Four years ago, I was walking through Whole Foods Marketplace to pick up a small container of natural laundry detergent. I don’t know how many times I have been taken aback by theexpense. Being a new mom with no job, I had to cut corners everywhere I could. I would think of my laundry pile at home and just sigh. I really did not want to revert back to using those toxic concoctions of laundry detergent. My little precious one’s skin was just as sensitive as mine was. Getting rashes on his skin would create such discomfort for the both of us. Why wasn’t there a cheaper, better and more efficient alternative? I grabbed that two quart size laundry soap and went home.
Over the next few days I just couldn’t get this off of my mind. Surely there was a way to make your own at home? So I got online and looked it up. I was amazed to find what I was reading! People just like me, who were tired of buying overpriced detergent that didn’t last long were fed up and started making there own. Looking at the ingredient list, I just couldn’t believe how simple it could be. Only a simple bar of soap, borax and washing soda. That was it! Though the question in the back of my mind was “Did it really work?”. So that day I decided to see to give it a shot.
My first experience making laundry soap was a bit strange. I decided to make a liquid form since I didn’t have a bar of soap at home. I did have a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. I cleaned out a 5 gallon sized bucket, boiled 1 gallon of water, mixed in the soap, borax and washing soda. When the mix was cooled I learned it was a goopy gloppy cloudy ‘soap’. I was kinda grossed out. Though, being a new mom you are grossed out a lot in one day. I threw in my laundry with 1/4 cup soap. I soon learned that I used way too much! Apparently I was only supposed to use 1 tablespoon. I guess I should of re-read the instructions. On the bright side my clothes were super clean!
To put the laundry soap to a ‘real’ test, I asked my roommate to try the soap out. He was a doughnut maker at Voodoo Doughnuts. His work clothes smelled of grease and sugar. He had a hard time getting the smell out of his clothes till he used my homemade detergent. We both were ecstatic that it worked so well. Still to this day he says that was the best laundry soap he has ever used.
I have perfected my recipe over the years to fit our needs. I have now added baking soda and vinegar to the mix. Not together! Our workout clothing which is a ploy mix likes to take on the nasty sweat smell. It can be tough to get it out. After experimenting with essential oils and making a stronger batch I tried out using the best odor reducers I know. Baking soda and vinegar work perfectly. I also prefer making a whipped version over the gel (liquid) or powder.
I like to get my four year old in on making the laundry soap. I have him pour in the water and grated soap into the pan. Then when that is melted he can help me with pouring and mixing the powders together. He loves pushing the button on the blender when making the whipped version. He is really into helping put the clothes in the washer and adding in the soap he helped to make. Best way to get kids excited about doing laundry!