Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals for 2012 - Number One

A few months ago, Hubby brought this article to my attention. Since then, I've been determined to get the chemicals outta Dodge. About the same time, a friend of mine posted some DIY detergent recipes on her Facebook page. AND for Christmas my mom gave me some dryer balls. Looks like someone is trying to tell me something. So as our cleaners run out, I'll replace them with stuff that I've made myself. It's going to be a long process as I shop at Costco and have large amounts of Clorox bathroom cleaner and Snuggle fabric softener.

I thought that it was going to be an easy transition because Hubby was so adamant about how horrible the chemicals were. Turns out, he's against all chemicals except the ones that are in Snuggle. I tried to switch over to the fabric softener made from vinegar, water and baking soda. For me, it's wonderful. The laundry is clean and soft and smells fresh without any overpowering aroma. Hubby likes the aroma. I had a bit of Snuggle left and he used it on a load last week. He was like Linus with his blanket. Well, all but the thumb sucking part. It was sadly cute how he went on and on about the scent and the softness. I feel sorry for him. The chemicals do make the clothes smell nice and feel preternaturally soft. I'll give him that. But I'd rather play it safe and use only ingredients that I can pronounce.

Today I made a batch of laundry detergent and fabric softener. I snuck in a few drops of essential oils and I think I may have found the answer. I'm waiting for the first load to come out of the dryer to see how it worked. Judging from the aroma in the utility room, I'm golden!

So . . . first goal for 2012 - by the end of the year I want to be making the majority of my own cleaning products. Here's the recipe from my friend Tara for laundry and dishwasher detergent:

Laundry soap:
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
2 bars of Fels Naptha (some use other brands like dove, Irish spring however this brand is for stains)
86 loads

(I used Ivory. I shredded it in my food processor and then added the Borax and Washing Soda and mixed it all up. My food processor is really clean now.)

Dishwashing soap:
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
2 cups Lemi Shine
1 cup Kosher salt
112 loads

(I didn't add the Lemi Shine, I used vinegar in the rinse cycle.)

1 tbls per load and all ingredients can be found in the laundry and dish soap sections.

And here's a recipe that I found for fabric softener:

Recipe #3

2 cups vinegar
1 cup baking soda
2 cups water
Essential oils (optional)
Instructions: In a large container, mix together your vinegar and baking soda. As you add the vinegar, your mixture will start to fizz, so make sure your mixing container is at least twice as large as the final volume. Let your mixture sit for a few minutes, allowing the baking soda to dissolve. Now add your water and essential oil (around 10 to 15 drops should do).

(I used Wyndmere's Anxiety Release essential oil because that's what I had on hand. I haven't added it into the container yet, though. I wanted to see if the rest of my family like it. I put a drop or two into the wash and a drop or two into the fabric softener.)

Stay tuned for for Goal Number Two. (Once I decide what it is . . . )


Melissa Tyler said...

I think the best thing you can do when starting major changes is to allow "moderation." Making your own detergents is a big deal, and changing 90% of them will remove massive amounts of chemicals. I wouldn't feel bad if you keep a family favorite.

There's a book "At Home" by Bill Bryson that talks (among many, many other things) about how households used to have to make EVERYTHING from scratch, from silver cleanser to boot polish. Whole different world!

Cabin77 said...

I agree. And I am taking it slowly. Right now, it's just the laundry because that's what we ran out of first! ;-) I'm going to try the DIY softener for a while since I mixed up a batch. No guarantees that we'll stick with it, though. Hubby may put on the puppy dog eyes.

Tara said...

Thanks for the shout out! Also, the dishwasing detergent works great on tile floors with tough grout stain. Dissolve into extremely hot water and spray or pour on floors (depending on how much you use). Leave solution on floor and allow it to really soak in for 15 to 30 mins. Put a paper towel on your swifter mop or grab a scrub brush or plain old mop (depending on how much cleaner you use) and finish the job. Get resolution for 2012 btw!

gina m said...

How did the laundry turn out? Did Hubby approve? How do you store the detergent and the fabric softener?

Yes, I'm full of questions.

Nannette Turner said...

I started making my own laundry detergent last year. In 2011 I spent less than $7.00 on laundry detergent I won't go back to the store bought detergent again!