The other day I was perusing Facebook and came upon a link to a recipe for a natural bleach alternative.
As I’m always looking for more natural recipes – whether for food or cleaning – I decided to take a look.
Which also prompted me to look at many other household/laundry cleaning recipes.
I was in laundry recipe heaven!
I found a recipe for homemade dry laundry detergent that should last for a year for a family of four. (I don’t think we count since we also have a dog and three cats. Animal owners will completely understand this!) It costs under $30 to make, which would be a good value for even 6 months.
I also found a recipe for homemade ‘Shout’ stain remover, homemade fabric softener crystals, and no-grate homemade laundry soap. There were a few more, but I didn’t make all of them.
The first one I made was homemade fabric softener crystals. This is so easy.
All you need is Epsom salts and whatever essential oil(s) you like.
Since my daughter (the cutie in the background using up all my lives in Candy Crush on Facebook) turns her nose up at lavender essential oil, I decided to purchase a different essential oil. The selection in our area is not big, so I chose patchouli. Not everyone likes this scent, but I do. I think next time I will also add orange or vanilla essential oil along with the patchouli to make it even more wonderful. 🙂
All you need is 10-15 drops of essential oil per one cup of Epsom salt, mix it in a bowl until the oil is completely incorporated. Done.
Use about 1/8 to 1/4 cup per load.
I then went on to make homemade stain remover.
For this you need
2/3 C. ammonia, 6 TBSP baking soda, and 2/3 C. Dawn dishwashing liquid, and 2 cups warm water.
Mix everything together and you can put it into a spray bottle or a squeeze bottle. Use just as you would liquid Shout.
I then went on to make the powdered detergent that is supposed to last for a year. We’ll see. 😉
For this you will need:
3 bars Fels Naptha, grated
1 box Borax
1 box Washing Soda
2 cups of baking soda
1 large container of Oxi-clean
1-2 containers of Purex fabric softener crystals or Downy Unstopables. (I chose Downy because is smells more pure)
Obviously, because of the commercial fabric softener this isn’t as ‘natural’ as it could be, but I wanted to try the recipe as given. Next
year time I will try my own fabric crystals.
I also found out that you don’t have to grate Fels Naptha. You can put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes and it will expand and you can crumble it.
Just a note: make sure the puffed up Fels Naptha cools completely before crumbling. There is a possibility of burnt thumbs if you don’t.
Because I wanted the Fels Naptha to be about the same consistency as the other dry ingredients, I went ahead and gave it a whirl in my food processor along with a cup of the washing soda.
After processing (and playing a few games of Candy Crush while the soap was cooling),
I dumped it all in a plastic tub and mixed it up.
This recipe makes 2 gallons worth of dry powder.
I found some inexpensive plastic gallon storage containers which work nicely.
Only use 2 TBSP per load, adding it to the drum of your washer for HE washers. I throw it on top of my clothes before I turn the machine on. I purchased a coffee scoop, which is an 1/8 cup / 2 TBSP measure.
I have used both the homemade fabric softener crystals and the laundry soap. They work well and I love the way our clothes smell.