Monday, February 29, 2016

clean up!

I started making my own laundry detergent a couple years ago. Not only does making your own detergent eliminate all those plastic bottles, it's also far, far cheaper than storebought, readymade detergent and you'll know exactly what's in there. All good things! =)

For my first batch, I made the liquid version found here, though there are directions all over the internet if that one doesn't float your boat. That first batch lasted me over 2 years! I mixed it up in December, 2013, and just ran out a week or so ago. Granted, I'm only washing laundry for one person and some critters so yours might not last quite as long, but still...

Now that I have a source for bulk laundry detergent (my local co-op), I can avoid the trash that way, but making my own still saves me a lot of money. Plus, I still had plenty of leftovers from making the first batch so this batch was basically free. ;-) This time, I went for the powdered version to see which I liked better.

All the ingredients necessary.
I chopped up the soap before breaking it down further in the food processor.
All mixed up and ready to use!
I found the soap broke down a bit smaller when I added some of the powdered ingredients to the food processor with it. I've washed a few loads now and it works just as well as the liquid batch. I was using 1/2 cup of the liquid detergent per load. With the dry, I'm using 1/8 cup and combining it with hot water before adding it to the washer because I don't wash in hot water. Not sure that's necessary, but there you go. =)

I still have enough washing soda for 2 more batches with enough Borax for 3-4 more batches. You can get a bar of laundry soap at almost any big grocery, your local co-op or health food store, but options are open. I chose to use an herbal bar from Wolfe Farms for mine. Check out their bulk soap deal - 4 bars for $10!

I keep the environmental and economical friendliness going after the wash cycle ends. Once it warms up enough, I use my clothesline and the power of the sun/wind to dry my laundry, but in the winter, I do use my dryer.

A set of felted wool dryer balls and a dried lavender sachet that live in my dryer.
I attempted to use my clothesline in the basement, but everything took forever to dry... days. So I went back to the dryer. There are ways to cut back on the drying time (saving electricity) and trash (avoiding dryer sheets). Using a set of felted wool dryer balls not only cuts drying time, but also helps cut back on wrinkles and static. And really, who wants to spend time ironing? ;-) I also sewed up simple cotton sachets and filled them with organic dried lavender. All the relaxing scent without the added chemicals! I made mine myself, but there are lots of alternatives to purchase a set of dryer balls and lavender sachets if you aren't up to taking the time and effort making your own. I've gifted a few sets of these now and everyone seems to love them!

Have you ever made your own laundry supplies?

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