There’s no doubt about it, you wash clothes at least once a week. I bet you rarely thought about what’s in your detergent beyond which one will make your clothes smell the best. I think for a lot of people they don’t consider this until they have a baby then they may become aware that there are special laundry detergents for babies. Hopefully that got you wondering…WHY? In 2013 Procter and Gamble agreed to reduce the amount of carcinogens in it’s popular detergent, Tide.  Reduce? What does that even mean?

Here’s the list of ingredients found in Tide. That’s a lot of ingredients. I don’t understand why, when you can make your own detergent quickly and cheaply and know exactly what ingredients are in it. I found this recipe and liked it, so I ran to Target armed with my list and son. This was not a typical Target run, as in it was less than enjoyable. Turns out 6 year old boys don’t like searching for specific ingredients at Target and I did not luck out in finding everything I needed. I found the baking soda and after that I struck OUT! After searching high and low, I remembered that the target app will tell you with aisle items are located in and much to my dismay, Target didn’t carry any of this stuff. I picked up Dr Bronner’s castile soap for $4.22 a bar, checked out and went to Giant Eagle (our local grocery store). I found Dr Bronner’s castile soap there for cheaper than Target (FYI), but didn’t find the Super Washing Soda, just the OxiClean Free. I knew Shop N Save had it so I left Giant Eagle empty handed. No problem at all, I found Super Washing Soda at Shop N Save, and the OxiClean…AND the Kirk’s Castile Soap – $3.99 for 3 bars – so I’ll be making a return to Target.

If you looked at the link for the original recipe, she says Epsom salt is optional. I bought it, and then I opted out. Epsom salt will make your water harder and then your clothes won’t clean as well, fades colors and fabrics won’t be as soft. IMG_3053

Shopping list:

4 pounds of baking soda ($2.79) 4 bars of castile soap ($5.32) (Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap) 3lbs OxiClean Free ($8.79) 3 lbs 7 oz (1 box) Super Washing Soda ($4.19) Start by grating the soap. I used my food processor and grating attachment with no problem at all. Dump the soap and all the other ingredients into a very large bowl and mix it up. As you mix the shredded soap will break up into little pieces and everything will come together very nicely IMG_3049IMG_3051IMG_3052 Place the soap in a container near your laundry machine! Use 1-2 tbsp per load. (I used the scoop that came with the baking soda, which holds about 3 tbsp so I know to fill it about 1/2 full. Total: $21.09 for 320 loads = $.07 a load

Easy peasy! No harmful chemicals. And it still smells great and washes well. Since it doesn’t have sudsing chemicals, this should be safe to use with HE machines as well. I’ve been using this detergent for several months so far and am pleased to report that I’m still pleased with it!

For the Dryer –

I don’t often use dryer sheets as they are full of chemicals and leave a residue on your clothing. This residue on towels limits the absorption and over time leaves your towels feeling too starchy. I haven’t yet tried the wool balls. I’m holding out for my mom to make them. But in the meantime, I’ve been using a tennis ball with a few drops of essential oils. Purification is my favorite for this use. The tennis ball fluffs and speeds drying time and for the most part I don’t notice an issue with static. Once I try the wool balls, I’ll be sure to write my review.