Boxed-to-Basics: our Homemade Laundry Detergent journey …

Boxed-to-Basics: our Homemade Laundry Detergent journey …

Dust Bunnies and Laundry are two things that continue to GROW at our house … regardless of whether it’s a good week, bad week, we feel great or we feel yuck!

The dust bunnies are allowed to ‘sometimes’ get bigger for a week (or two!) but the laundry … well, it kind of can’t be put off! If you have kids, one of them will ALWAYS ask, “where are my favorite (insert piece of clothing name here)”. So …

How do we keep up with the laundry, I mean what is our laundry rhythm?

I grew up as a kid, where my mom did laundry every Monday and every Friday. In college I used to do all my laundry on Saturday, but since having kids I need a rhythm that works for our family and busy schedule … because laundry is so much more than clothes, right?!?

I really like all laundry baskets empty before the weekend, but let’s get real … I like it! That does NOT mean it always happens … but life continues and we go back to the rhythm as quickly as we can … if we go through a period of crazy!

Here is how we do laundry each week:

Monday: Clothes, Kitchen Towels

Tuesday: Sheets

Wednesday: Towels

Thursday: Rugs, Dog stuff, Shower Curtains

Friday: Clothes, Kitchen Towels

What kind of laundry detergent do we use?

Here is where our journey started … when I was a kid, my parents being from the North used Powdered Tide, ya’ know the HUGE boxes that you can buy from the big box stores or warehouse clubs?

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During our health journey, I read and researched about all the really BAD stuff in laundry detergent … and so we started to SLOWLY make Baby Step changes to improving what kind of laundry detergent we bought!

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I know some people will look at this and say, “Why didn’t you just make your own from the start”?

You know, that is a GREAT question.

I think we are slowly programmed from media about how to live our lives. We see commercials about washing laundry and those leave us with a feeling or an emotion. The next time we go to the store and walk past that laundry detergent isle … it’s the feeling or emotion that has us turn down the isle.

It’s much easier to SLOWLY make Baby Step changes as you go from Boxed to Basic detergent … because it allows us time to re-program our mindset! You know … Tide Powder to Tide Clear Liquid to All Free & Clear to Seventh Generation Liquid to ECOS Liquid to …

Then comes a HUGE leap of faith … no fancy commercials! No loving music! Our leap of faith comes from a desire to do better for our family. It is sometimes with criticism from family members that make us question our path! … Don’t!

Keep in mind … You are doing what you feel is best for your family at the moment, it can change … but do the best you can TODAY! …

maybe I should get off the “soap box”!

Our final Boxed to Basic step was making Homemade Laundry Detergent and we LOVE it!

Can we make our own homemade laundry detergent?

Yes, it’s EASY!

After researching online and seeing MANY different laundry detergent recipes, we decided that basic and simple was the best way for our family.

I wanted a bar soap that we could also use as a body soap, since I love bar soap. We also have a liquid version for members of our family who prefer that, but me, I’ll stick with a bar of soap.

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I wanted to make sure that the bar soap we chose was ONLY soap and nothing more … no flavor or smells in it! You know what I mean?

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I mean you can get it with all different smells or flavors, but we wanted just a plain bar of soap. I love Dr. Bronners Baby Mild Castile or Hemp.

We keep a stockpile of bars, usually 12 … My husband just looks at me and shakes his head. He understands from my Northern upbringing that 12 is a magic number for me! When I share later about the toxicity in toothpaste, I’ll share a funny story!

drbronnersstash

Here is my Bar Soap, stockpile! I usually order 3 bars each month from Azure Standard, and find that over a year that is enough for both homemade laundry detergent and bathing!

How do we make Homemade Laundry Detergent?

It’s EASY! Like crazy … EASY!

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First you take out your food processor, that might have been sitting unused for awhile!

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I take each bar of soap and cut it into 6 large chunks. Then I add about 3 chunks to the food processor and turn it on. Once those chunks are turned into tiny bits, I add the additional 3 chunks and turn it back on!

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Next, I add one cup each of Borax and Super Washing Soda. I buy both of these from one of the big box stores and usually find them on the bottom shelf of the laundry isle. They are UBER cheap, so I usually buy two or three boxes of each at a time and leave them in my laundry room!

I turn the food processor back on after adding each cup, to ensure the detergent is well mixed.

That’s it!

I usually triple the batch and that will last us about 6-weeks for our family of four.

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How much Homemade Laundry Detergent do we add to each load?

I usually add one tablespoon for an average size load of laundry. When we have a large load, very dirty load or blue-jeans … I add two tablespoons.

Keep in mind that homemade laundry detergent does not “suds” like boxed laundry detergent … Why? Keep reading …

Can you use Homemade Laundry Detergent in HE machines?

Most of us expect our laundry detergent to “suds” … you know, have LOTS of pretty foaming bubbles and to smell amazing, right?! … Wrong!

hewasherdryer

Along my health journey, I have read countless articles that explain why. Companies who make laundry detergent actually add a foaming agent, so that we can see those bubbles and they add fragrance so it smells amazing. Don’t be fooled …

Added fragrance in laundry detergent = chemicals in your laundry = chemicals in your body! … What?

Who wants that?

One my my amazing sweet crunchy momma friends caught me off guard one day while we were having coffee, when she said, “Melanie, you wear clothes washed in chemicals all day against your body. Those chemicals are slowly absorbed into your skin, your biggest organ” … Silence! … Complete Silence!

I had never looked at it that way!

I mean, as a wife and mom, I thought I was always doing good … I mean, you know the image in my head! After the beep of the dryer you take out clothes that smell amazing and as you lovingly put them away … the feeling of I’m doing GREAT is over-whelming … so maybe that fragrance is doing more than making my laundry smell good … yikes!

So once the HE machines came out, they didn’t want the “suds” because it would have oozed all over your floor. Since the washing action and tumbling is what washes your clothes. It’s the agitation that is getting clothes clean. So those same companies, now needed to remove the foaming agent and brand the detergent as “HE Safe”. Did you notice that even though they REMOVED an ingredient the price went up … what?

Yep, an HE branded detergent is more expensive than a regular detergent. Crazy!

What can I add if I want my laundry to smell GREAT!

Amazing smelling laundry … Just makes the morning awesome!

Birds chirp! I feel like I’m doing a good job … even a GREAT job, when I know what I’m adding is GOOD for my family! I love adding one or two drops of Lavender Essential Oil or Purification Essential Oil.

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Lavender Essential Oil is amazing on fluffy towels and baby clothes.

Purification Essential Oil is great on, sports uniforms, stinky socks … and I have been known to re-wash a load with a couple drops if I forget it in the washer overnight … I know, we’ve ALL done it!

Making your own Homemade Laundry Detergent is a SUPER EASY Boxed to Basics Step that you can make today!

 

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