Letting Life Lead
am lazy consider my time to be more precious than to waste it on working too hard on domestics. Green is good. Reduce, reuse, recycle is a motto I follow to the best of my abilities, but with logic and practicality. I’ve no interest in making liquid detergent because it requires stirring and a whole lot of inconsistency. I’ve read the recipes out there. I already hate laundry, I really don’t want to hate it more! So, powder it is.
Play with the ratios as you like, there are no hard and fast rules only suggestions and a guiding hand. I am happy with my recipe for our laundry needs. Two tablespoons per regular load is enough for us. That’s right. Two tablespoons! When you make your own detergent you aren’t putting in fillers and that means half of what you put in isn’t something other than cleaning agents. If you think the regular old detergent you are using is fine, you might want to do an experiment. Wash a load of clothes in plain water without adding anything. If you begin to see suds and bubbles, you’re detergent is leaving a lot of residue on your clothes. That’s not just scents and brighteners, that is left over soap which represent the money you send down the sewer every time you do laundry. I don’t use borax because I find it to be a Sherman Tank sent to kill a mouse. However, if you have hard water you may need to add borax or salt to compensate.
1 Part Sodium Percarbonate
This is nothing more than a dry form of hydrogen peroxide which is made by mixing hydrogen peroxide with washing soda and doing Chemistry. It’s cheap to produce. It is the active ingredient in oxy clean and any oxy powder. Ecover’s non chlorine bleach is pure sodium percarbonate. You can sometimes find this pure, in bulk in pool supply or a few hardware stores. The labeling can be confusing, so do ask someone in the know at your local pool supply store. If you have to substitute Oxyclean I would go as high as using one parts Oxyclean to 4 parts washing soda simply because oxy clean has a few additives (one of which I suspect is bluing — which is what our great-great-geat grandmother’s used to use to whiten graying and yellowing whites. It’s a complementary color thing. I bet you weren’t expecting an art lesson! Read more about it.).
2 Parts Sodium Carbonate
This is washing soda and also a main ingredient found in Oxyclean. It is sometimes found in feed supply stores and in other countries as soda ash. If you can get this in bulk and not from a grocery store it will reduce costs even further.
2 bars finely grated soap.
Zote or Fels-Naptha laundry bar or equivalent is popular. However, if you want a soap that is pure soap you have options. Ivory soap works plus if you don’t want to grate by hand, or risk killing your aging food processor (rest in pieces my old friend), if you microwave Ivory soap it falls apart(chemistry!). The kids will love it. These are not natural soaps, but experiment to find something you like such as Grandma’s Soap or some other handmade soap local to you. You will find something that suits you.
Get a big bucket or plastic bag. Dump the stuff in. Mix well and done. Use 2 TBSP per regular load of laundry. This will not produce a lot of suds, but this is normal.
Follow the link to buy any supplies you need (it is in a nice list for you) and I’ll get a few pennies for sending you to Amazon even if all you end up buying is some glue and a pet rock during that visit. I’m one of those people who sees a penny and picks it up because after a hundred pennies I’ve got a dollar to spend at the Dollar Tree!
...in which I share all the writing. And you will love it, dammit.
Try. Try again.
musings of a shellback, back on land
The best longform stories on the web
There's comedic gold behind every painful experience. Here are mine.
playing by my own rules
We take the heat 'cause we gotta eat.