Blog, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

{DIY}: HOMEMADE Laundry Detergent + Fabric Softener

January 17, 2016

No. That’s not a load of sugar topped off with cheese. It’s HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT! What you see in the picture is soap shredded into little bits, but we’ll get to that momentarily.

And why, oh why, would someone make such a thing, you might ask!

Well…there are several reasons. So I’ll give you a handful of reasons why I decided to go this route and try my hand at making my very own laundry detergent!

1) In short: I have extremely sensitive skin.

– I’m not able to use common commercial laundry detergents without having some sort of allergic reaction—resulting in sneezing, itchiness, or even hives/rashes.

– I’m used to searching out products that are hypoallergenic, fragrance free (+ non-scented…b/c those aren’t necessarily the same thing), free of dyes, and free of parabens (chemical preservatives). Problem is: many products that are labeled “Free & Clear” simply weren’t getting the job done, which leads me to my next point.

2) The products I was reduced to buying weren’t cleaning my clothes! So you mean to tell me that I was spending more money on these “cleaner” products that weren’t even CLEANING my clothes? Talk about frustration! The “Free and Clear” detergents just weren’t cleaning my clothes; if I spilled ketchup on my shirt and washed it later that day—the stain would still be there (even with an attempted pre-treatment). If my kids were playing outside and got grass stains on their pants—you guessed it: those weren’t coming out either. So okay, the itching problem was [mostly] gone, but the cleanliness of my apparel was sacrificed.

3) I’m such a wanna-be DIYer! Like, I REALLY enjoy creating things—I just don’t get to do it as much as I want. (Maybe one day when I get to blog for a living. Lol) But anyway, I’ve been searching for a DIY laundry detergent for awhile and finally found a “recipe” I believed in—so I couldn’t NOT try it.

4) I like my clothes to smell good. With “Free and Clear” detergents, your clean clothes smell like…well, nothing. They smell like nothing. And I don’t know about you, but after laboring over loads of laundry, I don’t want my clothes to smell neutral. I want them to smell GOOD.

– Well, that wasn’t an option for me because, again, fragrances and all the other unnecessary chemicals in your average detergents tend to cause a skin reaction.

– I did try adding essential oils to my laundry but the scent wouldn’t last and it felt like a waste of expensive oil to throw it in the wash and the smell would barely linger after removing the clothes from the dryer. (I do looooove essential oils though!)

5) now this was the key.

* I wanted/NEEDED something that would give me the perfect balance of healthy + effective. AND this recipe will last you MUCH longer than a store-bought product, which will save you a ton of money. (Most people who have made this same batch have reported getting an average of a year’s worth of use out of just ONE batch made).

As I previously mentioned, for awhile now I have been searching for a natural laundry detergent recipe and never quite found the right one. Until I found the Liz Marie Blog 😍 which I’m totally obsessed with now.

During my search, I came across her post about a review she gave on her homemade laundry soap, and it just resonated with me. I researched all the products she used and felt confident and safe with it, so I decided to try it! I figured, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen? I’m in the same situation I’ve been in where it won’t clean my clothes very well? Or maybe it’ll make me break out? OR…maybe—just maybe—it’ll actually work!

A week and at least six loads of clothes later—I am here to tell you that this is IT!

I absolutely love the recipe and plan to continue making my own homemade laundry detergent. I purposely washed large loads and then smaller ones to see if there would be a difference in the results. (It didn’t). It cleaned a heavy load just as well as a smaller load. My husband is even hooked and he typically doesn’t give me much feedback about these things. So I guess that’s two thumbs up!! 👍👍

Ready for the specs yet??
While I basically followed Liz Marie Blog’s recipe to a “T,” I did tweak mine just a bit.

So here’s what I used:

• (1) 12-oz box of Borax (natural detergent booster; brightens clothes)
• (2) bars of Fels-Naptha soap (heavy-duty laundry soap used to remove stains)
• (1) bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap – I used Lavender (miracle soap for ANYTHING!)
• (1) 4-lb box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (whitens whites, brightens colors)
• (1) 3-lb box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (natural detergent booster;
fragrance-free, phosphate-free)
• 4-lbs of Oxy Clean (one small + one large container); (stain remover)
* 1-pk of Purex laundry softener crystals for scent* I used Lavender

(For me, it took about $40 to buy everything I needed–including all materials–BUT this is going to last me awhile, so I still come out on top).

Once you have all your ingredients together you want to grab a large bucket, place a trash bag inside, and proceed to do the following:

– Grate the bars of soap into bowl
– Mix all other white, powdered ingredients in large bucket
– Mix in grated soap
– Pour in fabric softener crystals
– Shake contents up in bag and pour in desired container!

*Also! The recommended amount to use for a LARGE load is 2-3 tablespoons. I, however, use 1/4 a cup just because that’s how I choose to live my life 😌

I am so pleased with the results and have already given out a few samples for others to try.

My dirty gym clothes, the kids play clothes, and just everything has come out so clean and fresh! The smell is amazing, and it actually gets me excited about doing laundry!

I will caution you on one thing: If you plan to make this recipe, you definitely want to take the advice from the Liz Marie Blog where she notes that the detergent can (and WILL) get hard as a rock if you don’t add “cheese cloth” with rice inside. Now, I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know exactly what she was referring to, so I simply used an old silk sock (that had never been used) and added rice inside–and it worked just fine!

I chose the ingredients I did because of their “naturalness.” While someone could argue that not everything I used is 100% natural, at least 95% of it is! The Purex fabric softener crystals are not, but they are also not as detrimental as the chemicals in other laundry products. It added such a wonderful scent that I’m glad I took the risk. I haven’t had a negative reaction at all–even after working out.

Let me know if you decide to try this and how it works out for you! This recipe is totally customizable and you can basically add whatever you want.

Now, for the fabric softener, all I did was take 4 cups of water (I used water that had been boiled), a whole bottle of Suave Coconut conditioner, filled the rest of the mason jar with distilled white vinegar, and mixed it all up. I have no idea how many ounces the mason jar is that I used; if I had to guess, I’d say it’s half a gallon–maybe a little more.FullSizeRender-5

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