Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homemade DIY laundry detergent

Guess what I did with that microwaved ivory soap powder?  

Whoa. Whoa.  Back up the train.  Did I jump off the deep end?  What am I doing?  Homemade laundry detergent? What's next?  Refusing to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows? (FYI- Hubby's eyes practically bugged out when I told him what I was planning on doing.)

Yes.  I made it. It's true.  Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent?  I'd seen a whole bunch of recipes online calling for the same few ingredients.  Whenever I'd consider trying it out, images of my failed cloth diapering attempts would come to mind.... and then I'd decide against it.  (Psst- Wanna know what happened to my lovely cloth diapers?  It's a sad tale of stinky woe... read the * below.)

Ever since we found such a nice way to create soap powder, I thought, what the heck, let's try the recipe out. Couldn't hurt, right?

- 1 C Borax
- 1 C Super washing soda
- 1 bar Ivory soap (microwaved into a fine powder)
- 1/2 C Oxi Clean

I simply mixed the ingredients together and stored them in an airtight container.

Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing.  I'll try the homemade detergent out a couple of times and let you know the results.  Lots of other bloggers have given similar recipes rave reviews.  They claim that it makes your clothes super soft, works well with hard water, and saves you loads of money (you only use 1 Tablespoon for HE machines... which means that I can do quite a few loads with this batch.)

With Chuck's fairly sensitive skin, I'm hoping that it does all that... and works well with his skin too.  Cross your fingers!

UPDATE:  8/26- I just finished using the first batch of laundry detergent.  Let me just say that it works.  It didn't hurt the machine or our clothes.  For the most part, our clothes come out clean.  However, I definitely had problems getting rid of tougher stains.  (Think messy toddler eating spaghetti kind of stains...).   I used stain remover to help with the tougher stuff.  So, this can't be the only thing you use when you wash your clothes.  Since I have an old bottle of regular detergent in our closet, I'm going to go back to using that stuff until the bottle is done.  I'll see if I notice any difference, but if not, I'm just going to stick with the homemade stuff.

*Ahh, curious to hear my sad cloth diapering tale?  Well... let's just say that the diapers worked great when Chuck was young and we lived in Michigan.  But after moving to New Jersey, we ran into a couple of pretty big problems.

1. Chuck started really eating solid food and his waste started to really smell bad.  I had to do laundry more frequently... which wouldn't have been a problem if we had our own washing machine.  Unfortunately, cloth diapers weren't so economical for us because we pay per load.

2.  Our building's laundry machines are located in the basement.  I had to take my "goodies" down with me in the elevator.  Stinky diapers aren't a great way to make nice with neighbors.

3.  I had some buildup on the diapers, so they became doubly stinky when soiled.  (Think highly concentrated vinegar mixed with rotting eggs.)  I could have just fixed the problem by washing the diapers many many times and then hanging them to dry in the sun.  But, I didn't like that option because I'm a cheapo and there really wasn't a nice way that I could line dry them in the city.  (Resting them on city benches?  Hmmm... maybe not...)

So alas, my lovely cloth diapers are now neatly folded and hiding away in Chuck's closet, awaiting to be used again....