I'm used to using the store-bought kind.
Esthetics aside, the homemade soap had a good resume. It's made from borax, washing soda, soap, water and essential oils. In other words, it's not full of the crazy contaminate chemicals you'll find in most of your brand-name detergents. Naturally, they don't advertise those things in commercials. They don't say, "keeps laundry fresh for weeks and during that time releases fragrant Acetaldehyde that will someday give you blood cancer."
I used the homemade detergent and have to say, my sheets have never smelled so clean. My friend used a subtle lemon scent and the sheets, washed and left to dry in the sun, smell intoxicating, like warm lemonade. They feel crisp and clean and there is also the peace of mind that they aren't saturated in carcinogenic chemicals.
And if that weren't enough, it's also ridiculously cheap to make. We figured up that we could make nearly 10 gallons of detergent for something like $10.00. I'm including the recipe for you to try. This is not mine, in fact, I snagged this from TLC. They also offer up a powdered version which I think would be much easier on the eyes if you catch my drift.
1 quart water (boiling) 2 cups bar soap (grated) 2 cups borax 2 cups washing soda
1. Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted. (*Try using homemade soap from Whole Foods*)
2. Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the borax and washing soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
3. Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
4. Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Once it's cool, add 5 - 7 drops of your favorite essential oil per gallon. Stir the soap each time you use it (it will gel).
* my suggestion
You can find everything you need at most supermarkets and it takes only a few minutes to make. It's a super easy and inexpensive way to wash your clothes while looking out for yourself and the environment!