Tag Archives | diy laundry

DIY Ridiculously Easy Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener

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One of the easiest small steps to start getting rid of toxic chemicals in your home is to get rid of mainstream laundry detergent and fabric softener. Think about it – your clothes are in constant contact with your body. You lay on your sheets at night breathing in all the chemicals that are in your bedding. Your children are even more susceptible to all the toxic chemicals in detergents. Here are just a couple of posts explaining the toxins in store-bought fabric softeners.

The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

8 Toxins Lurking in Your Fabric Softener

Check out this easy recipe for laundry detergent. Once you have gotten that batch made, it’s time to start thinking about changing up your fabric softener.

This recipe is so easy that it almost seems silly to write it down, but it is also so effective that I just can’t help but share. First of all, this recipe came straight from Crunchy Betty’s post, Ditch the Dryer Sheets. I have tried several different fabric softener options, but this one works the best for me. I have tried using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine, but this method works a little better to prevent static cling. By spraying the clothes, you use very little but still ensure that your vinegar reaches the whole load of clothes.

SUPPLIES:

Glass Spray Bottle – If you are going to use essential oils in your homemade products, you need to store them in glass containers. The good news is that it is super easy to re-use bottles. My favorite glass bottles to re-purpose are Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar bottles ( Bragg Organic Vinegar Apple Cider, 32 Ounce (3 Pack)).

I bought a few spray bottles at the local dollar store and tossed the plastic bottles but use the spray tops. The glass Bragg  bottles hold 4 cups, but you can easily make a smaller portion.

2 BASIC INGREDIENTS:

4 cups Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar is the number one item that I use in every room of my house. I used it as my primary cleaner everywhere! I just buy the cheap, large jugs of white vinegar for household cleaners. Not only is white vinegar antibacterial, but it is also an excellent fabric softener.

Vinegar is great for getting any remaining dirt and residue off clothes, softening material and preventing static cling. You can actually do this softener with nothing other than vinegar.

 

2 tbsp Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Optional)

Eucalyptus essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial so it is a nice addition to vinegar. I like it more than other essential oils as an addition in cleaning. I have also used tea tree oil in my softener, but I liked the eucalyptus better.

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Add essential oil to vinegar and shake well. It’s really that easy!

Squirt approximately 10 times onto clothes that you have just placed in the dryer. Be sure to dry clothes completely to get rid of the vinegar smell. Your clothes will come out of the dryer smelling fresh without static.

 

HE WASHING MACHINES:

If you have made the mistake of using liquid fabric softener in an HE washing machine, you’ll appreciate this new method. If you own an HE washing machine, hopefully you already know about the need to clean out the front of the machine often. Here’s a post that explains that well.

I had no clue when I moved into my condo that I needed to be cleaning out the HE washing machine after each use. Once my laundry closet started to smell like something died in there, I realized what was going on with the sludge in my washer door. If you have an HE washer and use liquid fabric softener, you will end up with softener gathered in the door area – gross! I use my new “fabric softener” to spray out and clean my HE washer door area.

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls - I haven’t made these yet, but they sound awesome!

8 Natural Alternatives to Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets

Apartment Therapy – 5 Homemade Natural Fabric Softeners

Are Soft Clothes Really Worth It?

Greener Laundry – Fabric Softener vs Dryer Sheets

 

How about you? Do you make your own fabric softener? Let me know in the comments any tips or special ingredients you use in your homemade fabric softener!

Fabric Softener

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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DIY Simple Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

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There are about a million different laundry detergent recipes out there so this should be nothing new if you are a forager of inexpensive DIY household recipes. This is my version, and I just made 3 batches this morning because it’s laundry day. It’s super easy, eco-friendly and inexpensive. You can even order the ingredients online and create the mix in less than an hour and get on with your life!

SUPPLIES:DSC_0205

Grater – I set aside a cheap grater that I just keep in my laundry closet and only use for this purpose. You are only going to be grating soap with it though, so you can even just use your regular kitchen grater and rinse the soap off well when you are done!

Gloves – (Optional) I grated part of my fingernail into my laundry detergent this morning. Luckily it wasn’t part of my finger so gloves are a good idea if you are uncoordinated like me!

Container – An old laundry box would be a good re-purposed container. I use the larger plastic container in the photo to create my detergent and put a smaller amount  in the white container pictured (an old Oxy-clean container) on top of my washer for easy access.

3 BASIC INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)

Washing soda works as a water softener, grease and stain remover. Apparently you can make your own from baking soda if you are having trouble finding it in stores.

 

1 Cup Borax (sodium borate)

Borax is a mineral similar to baking soda but stronger, with a higher pH. It’s antifungal, antibacterial, can dissolve dirt and remove odors.

 

1 Bar of Castile Soap

Castile soap is a mild soap made from plant oils.

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint is my personal favorite because it’s eco-friendly and also smells great.

 

*Large Batches – I like to make large batches of this all at once using all the soap I have on hand. For instance, today I had 3 bars of soap so I grated all three bars of soap and added 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of Borax.

 

** Finding Ingredients – You can usually find all these ingredients near the laundry section. I was in Walmart a few days ago, and I found Washing Soda and Borax on the same isle as fabric softener and in the same area as baking soda, Oxy-clean and other laundry additives. The castile soap was in the bath/beauty section of the store. They did have a laundry soap – Zote, in the laundry section, but I was looking for a more eco-friendly option.

DIRECTIONS:

Grate the soap as finely as possible and add in the Borax and Washing Soda. Mix well. The soap will sink to the bottom of your container so just shake up the container before using.

Use 1 TBSP of laundry detergent per load. This detergent works great on baby clothes, gentle clothes, and is just fine for HE washers!

 

HE WASHERS:

This detergent is low suds so it works great in high efficiency washing machines. I have actually noticed less build-up in my HE washing machine since switching to non-commercial detergent.

 

BABIES/SENSITIVE SKIN:

This detergent is extremely mild, and you could even use the unscented Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap to keep this even more mild. The nice thing about this detergent is that it actually works for the whole family so there is no need for separate detergents.

 

COST: Approximately $.20 load ($42.37 FOR 6 BATCHES)

I like to figure out cost based on all the ingredients you have to buy even if you don’t use up all of them since it’s not like you can order half a box of Borax. So, I’ll use Amazon’s prices for simplicity.

If you purchase through the links above on Amazon, you get 6 bars of Dr. Bronner’s soap, 55 oz of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 76 oz of Borax for $42.37. This qualifies for free shipping so be sure to choose that option because Amazon will automatically choose standard shipping for you. Just click the free Super Saver Shipping option (5-8 days).

I love Amazon because for supplies like this because it’s no more expensive than going to the local super-store, and typically you’ll receive the items in less than a week. I’m not crazy about supporting big businesses, but for my laundry detergent I’d be buying those ingredients at Walmart otherwise so I prefer Amazon and not wasting half a day in Wally-world.

These ingredients will give you enough to make 6 batches of laundry detergent. You’ll have Borax left over (which you can use for a multitude of household recipes!) I would just go ahead and use the entire box of Washing Soda (close to 7 cups) and all 6 bars of soap, and just measure out 6 cups of Borax.

There are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup. Each batch of laundry detergent yields 2.5-3 cups so six batches will give you 15 cups conservatively. Six batches = 240 loads (15cups X 16TBPS per cup) That comes out to $.18 per load, and I just rounded up to $.20.

 

TIME NEEDED: LESS THAN 1 HOUR

Buy the ingredients on Amazon in less than 5 minutes. Grating soap and mixing ingredients takes about 30 minutes. I grated 3 bars of soap and mixed up 3 batches of detergent this morning in about 20 minutes but if you ordered enough for 6 batches, you’d probably spend close to an hour including order time, grating time and mixing up the ingredients.

OTHER RESOURCES:

The Easiest, Most Economical, Most Eco-friendly 1 Ingredient Detergent – Soapnuts

Wellness Mama’s Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent

Crunchy Betty’s Laundry Detergent Recipe

Eco-nuts - Great eco-friendly laundry detergent if you don’t want to make your own.

 

How about you? Do you make your own laundry detergent? Let me know in the comments any tips or special ingredients you use in your homemade laundry detergent!

 Laundry Detergent 2

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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