We all wash our clothes (at least, I hope we all do), but water isn't enough to get clothes clean. It needs a vehicle to carry dirt away, and that's where detergent comes in.
There are many different commerically made detergents available, but these often contain chemicals which can be harsh on the skin and airways of people who are sensitive to them or allergic. It is also harmful to fish and other animals when these chemicals end up in our waterways, which some of it inevitably does.
But, did you know that you can very easily make a powder detergent that is natural, and gentle on your wallet, your clothes, your body, and the ecosystem? I'll show you how!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
You will need the following:
- Powdered soap/grated soap/laundry soap (available at drugstores or health food stores) - this can come under several different names. If you are unable to find it, you can also grate a bar of gentle soap like Ivory with a cheese grater or food processor.
-Washing soda (available at drugstores or health food stores)
- Borax (available at drugstores or health food stores)
- Dried lavender or other aromatic natural dried essences (orange peel, cinnamon, etc.) if desired
- Measuring cup
- Plastic reusable sealable container or Mason jar
- Mixing spoon
Step 2: Make Your Detergent
Mix the ingredients directly in your storage container:
-2 cups laundry soap
-1 cup washing soda
-1 cup borax
Pour them in and mix them up so they are evenly distributed.
Step 3: Add Optional Extras
If you'd like your clothes to have a nice scent, you can now add your lavender blossoms or other natural aromatic ingredient. Crush them with a mortar and pestle or pulverize them in a food processor so you don't have big pieces of stuff stuck to your clothes.
Step 4: Wash Your Clothes
Your detergent is now ready! Use 2 tablespoons per load. You will find it leaves your clothes feeling nice and soft after washing.
Store extra detergent in its container in a cool dark place. It it becomes humid it may clump a bit, but this is ok.