Well, that answer might be “no”. Many of us don’t think twice about our laundry detergent. We toss it in with our wash, close the lid, and that’s that. Why bother making our own?
The answer is because the detergent we can make at home is safer for us, and the environment. And, it’s much, much cheaper than buying commercial brands.
The reason commercial detergents are bad for the environment is because many of them contain phosphates. Although phosphates work great for removing dirt and sweat from our clothing, they also contribute to algae growth in our lakes and rivers. The algae sucks oxygen out of the water, and can rapidly kill plants and fish.
Fortunately the availability of eco-friendly laundry detergent is on the rise. These detergents are phosphate-free, and often vegetable based.
So, if we can buy eco-friendly detergents why spend the time to make our own?
Because we can save a lot of money making our own detergents. And, we can customize our detergent with natural essential oils (instead of chemical “fragrance”) and create exactly the scent we love the most. How fun is that?
At-Home Laundry Detergent Recipe
Planet Green has what I think is the best recipe. Take a look:
1 quart water (boiling)
2 cups bar soap (grated)
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
1. Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
2. Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the borax and washing soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
3. Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
4. Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Once it’s cool, add 5 – 7 drops of your favorite essential oil per gallon. Stir the soap each time you use it (it will gel).
Adding Essential Oils
One of the biggest benefits to making your own detergent is that you can customize the scent with safe, natural essential oils.
What could you use?
- Sweet Orange
- Tea Tree
- Ylang Ylang
And, that’s only a fraction of the options you have! You can even mix several oils together into your detergent to make custom blends. Using essential oils is much healthier for you, and much safer for the environment.
Making your own detergent is much easier than most people think. It’s a great way to save money, take care of your clothes, and create a custom detergent that smells great.
Filed under: Eco Living on April 30th, 2010