|Laundry Detergent Experiment

Today I experimented with making our own laundry detergent. I used a recipe Cleopatra found at Wellness Mama. The three ingredients are washing soda, Borax, and a bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap. I could have also added baking soda, but I didn’t have any (or at least couldn’t find any).

After grating the bar of soap with a cheese grater, it looked like picture 1 (left). Because the directions say to finely grate the soap, I smashed it a bit with a plastic spatula until it looked like picture 2 (right).

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When I combined the ingredients in what are hopefully the correct ratios (directions), I had over 2 quarts of detergent.

Since the bowl I used for combining ingredients was too small to mix easily, I just poured the ingredients back and forth between the two bowls pictured. Now what to store it in? I didn’t plan this very well.

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Laundry Report

After one load of la ropa sucia washed in cold water, I can report that the clothes seem clean. I detect no fowl odors or visible stains as they hang on the drying rack. I’ll have to try it with a few different colors and temperatures before making a more concrete statement about the effectiveness of the mix. And we use vinegar as fabric softener.

If you use a scented bar of soap, it might add a little favor to the mix. I’m not sure how much of the smell would make it through the rinse process. We didn’t want added scents even though this brand uses organic oils, so our clothes should come out odor-free if all continues to go well.

Maybe I could compare this mix with both our old mix we used to get at the farmers’ market and a store brand like Seventh Generation. I could soil three white rags, and then hand wash each in a different detergent. It’s hard to control for all of the variables.

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One comment

  1. My wife and I have been using this home-made laundry soap for several months. I have found the process works best if we keep it hot (not boiling, but very warm) for a long time to integrate the ingredients. We have also added sodium percarbonate (the active ingredient in Oxyclean) and replaced a small amount of the water with a disinfectant (PineSol). Some people may not want to use the disinfectant, but it does rinse out and leaves no odor.

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