Friday, April 30, 2010

doing laundry

I have a lot of laundry to do on a regular basis. A husband that works with chainsaws and trees all day, an adventurous 12 year old boy, 2 toddlers who think mud is their good friend and a baby that eats a lot (we all know what that means.) Not to mention my clothes, towels, sheets on 4 beds, 1 cradle, etc. Since we sleep on these things, wear these things and just generally have them in contact with our skin I want to know that what I'm washing them in is as chemical free as possible. Do you know that a bottle of laundry detergent purchased say, from Wal-Mart, doesn't even have a list of ingredients on it? Kinda scary.
So a while ago I decided to make our own laundry detergent. I researched it (because that's what I do) and found a bunch of different recipes. Some were liquid and others were powder. I decided to go with a powder. I spend enough time cooking things, I don't need to be "cooking" laundry soap too.

This soap goes together super fast, especially with the help of your 12 year old. (Wyatt makes it as one of his chores around the homestead.) Plus, it works great.
1 bar, grated, Fels Naptha Soap or a bar of homemade soap (I like homemade soap the best since you know what's in it)
1 cup of Borax powder
1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)

Grate the bar of soap with your cheese grater (homemade soap grates up super quick since it's softer than the Fels Naptha)
Mix grated soap and powders in an airtight container.
Use 2 TB per load.
I keep a table spoon in my soap so that it's easy to spoon into the washer.

Under the "Recipes" tab on my blog you can find this recipe along with other useful household recipes. After all, recipes aren't just for food!


Unknown said...

Heather, we've been making our own soap for nearly a year now and it is working great! I use Zote soap, but I'm going to try a bar of Fels Naptha that I have on hand for the next batch. I'd eventually like to use my own soap, but that's for another day!

I'm almost out of my last box of purchased dishwasher soap. I'm hoping to make that next. However, if the dishwasher ever breaks, I may not replace it. Seems like I wash more and more by hand anyway just because I like to (strange, I know).

Cindy said...

Heather, awesome! I have been thinking about this and now you did the research for me. You are the best.

I have been cheating and using my dishwasher soap and some "green" laundry soap that was given to me cause it didn't work that well. With the addition of the home made dishwasher soap, it gets the clothes clean.

I was just thinking that there must be a way to do this.


KaHolly said...

Looks like a great recipe! Can't wait to try it! ~karen

Karen said...

thanks a bunch Heather for the recipe! I'm the gal that emailed you for this recipe a while back. I have tried it & I do like it. However, we are a fragrance free family due to allergies. Do you have any suggestions for substituting the Fels for a fragrance free soap alternative.

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Yes! Like I said, using a homemade soap is great; you can make your soap fragrance free and then grate it up. I'm sure you can also use Ivory soap. I think it is fragrance free, right? (The good old kind of Ivory that is.)

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

Funny that you have this on here today, I just put my laundry soap recipe on my new blog.

and in response to humbleneedle's question about fragrance-free: Ivory does have a fragrance. a very simple, clean scent so not sure if it would work for the family that has to be completely fragrance-free.
maybe check the ingredients.

and this just reminded me that i forgot to get more ivory soap while in town today....uuughh!

Amanda said...

I have to say that I've made our laundry detergent both ways, powdered and wet, and powdered isn't as good because the bar soap is taken out faster than the powdered mixture, and by the time you get to the bottom, all you've got is powders and no soap. The cooked stuff is WONDERFUL! A recipe I have makes 5 gallons of concentrate, and I mix half concentrate and half water in my half gallon pitcher.

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