One of the first steps that I’m taking to become chemical free is to eliminate cleaners and artificial fragrances. I few months ago I saw the documentary The Human Experiment, and although I would have preferred that the film went deeper and didn’t aim to incite a chemical panic, the heart of its message really stuck with me. And a little fear of untested and unregulated chemicals may be a positive thing.
I have been an ingredient list reader for years, of food. And I have attempted to buy products that have offered a less harmful environmental impact. But I was completely naive to the obscene amount of chemicals in the products that fabricate our way of life.
Until I’m living on my homestead I won’t be able to diminish my chemical exposure completely, but until then I can make as many small changes as I can. And switching to a homemade laundry soap allows me to control exactly what I’m using, which also makes it the cheapest option. Why would I want to pay extra for ingredients I don’t even want, like synthetic fragrances, colors, and other additives?
I take no credit for this recipe, and there are numerous variations of it on the web, but I found my at Wellness Mama. I’ve used it, and I love it! The exact recipe that I used is:
DIY Laundry Soap
- 1 bar of Ivory* soap
- 1 cup of Borax
- 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 2 tbsp baking soda
Over a large bowl, grate the bar soap into small pieces that will easily dissolve (I picked up a grater at the thrift store to specifically dedicate to this task), add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in a sealable container (I use Mason jars).
Use 1/8 t0 1/4 cup per load. This recipe makes enough for over 14 loads! And is easily made in larger quantities: the basis of the recipe is 1 part soap to 2 parts borax and 2 parts washing soda, with baking soda if desired.
* This being my first experience making my own detergent I chose to use Ivory soap, which is a straightforward, natural soap, which has an ingredient list that has been around for ages. I liked how it washed, and the smell was slightly reminiscent of traditional detergent. But the next batch that I make will be using a soap containing more natural oils, like Dr.Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap which will also add a fabulous scent.
Another option is adding essential oils for scent, simply mix in with all other ingredients!