Saturday, February 23, 2008

Homemade Suds

It can cost a lot to be environmentally friendly in this neck of the woods. The principal brand of eco-friendly cleaners is quite expensive here, and the locally-made alternative is only slightly less costly. So I decided to find out whether I could make my own laundry soap. I figured that if I’m already making my own soap, why not see whether I can use it as a base for other non-toxic, eco-friendly (and far less expensive) household cleaning products?

Well, I can! After some searching on the Internet and reading comments by people who make and use their own homemade laundry soap, I found several recipes that looked helpful. Tonight, I made a bucketful according to this one at The Family Homestead. (I should point out that the recipe contains borax, but can probably be made without it.)

Other helpful links for making homemade detergent (including in dry form):

Modern Cottage: Home-made detergent

The Simple Dollar: How to make your own laundry detergent and save big money

For locals: even though we can’t buy pure washing soda or borax in the supermarket, we can get them from a local medical-supply store that delivers. So instead of lugging home big boxes of borax or washing soda, I get the items, which cost little to begin with, delivered to my door at no extra cost. I’ll be happy to give the medical-supply store’s contact information to anyone who’s interested in making their own homemade cleaning products. Just ask!

So now I get to wait twenty-four hours for my laundry soap to gel... or do whatever it’s supposed to do. I’m sure it’ll be great fun to use!

Oh, yeah, and because the stuff is unscented, I can scent each laundry load any way I like with just a few drops of essential oil. I can see it now: one week I’ll smell like geranium, another week like orange, another week like lemongrass, and so on. Great way to confuse ’em, eh?

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