Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DIY Laundry Soap

Commercial laundry detergents don't list the ingredients (go ahead, check), and that makes me a little nervous. It's fairly certain they contain nasty things like sulficants and possibly phosphates, which is really bad for water supplies. I had been using Seventh Generation, which does list the ingredients, but it's gd expensive.

I made my own laundry soap (found on Modern Cottage). It was super-easy to make, really cheap, and works really well. Here's how to make it:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
2 cups grated soap (Ivory, or Fels Naptha)
and, if you want, some oxy clean (1/4 cup)
I found all this stuff at my local Jewel, also at Dominicks.
Grating the soap is really easy - even easier than cheese. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes to make

Guess how much you use? Only 1-2 tablespoons per load! But, I'm telling you, it really cleans the clothes. I put in a load of clothes I hate to TELL you how smelly, but it came out smelling like sunshine.

Oh, get this... use (what else?) VINEGAR for "fabric softener". I put in 1/4 cup in one of those Downey balls and throw it in. Rest assured, your clothes won't smell like vinegar! Turns out commercial fabric softeners, aside from being kind of useless, are really bad for the environment. Vinegar rinses right out, reduces static, is a brightener, and also if you have hard water, it helps keep your pipes squeaky clean.

Let me know if you make it! I think it's great!


Kathy said...

It SOUNDS Great! I'm in! I'll let you know how it goes; I'm already using vinegar and baking soda for supplementing a commercial detergent so it won't be much of a struggle.

Borax is great for all kinds of stuff, too! In addition to its brightening attributes, its also a mild dessicant so it can help with removing the moisture, say on a carpet spill. And I hope you never have this problem but I once had a friend with a flea-carpet problem. Borax---sucks the moisture right out of the fleas; dead. Just vacuum 'em up.

Special K said...

Oh yes, I heard you can use it to kill ants too. Unfortunately, we do have to deal with that sometimes in the summer around here.

Laura W. said...

Great posting! I have already copied the instructions and sent it along to everyone I know who does green... Time to try that mixture. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Kel, Your Dad gave me the pious speech this morn about how many hours he works and how you'd think a man who had a wife that didn't work could clean the bathroom sink so I'm not real interested in soap right now. But I am interested in seeing Laura's name here! How in the world is our sweet Laura? I hope things are well with her. I am painting some junkshop furniture, using up some old paint.
love, ma

Anonymous said...

I've used ammonia when I wash clothes for years due to Lyman and I both having sensitive skin and I'm allergic to fragrance too. It goes in stinky but the clothes come out April fresh. It brightens, reduces soap residue and helps with the static. Milo's Nona