Tuesday, June 1, 2010

homemade laundry detergent

I finally have a working washer and dryer back in my laundry room again!!!!  You have no idea how excited I am!  It has been nearly 2 months since our washer broke.  At first I didn't think it would be that bad.......laundromats are fun right?  Wrong.  They are scary.  And dirty.  And full of creepy characters like this one:
Ok so I didn't actually see a guy in a bunny suit, but still.  And did I mention inconvenient?!  Clumsily lugging huge baskets of dirty clothes and heavy bottles of detergent and ziplocs full of quarters cannot be done alone while watching out for creepers who might steal your purse or your nintendo ds or try to murder you.  You gotta have a companion.  Preferably an adult male companion.  Taking the kids along adds a whole other level of stress.  And you definitely can't go at night.  Or early in the morning.  That means clothes accumulate if you only get the chance to wash them about 3 times a month.

So you can imagine my delight when I finished my first load in our new to us washer and dryer.  No problems.  Just clean fresh fluffy clothes.  I was a bit worried about the smell of our second hand washer though.  I made sure I put bleach in the first load and washed with hot water.  It seemed to do the trick.  All is well.

I bought a book a while back on natural cleaning recipes.  I've been feeling really crafty lately, so I thought what better than a lazy Memorial Day Monday to try some of them out?  We made the regular washing detergent, and the hard water detergent & mixed them together, adding essential oils.  Here's our recipe:

Lavender Mint Laundry Detergent

2 C grated soap flakes (we used peppermint Dr.Bronners)
2 C washing soda (we used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda)
1 C baking soda
1/2 C borax (we used 20 mule team)
essential oils (we used tea tree, lavender, and spearmint)
Pour all dry ingredients into large storage container.  Shake well to mix.  Add in a few drops of essential oil.  Shake again.  That's it!  Easy.  You just use half a cup for each load and wash as usual.  Our clothes came out clean and fresh.  The detergent smells wonderful before and during washing, but after drying I couldn't smell anything at all.  Maybe more essential oil next time?  We also made fabric softener.

Lavender Mint Fabric Softener
2 C white vinegar
20 drops essential oil (we used tea tree, lavender, and spearmint)
Pour ingredients into clean empty squirt bottle (we used an old soft scrub bottle that we de-labled and rinsed out really well) and shake to mix.  Add a half cup to the wash during the rinse cycle.  I worried about the vinegar smell, but mixed with the oils it smells fresh.  Clothes came out smelling clean.  Come to think of it, I didn't catch the wash during the rinse cycle, so I rinsed again adding the fabric softener.  Maybe that's why the clothes didn't smell at all when they were done.

Anyway, I was really pleased with the results.  This is a very fun and rewarding project to do.  And it saves lots of money!!     



Amy said...

The homemade laundry detergent sounds wonderful....I might try and make some....It sounds like fun..I love the fact that I can decorate a container (haha)....

Have you been art journaling?

Nicole Coffin. said...

it was so much fun...and the kids loved helping! they think it's so cool. i've been prepping pages for journaling, but haven't had a lot of time to write anything.