A few years ago I was teaching at a Child Development Center. There was a little boy in the class next door who had red dots all over his body that he constantly itched. His whole family had them on their bodies, and they tried for a long time to figure out what was causing them. They finally switched laundry detergent brands and the spots and itching went away. After I found this out I started wondering, “What is in laundry detergent that would make someone’s whole body be filled with a constantly itchy rash?” I started reading up on ingredients in laundry detergent and I was amazed that pretty much every ingredient in Tide, Gain, All, etc. are toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Standard laundry detergent ingredients have been linked to damage on the central nervous system, lungs, kidneys, heart, and blood vessels, as well as allergies and skin and eye irritation. And they biodegrade slowly causing environmental damage.
I can see some of you rolling your eyes reading this, thinking, “I’m fine and most of the people I know are fine and we all use typical laundry detergent.” But if I gave you a recipe for a natural detergent that you can make really quickly and easily and it would save you lots of money, does it sound worth it to avoid the risks? Go into your laundry room, or next time you are at the store look at the back of the laundry detergent bottle, and you will see that there isn’t really an ingredients list. There may be a sentence or two telling you a few of the things it contains, but most if not all won’t even tell you everything that’s in it. If they have to hide from you what you are washing your clothes with and wearing next to your body every day, does that concern you at all? Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, here’s a recipe for a more natural laundry detergent that I made a few months ago and I love. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my clothes come out smelling really good and they get really clean, so no worries. You’ll need:
- 1 bar of all-natural soap
- 1/2 cup of borax
- 1/2 cup of washing soda
- Optional: 1 capful of Purex Crystals Laundry Enhancer. This is 87% natural. I bought it for my first time making this recipe because I was nervous that my clothes were not going to smell clean, but with the soap that I chose, I’m not worried about that anymore. I think that once I run out of this, I probably won’t buy it again.
- Cut your bar of soap into a few sections, and then grate it in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater. (It does make it way easier if you have a food processor.)
- Next, mix your finely grated soap with 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, and if using, 1 capful of Purex Crystals in a container. Just dump it all into a mason jar or plastic container with a lid and shake it up.
- Use 3 Tablespoons for a regular load or 4 for a super large load. The more you use it, the better feel you’ll get for how much you’ll need for each load size.
This amount really doesn’t make much, but it lasted me a few months with just two of us. If you have a larger family or just want to mix more so it will last longer, feel free to double or triple the recipe. And if you decide for whatever reason that making your own detergent isn’t for you, check out Seventh Generation or Ecos Detergents. I’ve used both and have been happy with these brands as well. Happy homemade detergent making! 🙂
I found this recipe at condoblues.com.