One of the things that constantly amazes me about having kids is how much laundry they produce. It’s not just their clothes, although there are a lot of clothes, it’s the towels and wash cloths and sheets, oh my!
I tried to make my own liquid laundry soap a while back and it didn’t go so well. First, I let it boil over on the stove and it was everywhere. I had to take apart the oven door to clean the inside. It covered the floor and was not easy to mop up. Then, I had to add so much water in an attempt to convert it from almost-solid gel to liquidy gel, that the water to soap ratio was ridiculous. I’d basically be washing in water.
I kept it in the basement for a few weeks just in case, and then tossed it.
Take two: laundry powder. This was much more to my liking. Four ingredients + ten minutes = a lovely laundry soap (if laundry soap can be lovely). I got the recipe from Soule Mama, but you can find it all over the Internet.
Why would you want to make your own laundry powder?
1. It’s cheaper.
2. You know what’s in it and can avoid weird/toxic ingredients.
3. It’s so easy.
Homemade Laundry Powder
2 cups (finely) grated castile soap*
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup soda ash (washing soda)
*(I used Dr. Bronners rose scented soap. One and a half .5 oz bars makes about two cups. The laundry smells old fashioned or vintage-y with the rose scent, but only when wet. I can’t smell anything when it dries)
Mix everything together, and store in an airtight jar. Depending on your water, you might need to adjust the sodas a bit, and the amount used per load. I use 1/8 cup per load. You may need to give the jar a shake once in a while to prevent the soap flakes from settling to the bottom.
What about stains? I just don’t care that much. The boys outgrow their clothes pretty quickly anyway, and a lot of them came from thrift stores to begin with. If there is a stain I am worried about, I use a little Bio Kleen Bac Out Enzyme Cleaner and that takes care of it.