DIY Natural Products Laundry Detergent
Written By Renee Arbia
If you follow my blog regularly you will notice we tend to be a very “green” family. Or at least we are working on trying to be. We do it for many reasons, it is better for our health, our environment and the longer you live a “green” lifestyle the cheaper it ends up being. Many people who turn to a green lifestyle use their own home products. This took us a while to get into. My husband and I are slightly nuts about germs and getting sick so we were reluctant to switch a lot of our products for home remedies that we were not sure just how well they worked. One of the first things that we switched was cleaning products. I have always had a big chemical sensitivity and have always had a problem with cleaning products. The smell always makes me sick in bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleansers and dusters. I never dare put a smelly candle or scent spray in our air. Plus many of those products if they came in contact with my hands would leave a rash and make me blotchy.
Through trial and error we have switched our cleaning products and use our own recipes of different combinations using vinegar, water, lemon juice, tea tree oil and baking soda. We have been using these cleaners for several years now to a great success. We use natural essential oils in our cleaners and now in our humidifier to clear the air and make the house smell nice. I have always loved essential oils and have been using them for years, but recently with the popularity of them I have been able to incorporate them more into our natural recipes for cleaners as they are much more affordable then they used to be. Essential oils not only smell good there are many that are antibacterial. They can kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, fight bodily infections, prevent illnesses, treat skin conditions, disinfect the surfaces of your home, and eliminate microbes in the air of your environment. Some you can ingest and some are topical only so be careful how you use them, however, they are much safer for you than the toxic chemicals you will find in most cleaners, soaps and cleansers.
My husband and son have very sensitive skin when it comes to soaps and detergents. They break out in a rash if we use soaps or detergents with too many chemicals in them. One time someone used our washing machine with a different detergent than ours and the next time I did laundry with our regular detergent my husband broke out in a rash. However, for some reason with the popularity of natural products big companies seem to think it is a good idea to charge customers more for the “more natural” brands of soaps and cleansers. This has started to irritate me. Why should I pay more for a more natural product? Shouldn’t it cost less to make if they do not have to manufacture toxic chemicals? After doing a lot of research most products are not very natural at all, they are diluted so you have to use a lot for a little cleaning and they cost much more than they are worth. After doing more research I discovered there are tons of moms out there who are making their own household products. Just look it up on Pinterest and you will find thousands of different recipes for homemade items. The trick is finding the recipe that suites your family the best.
It took me a lot of convincing to get my husband to trust my skills at making our own home products, as he just did not see the value in it. First of all, was the cost, I admit, you may think the cost of making your own products is high in the beginning. The problem is you have to buy things like washing soda, borax, Castile soap, glycerin and some essential oils. However, for all of those items that you buy they come in big containers and you use a little of them to make a ton of product and when you use the product you use a very small amount of product. Therefore, over time it is worth it, but you may have some upfront fees to start off if you do not have all these items already in your home. Remember when making your own products though that there are tons of different recipes if you do not have something chances are you can find a recipe with different items that you may already have. It is best to have some essential oils in your arsenal, not only do they add smells to your products but they also add the antibacterial properties as well. Here is a list of antibacterial essential oils my personal favorites are Tea Tree Oil, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass.
Antibacterial Essential Oils
4) Tea Tree Oil –DO NOT EAT THIS OIL
So note that in recipes that have these essential oils in them you can switch them up for different smells. Most of them have the same types of qualities. Be careful though not to ingest them as not all can safely be ingested. Most are great for detergents, soaps, lotions and cleaners.
So the recipe that hooked my husband and started our DIY Household Product journey was our laundry detergent. When he saw how easy it was to make, how much it made, how little we used and how well it worked he was hooked and he has let me turn our home into an industrial product place when I choose to make ourselves some natural products. I will periodically share with you our perfected recipes. I hope you like them and enjoy them as much as we do.
When you make your own products you do need to come up with containers. It would be nice to have everything pretty in glass mason jars but that is not always practical. I have found that saving old containers works best for most of our products but use whatever you are comfortable with. I put our laundry detergent in a plastic jug and found a scoop that is exactly two teaspoons which is what you use per load. I first tested this laundry detergent on our dog’s comforter and we were pleasantly surprised to find it worked awesome. It was clean and fresh and we have been hooked on it ever since. Since you use so little product this amount should last you about four to six months at least depending on how many loads of laundry you do!
Next Generation SAHM DIY Laundry Detergent
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 bars of Castile Soap
- Grind up all ingredients in a food processor or heavy duty blender to a fine powder.
- Use 2 teaspoons per load and about 5-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil per load
Feel free to change the essential oil to one of your choosing. I love tea tree oil particularly for laundry as it has a nice fresh scent, and helps to repel bugs and fleas off of fabrics.
To further green up your laundry ditch the chemical ridden dryer sheets and invest in wool dryer balls, they last at least six months and help dry your clothes in less time. We love them! Do you have a favorite product that you make?
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