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Domesticity: DIY Laundry Detergent

Josh and I have slowly been weeding crazy chemicals out of our daily lives as much as possible. I’ve even switched to a super hippy deodorant (and it actually works. Who knew), all in an effort to be as healthy as we can be. One of the areas we had yet to switch was our laundry routine.

I’ve been buying the more “natural” scented detergents for a few years now, but they still contained a whole lot of crazy things. Same goes for dryer sheets, which contain an astonishing amount of unpronounceable and mysterious ingredients. We ran out of our normal type a couple of months ago and grabbed a different type of both detergent and dryer sheets at the grocery store. Within a few weeks though, Josh had a slightly itchy rash on his neck that now, a month later, is still going strong. It took me a while to figure out that, odds are, it’s a reaction to our new laundry products.

While we could have easily switched back to our original brand, I really wanted to take this as an opportunity to cleanse our routine a little more so… I made my own detergent!

Rachel has been doing this for a little while and has loved the results, so any concerns I had over effectiveness were calmed. I took the basic recipe that she used and tweaked it a little to help my sensitive skinned husband. The great thing about this is that you can choose any bar soap you like to customize it to your preference. People used everything from Dove to Irish Spring and have loved the results. I chose to go with Kirk’s Original Coco Castille Soap.

It’s non-scented, hypoallergenic, all natural, and biodegradable. Basically, it’s super gentle and contains none of the ingredients I was worried about.

We washed a load of towels first, and not only were they super soft (partially thanks to a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar I poured in the wash), they also smelled, well, clean. Not scented, just clean. We have become so used to clean=floral smelling, but now we’re falling in love with the smell of true clean.

Here’s the recipe so you can make your own! It’s seriously so easy.

Hopefully Josh will start feeling the results soon.

Note: I had the best luck finding these ingredients at Wal-Mart, a place I hate. Oh well. The soap was on the soap aisle, and everything else was on the laundry aisle.

Laundry Detergent (original recipe  here)

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Super Washing Soda
  • 1 bar of soap

Grate the bar of soap into a bowl. Add one cup of Borax and one cup of washing soda. Stir for a few minutes until the soap breaks down and it’s the texture of typical detergent.

That’s it. Could it be any easier?!

I put mine in a plastic container with a lid. For every load of laundry, I dissolve 1/4 cup of detergent into the washing machine. I also add about 2 tbsp of white vinegar to every load. This helps with any odor issues and also helps reduce static, eliminating the need for dryer sheets.

The results: cleaner, softer, healthier laundry!

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3 responses »

  1. Don’t you kind of miss that “soap” smell though? I love the way that clean laundry smells when it smells all fresh and clean. I’ve seen so many people doing this, but it just worries me. I mean, it’s not exactly like Borax is any safer than so many of these other things, right? I don’t know. I should probably just do some research on the whole thing.

    Reply

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