Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent

What you'll need:  

Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid
1 or more 1 gallon containers (I use an empty milk jug)
Oxy Clean (optional)
Essential oil of choice 

What you'll do:

Into the clean and dry container put 3 tbsp of Borax, 3 tbsp of Washing Soda, and 2 tbsp of Dawn. If using Oxy Clean, put 1 tbsp with the above ingredients (more about that later). I use a funnel to make it easier.

Next put 1 cup of hot water and swirl container to mix ingredients. After thoroughly mixed, fill container slowly with cold water. The mixture will foam significantly. I usually fill it a cup or so at a time and walk away for a few minutes until the foam goes down, and then come back and fill some more until the container is full.

At this time, put your essential oil into the container using as many drops as you need to reach the intensity of smell you like. My favorite to use is lavender. I generally use about 10-15 drops. 

These ingredients can be found in the grocery store. The Washing Soda will be in the laundry detergent isle. Although I found the Washing Soda easy enough, I've heard that in some parts of the country, it is not so easy to find. Interestingly enough when making my latest batch late one night, when a trip to the store was not possible, I discovered I had forgotten to buy more of this vital ingredient. Thank goodness for the internet. I found a solution, which was a way to turn plain, store-brand baking soda into Super Washing Soda. The whole explanation, including the chemical composition, is explained at Nature's Nurture. I did this and it works!

<--- into  this--->

If, after making and using your detergent, you discover you need a little extra boost of clean, then add the Oxy Clean on your next batch. Another idea is to make one gallon without and one with for items with tougher stains. However, I've done both and really truly, the one without gets my stains out just fine.

This laundry detergent will be thin and watery, but that is okay. It cleans like a dream for pennies (less than a quarter a gallon). You will use approximately a cup for one load of average laundry. It has almost no suds, so it is appropriate for high intensity washers.

If someone in your family has sensitive skin and does not tolerate most laundry detergents, you can also use Dawn Free in place of the regular Dawn.

I found this recipe (which I altered slightly) here. This is a great site, which also has a recipe for a thicker laundry detergent developed first. It is more work to make, but you may find it more to your liking.

I greatly prefer the easier to make version. I find my clothes are clean and bright. Stay tuned for future postings about my alternative to dryer sheets.

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