Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This past weekend was rainy and cool.  Son was sick with a cold so we all laid low.  This is difficult for 3 year old Son as he is always on the move (much easier for 30 something Father and Mother!).  So "dideos" was the way to go.  Fireman Sam and Berenstain Bears kept him mesmerized and educated, and he and Father had a good chill out session on the couch. 

While they were taking a "dideo" break I attempted my newest DIY adventure.  This project came along for 3 reasons. 1. because I am now uping my GF dedication and looking for GF household/cosmetic products, 2. being GF is expensive (as is life in general) and as my income has decreased rather than increased lately, it is time to look for more ways to save, and 3. I prefer to purchase or use 'green' products (when I can afford them) as I am a firm believer that there are way too many harmful chemicals being used in our household products. 

I spent quite a bit of time searching for laundry detergent recipes, and there were many, but in the end I decided to use one that was suggested to me by a neighbour from the Queen of Green's blog on the David Suzuki's Foundation Website. There are two recipes posted and I did a combination of them both. 

Ingredients I Used:
7 Liters Hot Water
1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/3 Cup Course Salt
1/2 Cup Borax

* Note depending on how sensitive or dedicated you are to being gluten free you may want to watch for tocopheryl in the castile soap. *

While the 7 litres of water were coming to a boil I gathered my ingredients.
I used the Borax free recipe but at the last minute decided to add some Borax.
I used Kiss My Face Castile Soap which is gluten free.

Once the water had come to a near boil I added the salt,
baking soda, castile soap and borax and stirred.

When all the ingredients seemed to have dissolved
I left the mixture to cool for a few hours.

We had this large dispensing water jug which was
perfect for the detergent.  I popped the top and
funnelled the detergent into it once it had cooled.

The jug now sits on a shelf in my laundry room.  I did a bit of math to figure out
what the cost of making this recipe was. The most expensive item was the castile soap.
I am not sure if you can read the paper attached to the jug in the picture below,
but it gives the breakdown of cost.  For 7 litres, enough to do 90 loads of laundry,
it cost $4.24 - or about 5 cents per load! Yes, just 5 cents per load!

This recipe was super easy, is a super big cost saver and,  I can also pronounce all the ingredients!  It's so nice to know what is in my detergent.  There is a note on the Queen of Green recipe page that indicates it is safe to use in HE machines, which is in fact what we have and it appears to work great!  I even did a smell test on the armpits of t-shirts (I know, gross.).

I used to buy a 'green' laundry detergent that was $12.99 for 50 loads.  This recipe is $4.24 for 90 loads. That's a savings of $19.14!

**Please note: this detergent may separate over time, leaving liquid at the  bottom and gel like clumps at the top.  If you are using a front loading  machine I recommend that you NOT use the detergent with clumps (will block your dispenser tray and cause water to flow out of the machine all over the floor). When it separates, I highly recommend that you blend the gel clumps and liquid together using a hand blander.**


Anonymous said...

VERY cool!
Do you think it would work if you added an essential oil to it? For more,or less "scents"? (Ha! Get it? Scents. Cents. Yea, I know. Not funny.)

Do you have a front loading machine?


Anonymous said...

So, easy clean-up?

(Ha! Get it? On account of it being soap and all? Yea, I know. Still not funny.)

Gluten Free Mom said...

Yes, we have front loading machine. This is why I went with the liquid detergent actually. There are many recipes for powder detergent as well. I did see some recipes that called for essential oils such as tea tree oil and lavender. I didn't add any but my castile soap was peppermint scented. I can't say that it makes my dried laundry smell of peppermint, but it was nice to smell on the wet laundry as I hung it to dry and put it in the dryer.

Thanks for your comments, Dedicated. :)