Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent? Really? Yup!

Well we've embarked on a new level of crunchy in the Smitty household. 

 I started using homemade laundry detergent. All it took was a bar of soap, washing soda, Borax and a grater! While I know Dove isn't a true soap, it's what I had on hand and I looked up reviews on using it for this purpose and most people didn't have any problems with it.

The Washing Soda was $3.39, the Borax was $4.05, the Dove bar was something I had in the pantry, but a bar usually costs about $1.50 and at only $0.50, the grater was a steal in the PX dollar bins. 

Grating the soap was the most difficult part. After about a quarter of the bar, the grater got clogged and wouldn't shave anymore. I ended up having to clean the grater 3 times before I was done. Not a huge problem, only time consuming. 1 cup shaved soap, 1 cup Washing Soda, 1 Cup Borax. I mixed the ingredients for a few minutes, poured it into a storage container, labeled it and was done!

I've already done a load of the kids clothing and a load of hubby's uniforms straight from the field. A half cup of distilled white vinegar in substitution of traditional softener and my laundry came out smelling like nothing! No scent, no residue, no funk. I have clean laundry and it was way cheaper than conventional laundry detergent! Toddler and Baby Girl have both worn clothing cleaned by this detergent and neither have had any skin reactions either! 

Now that I know it works, I want to try a few drops of essential oil to add a soft scent. Should I try Tea Tree Oil or Grapefruit? I don't have anything else on hand at the moment. And it will take a while for me to trust the detergent enough to try it on my cloth diaper stash. For now I'll stick with RnG as I've never had a problem with stink, stains or skin reactions with it.

Edited to add: I only used a tablespoon of the mix for a large load of laundry and half a cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle for a softener. 

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