Laundry is one of those little (sometimes LARGE) “necessary evils” in life. Whoever said “Nothing is certain but death and taxes” obviously never had to endure “family laundry day”!
Laundry mocks me as I type…sitting in sorted piles on the floor of my dinning room (such is life when my husband is away and “on duty”. The Jones home becomes lair to that sinister, evil, being we call (DRAMATIC NOISE: dun dun daaaaaaah) The Laundry Monster (said in classic Jeremy Clarkson “in the world” style….
and if that reference escapes you…SHAME ON YOU! Go watch the UK version of TOP GEAR and do not return here until you do so…the episode in Vietnam was my FAVE)! Okay, sorry, HUGE rabbit trail…but, I digress…ahem hem (and other throat clearing noises)…back to LAUNDRY.
SO what is it, exactly that makes this “Monster” so tough to battle?
Maybe it’s the amount of laundry or the dirtiness of the laundry (funky firefighter/paramedic/lawn business funky clothes…lord HELP ME)! Or maybe it’s the TIME it takes (not so much the washing but the folding or hanging and putting away). Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that you spend a small FORTUNE every month or so replenishing laundry supplies! Well, Ladies and Gents, I’ve got this last one COVERED…and it helps with all the other issues…accept time. Sorry, no time machine, laundry magic here, folks. But hey, get back to me in a year or so and WHO KNOWS…lol!
Yep, it’s a Tardis! It’s the only “time machine” I know of that’s ever properly worked…and it comes equipped with it’s own “Time Lord”. Sigh! This really does give away both my nerdiness/inner geek and my AGE! LOL!
In my “non-DIY” life, I used whatever was on sale (GASP)! There was no brand loyalty in this household! We are a Dave Ramsey family and if it’s an “essential” and it’s not on sale, it’s not coming in my house…PERIOD. Kinda like meal time…Rice and Beans, Beans and Rice ( not REALLY, but you get the idea…CHEAP)! And look out world…because if I had coupons and it was on sale…or (OMG) BOGO…somebody was going to lose an arm or a foot with my crazy “saver” butt swooshing down isles and snatching up products! Hey, BOGO…that’s FREE stuff, baby! And remember “Where there’s FREE, There’s ME”!
Our next transition was into the DIY phase. This scares some people…and I have to tell you, I really was BAD at this at first. I had no patience and I wasn’t a good sport. I just didn’t believe in DIY laundry detergent and couldn’t find ANY recipes I liked (or that cleaned to my “wannabe Heloise” Standard. But THEN (I know, can’t you feel the dramatic anticipation?!), I went to a cleaning class with friends and a fire was started within me I couldn’t put out! They said the words that make my soul TICK…”save you money”…WHAT? You can? So, with recipe in hand, I went head first into my first attempts at Essential Oil Powdered Laundry Detergent.
Since beginning, I have tweaked the original recipe and have numerous “variations” in my repertoire but I am going to share the 2 that I like most. Now, be prepared…One of my favorites has (judge me gently) Purex Crystals in it which are ONLY 87% NATURAL…however, considering the alternatives in the laundry industry, and the fact that we’ve cut out MANY other completely unnatural products out of our lives…I think 13%, FOR ME, is okay. Believe me, if you’d SEEN our lives, cabinets, laundry detergents, etc BEFORE our EO Journey…You’d 100% understand why that’s a gigantic milestone for us (something that’s only 13% not natural)! If you are a natural household, ROCK ON…that’s why there’s 2 options listed!
3 Cups Washing Soda
3 Cups Borax
1 Bar Fels Naphtha
1/2 to 3/4 of a Bar of other natural soap (used Natural Lavender Goat’s Milk Soap from Lemongrass Spa but you can use ANY…but avoid clear soaps like Glycerin based soaps…they don’t dissolve as well and they lack…cleaning umph).
Bar Soaps: you have 2 choices…either grate these with a cheese grater and then pulse through your food processor with some baking soda (creates tiny, powder-like substance)…..OR, cut each bar long ways into 3 or 4 LONG strips and then into smaller chunks. Add them to a food processor with 4 tablespoons of your baking soda and pulse (creates tiny granules like little balls of soap…looks like “fat sand”) . It’s going to take a LONG WHILE…so be patient. I thought I was doing it wrong at first but rest assured, this method works like a charm. I mean, I GUESS you could hand grate the soap and NOT process it…but I think it would look weird with soap STRINGS in your detergent…lol! But hey, to each their own!
I mixed in a LONG container so that when I added oils, I could mix and allow moisture to evaporate prior to packaging. Make sure to mix ingredients well (you can use a doubled garbage bag and seal tightly and then shake the mix and let it rest or just use a fork or whisk…that’s what I did)!
**I NOW MAKE THIS WITH SPARK NATURALS OILS: I added 4 drops of Lemon, 3 Wild Orange and 8 Lavender. I wanted Lavender to be my top note so I put more…you can mix whatever oils you want. Purity would be great as well if you just wanted that. 15 drops or so (depending on how strong you want it). I’ve also done Elevation scented detergent (which required 25 drops) and Wild Orange detergent (a favorite among men) which took only 10…and gives a slight orange/yellow to the powder! Experiment…Have FUN! Oh, And you use 1 to 3 HEAPING Tablespoons in your washer (Dirtier clothes=MORE scoops). I start my machine on hot, let the bottom fill and then add my detergent, swish, and turn water to COLD (I wash EVERYTHING in COLD)! With HE Machines, just scoop right into the basin on top of the clothes and then close the door and start your cycle!
Recipe #2 Practically Purex in Every Way
(I give FULL credit for this beauty to my FAVORITE bloggers EVER, Rebecca at Camp Wander and her sister, Jillee at One Good Thing )! These 2 are a POWERHOUSE for Natural Remedies, Wellness, and DIY AWESOMENESS! I aspire to be like them and endeavor to learn from them all I can!
3 bars Fels Naphtha, grated (Got mine at Winn Dixie for $1.29 x 3)
1 box Borax (got this beauty at Winn Dixie for $4.80 – 76 ounces)
1 box Washing Soda (Publix for $3.89 – 55 ounces)
2 cups of baking soda (between $0.39-$.050 cents total)
2 containers of Dollar Tree Oxyclean (I did like Jillee and bought mine at a Dollar store…Dollar General…SUN Brand…$4.00 each)
1-2 containers of Purex crystals (I got them at Winn Dixie because I wanted Lavender this time $6.58 each – 28 ounces) ** I think I may try the Baby Purex Crystals in the pink bottle in a mini batch. I’d like to see how they work/smell.
I Use the same NO Grate Method as I describe above (and on Jillee and Rebecca’s blogs). I don’t use quite a whole thing of Borax (3/4 of a box) and I also only used one tub of Sun brand Oxy and ONE container of the Purex Crystals. It’s worked great for me so far. You may use the exact same amount of this as above: 1-3 HEAPING Tablespoons in the wash. Same method as above as well.
OH, also, I have MIXED these 2 recipes together (I have both made and as they get low, I mix them together in one container…Just makes life easier! I like the results of that so far and will keep doing it)!
Now, if you just CANNOT bring yourself to do this DIY Laundry stuff…Rest Easy, there are people who do it FOR YOU! My favorite “when I’m too lazy to make more” supplier is Jamie Jones at Mrs. Jones Soapbox! She’s a sweetie, a new mommy, and a true pioneer in the world of DIY Cleaning products! Her Laundry Soap is great! LOVE her soft Cleaning scrub too! Tip: scoop up a refill bag of her laundry detergent rather than a regular order that comes with a glass jar! Saves Shipping!
So that’s IT! You’ve got the tools and the know-how! Let’s go kick some Laundry Monster BUTT!
Now, go wash that funky laundry…before it walks itself to the washer! MUCH LOVE!
While I won’t debate the “safety” of this product with anyone on the blog, I will give a little science lesson on WHAT Borax is and is NOT as well as give my opinion (feel free to quietly disagree…no fighting or baiting a heated response, PLEASE).
First, Borax is NOT Boric Acid! Borax is the SALT of Boric Acid and is NOT the same chemical makeup or strength of Boric Acid. They aren’t even used in the same applications. For example, Boric Acid is used in insecticides and is a weak acid derived from Boron. Boric Acid can be found naturally in sea water, fruit and plants but is not considered safe to ingest. Now, Borax, remember: the SALT of Boric Acid, is used in laundry applications as an effective stain remover. So, it is Boric Acid, NOT BORAX, that is toxic and It should never be ingested or inhaled. Borax (we use 20 Mule Team) has a wide variety of uses and can be found as a component in many things such as detergents, cosmetics, fire extinguishers and fire retardants, an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass and even in enamel glazes. Now, while EWG’s Skin Deep Database lists it as a 5-6 (or moderate hazard), the so-called “studies” done on Borax and NOT Boric Acid just are NOT there. EWG is one of those sites I really respected but have a hard time with as I’m just not seeing FACTS and SCIENCE to back up these “it’s potentially unsafe” claims. I mean, Water is essential to life but can be considered “potentially unsafe” if too much is consumed or you jump into a lake full of it and cannot swim. I’m not trying to be snarky or smart…just trying to say that caution and moderation are a way of life with all things! In the end, regardless of my opinion, you should do your OWN research and then decide if this product is right for you and your family. If not, simply OMIT it from any recipe and move forward (knowing, of course, you are missing the stain-fighting power it will offer your detergents).