Thursday, February 25, 2016

DIY Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

Laundry detergent.  We all use it.  It's on the shopping list every month.  But did you know that most commercial detergents are full of toxic chemicals?  We wash our clothes with these chemicals and then wear them on our skin, inhaling their fragrance all day, every day.  Sometimes I have been known to just smell clean laundry straight out of the dryer because it smells so "fresh!"  

Also, commercial laundry detergent can get quite expensive!  Tide averages about $0.12 per load.  Cheaper brands such as Purex would be probably half that.  This homemade detergent will cost you only $0.03 per load!  That adds up, especially if you have a big family and are doing lots of laundry.  

Another interesting fact is that most commercial laundry detergents contain loads of fillers.  A filler is something included just to add bulk or to make the other chemicals bind together better.  Fillers can account for up to 45% of what is inside the detergent canister.  Talk about wasting your money!
Common fillers include 1,4 dioxan (a synthetic carcinogen), gluten, alcohol, limestone, coloring, etc.

So what can you do?  If you can afford it, there are many "green" laundry detergent brands.  However those tend to be prohibitively expensive for many people, myself included.  I can only imagine my husband's reaction if I spent $30 on a bag of laundry detergent!  

Alternatively, you can make your own for significantly less money.  And it's not as complicated or time-consuming as you would think.  It's a great project for kids to help with.  If you have older kids, they could even do it themselves as part of their chores.  

DIY Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

2 bars - Fels Naptha soap  ($1 each at Wal-Mart)
3 cups - Borax 
3 cups - Super Washing Soda
3 cups - Baking Soda
Optional -- 30 drops of your favorite (gentle) essential oils.  


Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels Naptha soap.  Be careful because it looks just like cheddar cheese!  Some unknowing passer-by may try to sneak a bite! 

Mix all the dry ingredients in a tub.

Take the grated soap and put it in a blender or food processor.  Blend for a few seconds.

Add 1 cup of the dry ingredients and the 30 drops of essential oils (we used sweet orange and tea tree oils).  Blend until the soap is finely chopped.

** If you are short on time, you don't have to blend the soap.  Just add the oils to the grated soap and then proceed from there**  

Pour the soap mixture into the tub with the dry mixture.  Stir well. Put a lid on it.  

TA-DA!  Use 1-2 Tbsp per load.  

Have you ever made your own detergent?  Did you use a similar recipe?

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