Saturday, June 29, 2013

Homemade laundry soap

On my escapade to be greener and save money, I decided to make my own laundry soap. 

I actually found this recipe here. I made mine without the Borax and used baking soda instead.

Essentially, this is how I made the liquid detergent

3/4 cup Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap 
             (I used the baby kind)
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Baking Soda (or Borax)

The recipe also called for 20-50 drops of lavender essential oil, but I chose to do without because Adalyn and I have pretty sensitive skin (and Adalyn got a rash from lavender essential oil in her cloth wipe solution), so unscented works great for us. 

Fill a 2 gallon bucket with a few inches of hot water (I used a mop bucket). 
Add the washing soda, and stir to dissolve. 
Add the baking soda, and stir to dissolve. 
Add the Dr. Bronner's, and stir to dissolve. 
Finally, fill the rest of the bucket (up to 2 gallons) with hot water.

I stored mine in an old detergent container. The large Tide ones with the spout work really well, and then you don't have to store the detergent in multiple containers.

I also made one (found from here) specifically for cloth diapers:

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda (the recipe from here calls for Borax)
1/2 cup OxiClean Free or Baby (I used Baby)

I used an old ice cream bucket to store this detergent. 
To fill it up, I would just add the ingredients like the recipe calls for. I would repeat the recipe until the bucket was filled.

I have been using this recipe for about a month now, and I have to say, it works really well! Jon does say that he thinks the cloth diaper detergent (powder) works better than the regular detergent (liquid). I think I will try making powder stuff next time (using the bar soap of Dr. Bronner's instead of the liquid soap), and see if it might work better.

The cloth diaper detergent gets the job done, and almost always the cloth diapers come out of the wash without any staining. If there is any staining on the diapers, I will hang them out on the line in the sun. This is a great way to bleach out stains

Okay, to be fair, I hang them out on the line even if they are not stained. This is because our home does not have a washer or dryer. Yeah, not fun, especially when using cloth diapers!!! 

Before we started cloth diapering, we would just do our laundry at either my parents' house or Jon's parents' house. Yeah, they are pretty awesome like that. 

Now that we are using cloth diapers, we need to do laundry much more often. Without a dryer, I have to wash cloth diapers on a daily basis to keep enough clean (and dry!) ones in rotation. 

We invested in the Wonder Washer

It is definitely worth the money! No, it doesn't have a rinse cycle, so I end up having to change out the water four times, and you cannot fit a large amount of diapers in it, but it sure beats having to hand wash! It also gets the diapers a lot cleaner than hand washing. Jon also will use the washer if he needs to clean any work shirts before we get over to one of our parents' houses to do laundry. 

The Wonder Washer and cloth diaper detergent. We have to put a towel under the washer because it sometimes splashes and gets the floor wet...

We. CANNOT. Wait. To have a home. WITH. A washer. AND. Dryer...

When I use the Wonder Washer for the cloth diapers, I do four cycles, at fifteen minutes each. The first is with cold water and the cloth diaper detergent. The second is with hot water and the cloth diaper detergent. The third is with warm water and white vinegar. The final cycle is with just warm water. I also rinse out the diapers in warm water after, just to be sure they have been rinsed clean of any remaining detergent. 

That reminds me, I need to switch out the water for the load of diapers in the wash...

That's all!

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