Mmmm pretty sure that’s not how the song goes. Though, I’d be lying if I said the idea didn’t cross my mind once or twice. If washing clothes on an old school wash board wouldn’t take all day, I’d be all over it.
If you all are like me, and I am pretty sure you are, there are countless loads of laundry going down at your place. You may not realize it but there is a large amount of sketchy chemicals in most of the products we trust to clean our homes and clothing. With so many machines going full steam every week, it’s a bit alarming to think about all those chemicals pouring into our water system (and ultimately our bodies). This is especially important because there is less and less water to go around, and it’s being recycled more than ever.
Maybe it’s because we live in Atlanta, one of the at risk cities for water shortage, but this situation has heavily weighed on my mind lately. All the more reason why I am so glad that we have made one of our most recent changes. Old laundry detergent out, homemade in.
Here are just a few reasons why this is a stellar idea:
- First and most importantly, it is great for the environment.
- Saves money. Seriously, $15 buys us more than six months worth.
- Our clothes are actually softer without using fabric softener.
- Cuts back on our recycling build up (no bulky plastic containers).
- Free of harmful chemicals (sweet bliss).
When I first started washing both mine and Ryan’s laundry together, I had to give up all my favorite scented detergents and softeners for his sensitive skin. If I knew then what I know now, it would have been a much more welcomed change. Instead of feeling like I was losing out, I would have been overjoyed for the push into ‘safer’ detergents. We had been using Arm & Hammer unscented all the way up to our DIY change. It was better for the skin but still released harmful chemicals into the water. It’s absolutely alarming to be aware of the dangers that lurk in our everyday household items. Not to get on my soap box (ba-dum tshh), but it’s no wonder cancer and disease run rampant through our country.
We are always on a mission to cut out as many ‘evils’ as possible. To make this small change means that we are protecting ourselves as well as doing our part in caring for this world we all live in.
The first time I made a batch of this goodness was about three months ago, and now that it’s time to make another I’m bringing you along with me. I still had enough leftover ingredients that I just needed to pick up a new bar of soap.
If this is your first go around making detergent, you’ll need to add the following to your next shopping list:
- Borax (detergent booster) We bought a 4lb 12oz box for $4.79 (this goes a loooong way).
- Arm & Hammer Washing Soda We bought a 55oz box $3.19 at Publix.
- Bar soap (any scent) We use Dr. Bronner’s because of it’s pure and organic goodness. We bought this at Trader Joe’s for $3.25 .
The ratio of the mixture is as follows:
- 1 part grated soap
- 2 parts borax
- 2 parts washing soda
The first step (and the longest) is grating the soap.
I do 1 cup of grated soap- ends up being about half the bar. I had a little detergent left over from my last batch, so I just added to it.
Then, I poured 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups of borax into the mix.
Once everything was in one bowl, I stirred it and gave it a few good shakes.
That’s it. Your done and ready to roll. For a normal size load, I use 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of detergent. In case you might be worried if this is safe for your washer, we have a HE front load and all is well.
For you sensitive skin folks, Ryan’s skin is super happy with our new method of washing (we are all smiles).
Now go get your wash on, save money, your health, and the WATER.
Oh, just one more thing, this was on Ellen today. Coincidence? I think not.