If you would have told me that I would be making my own detergent 2 years ago, I would have laughed in your face.
Recently, I got my hands on a great book about toxins in the home. The book is called, The Naturally Clean Home. I'm sure there are others out there that are similar, but I happen to stumble across this one first.
The book focuses in primarily on the cleaners we use everyday when it comes to maintaining our homes. I had no idea some of the stuff was that bad! Some of the stats and information in the book will shock you. But, don't take my word for it. Check it out yourself.
I have found this book to be an excellent tool especially for a newbie like me. I didn't even own an essential oil last week so I was basically starting from scratch. The author does an incredible job explaining things and has tons of recipes to offer. I like that a lot of her recipes are scented and she helps you create the smells that you are trying to achieve. A lot of the recipes online don't have essential oils added to them. I can't wait to try out more. I did make my floor cleaner a few days ago also, but more on "Swiffer goes wild" in another post.
I've heard that making your own detergent can save you lots of money. Although I think it will save you some if you are used to buying the expensive high-dollar stuff (I wasn't), my reason for making the detergent stemmed more from the idea of knowing what exactly is in this white powder that I use daily in my home.
Honestly, I dreaded the whole thing. DREADED! I was completely out of detergent and was not letting myself go out and just buy some more without trying this out first. I was committed to the idea of making my own.
I knew that I wasn't willing to settle on a few things. The first being the all-important smell. I am a huge 'sniffer'. I love good smelling detergent or anything for that matter. You name it, I probably sniff it. My husband laughs at me all of the time because I usually sniff my fork before I bite into my food.......almost every time I take a bite! Weird.......I know. You get the drift. Smell is important to me and I wanted my stuff to smell good.
The other thing that I wasn't willing to settle on was the clean factor. I wanted my clothes to come out of the wash stain free and bright white. Thus, the importance of detergent to begin with. But, you and I both know that not all detergent is created equal and some clean better than others.
The last thing I wasn't willing to do is spend a whole day making detergent. I was prepared for it to take more time than just picking it up off the shelf and sticking it in my basket, but I wasn't willing for it to take hours or even an hour for that matter. I doubled the recipe below and it took me all but 20 minutes. I really don't think it would take longer than 30 to make a ton! I started off small because I didn't want to make a batch of detergent big enough for 1ooo loads of clothes and totally hate it. Kaylyn had fun helping me make it too which is also the beauty of using non-toxic cleaners. Your kiddos can clean with you!
I must say that after my first day of laundry I was sold on making my own detergent. It exceeded my expectations. I wanted to try it out first for a week before passing the information along to you guys and gals.
The first thing I loved about making my own, was creating the smell that I wanted. I did this by experimenting with some essential oils. I love woodsy citrus smells so I scented mine with sweet orange oil (which also helps remove stains and brighten laundry) and patchouli (for all of you hippies out there). The smell is totally different than store bought detergent so don't be expecting that. I wanted to live in my laundry room that day it smelled pleasant and naturally good. I really can't describe it other than 'fresh'.
I didn't pre-treat a load of my girls' clothes on purpose because I wanted to put the detergent to the test. The clothes came out perfectly and stain-free. I felt like my whites were even brighter than if I were to have used OxyClean on them. And trust me when I say that I was a firm believer in 1/4 of a scoop of OxyClean in every load.
My giant mason jar came in handy to store the detergent in my laundry room. I got this jar as a gift from Aunt Debbie and Uncle Durward and finally found the perfect thing to put in it. I LOVE cute jars and containers. It really makes doing laundry even funner to me. How silly is that, right?
I really think you will like it and enjoy the cool smells you come up with. Not to mention the satisfaction you will feel in knowing that you made some stuff that is not only good for the environment (the water waste coming out of your washing machine has to go somewhere, right?), but also good for your family too.
Here is the recipe I used. I sort of combined a few to fit my needs. There are tons of recipes online if you looked it up. Okay, so enough of me talking. Go make you some detergent and give it a try.
*If you have experience with this as well and have some more tips to offer to us newbies, feel free. I'd love to hear what you have to say!*
Powder Laundry Detergent (Lynsey-Style)
This will do approximately 12-20 loads depending upon how soiled clothes are.
2 cups washing soda (found on the detergent isle at grocery store)
2 cups of scented baking soda (by scented, this means mix 5-8 drops of essential oil of your choice with the baking soda first and stir really good)
1 bar of grated Ivory soap (use your food processor- will look like feta cheese)
1 cup of Borax (use this if you have hard water especially)
Mix all together really well and store in a container. Use 1/2 cup for an average size load.
Lavender-scented Fabric Softener (from The Naturally Clean House)
I used lavender for my fabric softener, but again you can choose your own smell.
1 gallon of vinegar
20 drops of lavender
Add lavender right into the container and shake. You've got instant fabric softener. Add this to the rinse cycle in your washing machine.
Lynsey Tip: I will be using the Downey ball that dispenses it while the washing machine is washing to clothes so I don't have to remember to add it in.
Here is a quick tip for dryer sheets for you. Take a scrap piece of fabric (I used baby washcloths) and add 3-5 drops of essential oils on the fabric and throw it in the dryer with your clothes. Be careful not to use too much or it might put oil spots on your clothes.