One thing you’ll find, as you continue to clean up your diet, you will start looking at things around you, in your environment. As you develop this health conscious way of being, you will start to notice the correlation between cause and effect (i.e. smells/headache or certain foods/stomach ache).
I’ve had this experience myself!
I admit it. I am a former abuser of scented Gain detergent, plus scented fabric softeners, and then add to that a dose of dryer sheets, scented of course! They didn’t necessarily even go with one another! (Is it any wonder I suffered from chronic headaches?)
Now, if I even walk down the isle of laundry soaps in Walmart, I can feel a headache coming on! It’s SO strong and overwhelming! It’s no surprise that these fragrances and chemicals are not good for us. In fact, if you would like to know, take a quick peek at EWG.com, put your detergent into the search, and just see how very bad for you they can be!
Whether you are looking to clean up the things in your environment that could be harming your health bit by bit… or if you just wanna save a little $cash$, this is such an easy way to accomplish both things!
MAKE YOUR OWN!
Here are some of the ingredients I’ve found others using in their homemade detergents:
- Bar Soap – Coconut oil-based soaps are what I prefer, such as Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soaps. (This also gives you control of the scent, as they come in a variety of fragrances or even unscented! They are scented with organic essential oils.) In the old days, they used tallow or lard. You could go to the trouble of rendering your own tallow if you choose. Most days, I’m doing good to remember to add detergent and press the button before I walk away, so no judgement from me if you choose not to!
- Borax – What I will tell you is that many homemade detergents use Borax. The opinions are split on whether it’s safe, and also if it’s even very effective. Apparently it works best in hot water and is not necessary if you are using washing soda. In fact, no commercial detergents use both.
- Washing Soda – This one seems to be the most common agreed upon ingredient. It’s fairly cheap and effective! I like Arm & Hammer’s Super Washing Soda best.
- Oxiclean – Apparently this one is a great way to help brighten your clothes. The safest form I found is Oxiclean Baby Stain Soaker. From what I’ve read, Oxiclean breaks down to basically peroxide and washing soda in water. So they say you can even skip this one and just add some peroxide to your bleach compartment. Either way, this is more of an optional ingredient.
- Baking Soda – This is another ingredient that is often included in homemade recipes but may not be necessary. Baking soda is only half as strong as washing soda and doesn’t allow the pH to go nearly as high, therefore, it would just likely prevent the washing soda from working as well. It does do an amazing job to clean and eliminate odors in your washing machine.
- Vinegar – Though this isn’t a normal part of most recipes, vinegar is an AWESOME addition to add to the fabric softener compartment! Vinegar not only resets the pH of the clothes to a skin-friendly level, but it dissolves the salt deposits on your clothes leaving them much softer! Coincidentally it helps remove odors as well! Again, it’s a super cheap product.
All of this being said, keep in mind that water does vary in every part of the country. So, what works best for some may not work as well for others due to the mineral content in your water. So, I would pick a place to start and then adjust as needed.
One last thing… this is something that makes a fun homemade gift! I’ve seen some really crafty ladies use little mason jars with homemade labels showing the recipe or even etching the glass container and giving them as a gift! They turn out so cute, and it’s a really inexpensive thing to make in batches.
OK, now on to the recipe! Make sure to let me know how it worked for you, and share with me any adjustments you end up making! (After all, it takes a village, right?)
- 6 cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
- Three Bars of 5 ounce Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Bar Soap (any scent or unscented) finely grated
- Cut soap into smaller pieces and add to the food processor along with washing soda.
- Blend until you have a fine powder. (Make sure to let it settle a bit before opening!)
- Pour into a clean container
- If you don't own a food processor - you can achieve the same results by VERY finely grating the soap using a hand held cheese grater. Make sure to have a large enough bowl you can really blend these two together well.