Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Homemade Detergents

I admit it-- I love the smell of Tide laundry detergent. It's glorious, strong, fresh and CLEAN smelling. I think this love affair happened while I was living on my own and able to buy whatever laundry detergent my heart desired-- see, growing up my family did not purchase the good stuff (we went for cheap) and one family member had sensitive skin, so we always had to purchase the non-fragrant type of detergent. This did not sit well with me, so as soon as I was away from home, the good stuff was bought.

However, in my quest to find alternative solutions to household chemicals, I thought I should try to find a recipe for homemade laundry and dish detergent. I felt that if I am requesting Grant to give up his need for the Clorox spray cleaner then I should sacrifice something in return. Oh, sweet Tide, it's been a great ride! Sidenote: I am not nearly in love with my dish detergent- in fact, I find it quite a nuisance when it runs out and I have to purchase more. No love affair there.

Besides reducing the amount of toxins that I am putting into the earth and against our skin, it is cheaper to make your own detergents.

I have made and used both recipes and can report that they work great. My clothes are clean and smelling of peppermint and my dishes are clean and clear!

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Herbal Dishwasher Detergent (recipe courtesy of Frugal Granola)

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
2 drops essential Tea Tree Oil (optional)
2 drops essential Lavender Oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a tightly lidded container, stirring well to combine the oils into the powder. Use 1 Tbl. in each dispenser cup in my dishwasher (a total of 2 Tbls).

Tip: Fill your rinse aid dispenser with white vinegar. I have tried this and it works great!

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Peppermint Laundry Detergent (recipe courtesy of Healthy Vegan)

(Small Batch (18 loads)- I went ahead and doubled recipe)
½ cup Borax
½ cup Washing Soda
½ bar of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint (or Lavendar) Organic Pure-Castile Soap grated (or you can use any bar of soap)

Grate the soap with a carrot grater or food processor. Place all ingredients in an airtight container and shake. Use 1 tablespoon per load (note: I have found that I need 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per load).

Healthy Vegan's disclaimer:
Scary Stuff – If you read all the info on Borax and Washing Soda, you may decide that this recipe seems too toxic, but if you research every single ingredient in commercial detergent (that is if they fully disclose the ingredients - most don’t), you will find lots of bad stuff. I believe everyone should be an informed consumer, and I am happy with my three little ingredients.

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I found all the supplies right here in my area.

Borax- can be found at Target, Kroger in laundry section (about $2.95 per box- and this is a huge box)
Washing Soda- I found at Kroger in laundry section (I bought the Arm & Hammer brand) (about $2.00 per box, again a big box)
Dr. Bronner's Soap- any health food store, Kroger ($3.91 per bar (get two batches with one bar))
Essential Oils- health food store (prices vary)

So, there you have it. I encourage you to try this recipe if you are looking for a way to save some money and perhaps be a bit kinder to the earth and your skin!

1 comment:

Krystal (aka Pirouette) said...

Okay, I'm printing out this post. Thanks for the info! :-)