Lately I've been thinking more about my health in regards to what on earth I'm putting on and into my body. It's been almost 4 weeks now with my swollen ankles that were diagnosed with a deltoid sprain, and they still aren't better! I got prescribed this anti-inflammatory medication called Duexis that's new to the market to help decrease the swelling, and my stomach lining just isn't liking the side-effects of it (what can I say it is sensitive). Needless to say I've been searching Pinterest and the Internet for natural remedies instead of taking the medicine. Can't lose my stomach!!
So I've been icing, lifting my legs up, drinking my apple cinnamon detox water, and now putting cucumbers directly onto my ankles so that the cucumber skin absorbs the extra liquid/water that's sitting around under the skin. Read more this remedy here.
Next up on my list is making a cucumber mint detox water to drink, which I'm really excited to make and will post when I have the recipe just right ;)
Now how do healing cucumbers relate to homemade laundry detergent? ... It's more NATURAL than man-made stuff! I was reading an article a few days ago which really reminded me that skin is our body's largest absorber and largest organ - anything that gets put on it, goes in it.
When you wash your clothes with store bought laundry detergent, you allow chemicals and unnatural fragrances to seep out into the water that 'cleans' your clothes and then you think all is good. Well, a lot of the most popular brands of detergent have cancer and lung disease linked compounds like sulfates, phenols, and petroleum distillates that you breath in and that stay stuck to the material of your clothes which touches your skin all day. Some experts apparently think that these chemicals can even act as hormone disruptors. Now does any of that sound good or 'clean' to you?? Answer should be no, which is why I made it a priority this week to do a little research and come up with my own homemade laundry detergent that has less of the bad and more of the good. Fitting for Breast Cancer Awareness month too!
What you'll need is a trip to Walmart first. You can get all the ingredients there at a low price. I was inspired by Rebecca over at the Camp Wonder blog's post on how she made her laundry detergent and even added a homemade fabric softener as well. But I'm short on time most days and wanted to keep things simple at first, so I did a little edit to the mix she recommended to bring in the natural lavender smell - yes natural, I'll explain how in a sec.
Things you'll need:
* 3-4 1/2 gallon mason jars plus any other sizes you might like
* 1 box of washing soda (55oz) 'aka Arm & Hammer'
* 1 box of Borax (76oz)
* 1 box of Clorox stain fighter and color booster (100oz) -or- OxyClean
* 3 bars of Yardley London English Lavender bath soap (4.25oz)
* 2 cups of baking soda
* 1 large plastic tub
* Medical mask
* Cleaning gloves
Now, let's break down why these ingredients are so much better than the pre-made store bought solutions to laundry detergent. No dyes, no perfumes other than the soap, and it's all better for the environment too. Read the links provided if you're not familiar with the chemicals, you'll be surprised on how much you'll learn and what not to buy the next time you're at the grocery store.
Borax is a mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen and water, and can be found in most natural soaps. Washing soda is made from salt and limestone found in natural deposits. Yardley London English Lavender bath soap is a naturally moisturizing soap made with pure lavender extracts and essential oils to sooth symptoms of stress (they get a + from me for having 100% recycled packaging and being made in the U.S.A.). On top of that, the soap is paraben free and sodium lauryl sulfate free.
On to making your detergent!
I saw a lot of recommendations to use a food processor|blender|grater to chop up the soap - but that failed SO BAD for me (my blender died). So I want to recommend a better way to chop your soap into fine pieces and get your workout in for the day at the same time...use the bottom of a mason jar and crumble those pieces! First use a knife to cut the bars up a little bit and then add a little bit of the washing soda and Clorox powder to the mix. Then put those arm muscles to work with the mason jar.
After you have the soap in pieces as small as you can get them, grab the plastic tub, head outside with your medical mask on, and start dumping the rest of the ingredients listed into it. You want to mix all the ingredients so that the Yardley soap pieces are evenly distributed within the mix. Once you're done mixing, fill all your mason jars with the lovely NATURAL laundry detergent you have just made all by yourself!
When you are ready to do a load of wash, depending on how dirty your clothes or towels are, use about 2 TBSP of your mix for a top load washer. Really that's it! Super effective. For HE washers you can try using about 1/2 cup for really dirty clothes and about 1/4 cup for for a regular wash. You won't see a lot of suds like you would normally see with a store bought detergent and this is normal and ok. Suds don't clean, the ingredients do!
You can use your detergent on both colored and white clothes. If you use it in cold water for dark clothes, you might want to place it into a small glass dish and let it sit in warm water to help dissolve the soap. DO NOT PLACE IN THE MICROWAVE.
If you are allergic to or just don't like lavender, you can substitute the Yardley soap for Felsnaptha soap bars that have virtually no sent in them. If you want to add a fabric softener to this washing recipe, I'd get a one quart glass bottle of white vinegar and use 1 cup of it during the rinse cycle. If you have trouble getting soap suds out use the vinegar for this too.
I've read that making your own laundry detergent can save you a few hundred dollars a year depending on what you already use that's store bought detergent, so we'll see how long this batch lasts me!
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