As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been DIY’ing my own natural, and mostly organic laundry detergent, deodorant, and toothpaste since 2012. Shortly before that, I discovered The Wellness Mama blog. I really started to live a more organic, natural, and holistic life. I did not like the fact that there were so many synthetic chemicals and preservatives in our household cleaning products, food, and beauty products. I also do many of my own beauty products, like body butter and lotions, too! They make great gifts for friends for any occasion, even as “just because” gifts!
I didn’t think about doing a blog about my toothpaste or the laundry detergent last week, so I don’t really have any pictures. I do, however, have 2 short videos showing the laundry detergent stirring an hour or two after mixing all ingredients together (when I thought, “You should have recorded this!”) and a second one of about a half a day (overnight) after it has been “curing” or coagulating together. I’m currently uploading them to my phone Word Press app, so hopefully I can show them below.
I like the liquid version better than the powdered version of the laundry detergent from the above link. The ingredients are simple and easy. You’ll need a big bucket, please reuse where you can. Mine is a 5 gallon bucket from powdered detergent many, many years ago. You’ll need hot water. I warm mine up in a hot pot and just dump it in the bucket as it gets to boiling. You also get to choose, If you’d like, a scent of essential oil(s). This time I did mine in Tea Tree. I chose that because I had gotten Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap Bar in that scent for the summer last year. It will help keep bugs away. As it ended up, I didn’t need to make more detergent until this month. A five gallon bucket lasts my husband and I an average of 5 months. A normal week has about 3 loads of laundry in it and I use 1/2 cup of the homemade detergent.
Wellness Mama (Katie) recommends Dr. Bronner’s for soap. I like it because it is organic and natural. And if you follow Dr. Bronner’s on Instagram, Facebook, and or the blog, you know they support alot of good causes and are ecologically minded. Now I also used 2 (small) bars of a castille soap that my husband had ordered a boatload about two years ago. I used them to boost the coagulation process. Seeing how I only use about 4 bars a year, that package will last a long time. I can’t recall the name of the company, but I do believe it was natural and organic. He got them off of Ebay. You can do your own search and experiment with different soaps you prefer. Just be cautious because alot of commercial brands uses lard….that’s why Ivory is “The Soap That Floats,” as there slogan said decades ago. But I’d really recommend sticking with the castille part. One time I used the “ends” of some not-castille soap and it didn’t coagulate or “stick” together properly and was truely a liquid for 5 months. This is a continuing science experiment for me. That’s why I LOVE DIY projects. You always learn something new to use next time to improve your product.
Dr. Bronner’s has various scents for the castille bars (& liquids). The biggest pain is grating them. With my fibromyalgia, carpal and cubital tunnel in both hands, and bad shoulders, it’s not a fun project. I could cop out and use about a cup, I think it is, of the liquid, but eh, gives me something to do. I’m also not a big fan of grating anything because of catching my fingers in the grater. Last Mother’s Day Weekend, I was making a batch of Lusty Lavender Whipped Body Butter, some soap, and my Hippie-smelling deodorant and I grated some beeswax (from a local apiary) (and yes, I still consider myself vegan) and my right pointer finger second knuckle. On the first pass! It was pretty bad. Took until December for it to finally heal and not hurt when I bump it. I usually pick up a bar at one of the local health food stores. But I order the quart of liquid castille soap from Swanson Vitamins. Like I’ve posted before, Swanson’s is a bit cheaper than elsewhere and has over 4000 vegan items, including food.
If you choose to grate the soap, like I do, put the gratings into a pot and cover with water. Heat on high until the gratings dissolve. If your arms get tired, like mine did last week, you can just add the bars in. BUT, it will take hours for it to dissolve, as I figured, and discovered. You should keep an eye on the pot. If it starts to boil, it can boil over with soap bubbles, or boil dry. When the gratings have dissolved completely, you can just go ahead and pour that in to the bucket with the (below) Washing Soda, Borax, and Essential Oils.
I posted in my previous blog (DIY toothpaste) the essential oil brands I like to use, so please check that out. Sorry there aren’t any pictures of the toothpaste! I tried to go back in and add a picture of the finished product, but was having trouble uploading it the other day. Katie (Wellness Mama) had recommended 50 drops to start out with. I’d start with that and go by your nose and your family’s sensitivity to chemicals, as an essential oil is nothing more than a chemical from a plant in nature.
The other two items you will need are Borax and Super Washing Soda. Both can be found in the “powdered” section of the laundry isle. I get them at Wal-Mart. You will need about a cup of each and to pour them into the bucket in the hot water and stir to dissolve. I recommend getting a giant serving spoon from a dollar store to keep with your DIY laundry detergent items.
This really is so simple to do. The hardest is grating the soap and waiting for it to dissolve. The rest is up to time and the temperature of your kitchen. The cooler it is, the quicker it will coagulate, or stick together. I hope you found this informative and handy!!!!!
Video #1 Stirring the mixture about 2 hours after pouring in the melted gratings of castille soap in the bucket with the essential oils, Borax, and washing soda.
Video #2 Stirring the fully coagulated bucket of DIY laundry detergent.
Take Care, Be As Well As Possible, and Until Next Time…