Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make-It-Yourself: Laundry Detergent

I have already had four people ask me how I make my own laundry soap this year, and we are still in January. So "Making It Yourself" entries are going to find a place in this blog. Low Country Studios is about making lives better with the arts and natural approaches to daily life - so, a "make-it-yourself" addition  makes sense.  

This laundry soap recipe is easy to make. I find that it works wonderfully - especially for my massage linens. You can customize the scent yourself, and it is less expensive than major brands. Also, if you don't like my recipe, there are many, many other sites on the Internet that offer liquid recipes and other dry combination recipes.

Step One: Gathering

1 box of Borax (I use 20 mule Team Borax because that's what my mother used.)
1 box of Washing Soap (I like Arm & Hammer - again the brand doesn't matter.)
1 cake of Soap (I find that Ivory works best for me because of scent sensitivities.)
1 good size, Close-able Container in glass or plastic (A large Shedd's Spread butter container or large sour cream container will work well. I happened to have had this large rectangle container around the house and chose it for this purpose.)
Wooden Spoon or Plastic/Rubber Spatula for stirring (From too many chemistry classes I have learned to avoid metal spoons when I am mixing anything other than food. Metal can act as a catalyst and alter, mostly weakening, your products.)
Grater If you don't have a grater, you can use a mandoline and then chop the thin slices with a knife.
Large Mixing Bowl

Step Two:

Carefully grate your soap into your mixing bowl or, if this is your first batch, your container.

Step Three:

Add in one (1) cup of Borax. Sometimes my Borax is clumpy. I use the end of my wooden spoon to de-clump it before pouring it out of the box.

Step Four: Add one (1) cup of Wash Soda

Step Five: Stir, a lot, until you have an even dry mixture.

Step Five: If you want to add another batch to your laundry wash container, make the new batch in a separate bowl before adding it to previously made batches.

Step Six:  Label what you have made clearly. This is especially important for make-it-yourself products because you are recycling already used containers.

To Use: I add one (1) to two (two) tablespoons, of my homemade dry laundry detergent, to the wash tub as it is filling with water. It is important to know that this is not a high suds product that you have made. And, that it will rinse more easily because of its low suds action. I have been told, by high efficiency machine sales persons at Sears, that this homemade product is safe to use in their high efficiency washers because of it's low suds action.

I like to add a couple drops of essential oil to my laundry. For extra sanitizing I use tea tree essential oil. I always add tea tree essential oil to my massage linens. It is also nice to add if someone has been sick, or has a skin concern within the family. For a nice feminine scent, you can add a drop or two of lavender essential oil - which also acts as a disinfectant. There are other essential oils that you can select from your local health food store.  Remember, a drop goes a very long way with essential oils! Experiment and have fun with your homemade laundry detergent. 
Your comments are welcome. Thank you.
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