DIY Cleaning Supplies

Kylie's List

DIY Laundry Detergent

What a great recipe!  I wish I had thought of it myself, but I copied it exactly from a site I found on Pinterest (you can follow the link below, if you'd like to check out the lady's site).  I don't know about you, but dealing with my HE front loader has been interesting: periodic need for toxic, special cleaning products for the inside of the machine, laundry soap, even the HE kind, not rinsing completely out of our clothes, the lingering musty smell on the inside of the washing machine drum from the recommended detergent, shall I go on...  In addition to these problems, the laundry detergent (a major brand) was expensive, and contains things I don't want anywhere near my skin.  It was settled: there had to be a better way, and thanks to Naturally Mindful's Pin, there is!

- Saves money (much cheaper to make a batch of this)
- Washing machine smells clean, and doesn't require the powdered cleaning product
- No toxic chemicals
- Musty smell and soap residue is gone from my clothing, especially the towels
- Supplies to make are few, and easy to find
- Very clean clothes

- Does not work well with cold water in powder form, because it doesn't dilute completely, (I prefer to use hot to kill germs anyway), so you will need to dilute for cold-water loads (instructions below)
- You will have to say 'bye-bye' to that distinctive fragrance you may be used to with commercial detergents (your clothes won't really smell like anything, except clean)

*I have only used this on my HE front loader, and have not tested it on a top loader

Since the positives out-way the drawbacks, lets get our ingredients and begin!

Ingredients (feel free to double, triple, the recipe to fill a large jar)
- 2 cups Borax
- 2 cups Washing Soda (not baking soda)
- 1 bar Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castile Soap (you can use any of their other scents, too)
- Glass container with lid (it doesn't need to be too big - you don't want it to be difficult to move around)
- Small scoop (about 1 TB works great)

Instructions to Make
1) Shred your castile soap bar with a cheese grater on the smallest holes, just like you would a block of cheese (I use a stand-up grater on top of a paper towel, then use the paper towel as a funnel to pour the soap shreds into my container)
2) Add your Borax, Washing Soda, and grated Castile Soap to the container, and mix (keep your face away while mixing, so that you don't inhale any dust that is kicked up)
3) Clean up any spilled materials


Instructions to Use
1) Add 1 scoop per load** (about 1 TB) of your detergent to your soap receptacle in your washing machine (even with heavy loads, 1 TB has done the trick, but feel free to use 2, if needed)
2) Run your machine on 'hot' for best results (if a little soap is left in your receptacle after the wash, that's okay)

**Put your hand, or the lid to your jar under your scoop when transferring your detergent for pouring (just in case some spills out - you don't want pets or small children eating laundry detergent off of the floor)

Use in Cold Water Washes (this will dilute it)
1) Heat 1/2 cup of water, per tablespoon of detergent you will be using, in the microwave for 2 minutes (1 cup water for 2 TB)
2) Add detergent to hot water, stir until diluted (about 30 seconds), and add to the machine

You may be wondering why I don't just make the whole batch liquid, so that I can easily use this with cold and hot water, and my answer is 'simplicity'.  I prefer to wash my clothes in hot as much as possible, so I don't feel the need to spend extra time boiling water and diluting the entire batch.  If you do like to use cold water with most or all loads, the entire batch being diluted would be great for you (just boil a larger batch of water, with 1/2 cup water per TB of detergent, remove from the heat, add the detergent, and stir until diluted).  You will want to use a pour bottle, or a drink dispenser with a spigot for liquid.

Fabric Softener / Dryer Sheets
I wanted to eliminate the toxic dryer sheets from my laundry routine, too, but a couple recipes I tried, I just wasn't happy with.  The point was to make things as simple as possible, not add more things for me to worry about making, and spending money on, so I found a better, less costly, solution: Distilled White Vinegar in the fabric softener receptacle in my front loader when I am doing my wash.  All I do is add about 1 cup (I fill the fabric softener slot), with distilled white vinegar after I add my detergent, and that's it: no vinegar smell, my clothes don't have static after I dry them, and no need for dryer sheets, at all!  I have also done the wash without vinegar, and had no problem with static.

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