It is officially summer!
And that means lots and lots of laundry!
You would think less since we are wearing less layers but with sweat, dirt, and lots of time spent outside I feel like we are going through multiple outfits a day. Add to that cloth diapers, cloth napkins/rags and the piles are really stacking up. I normally manage with a load or two a day but this summer seems to be getting the best of me.
As with most things in our life we try to keep things simple, frugal, and natural. And if you look at the ingredients on laundry detergent they are anything but. I tried many natural laundry detergents but found them to be expensive and not super effective. I was still having to add boosters to make them work.
We tried using soap nuts for awhile. I loved that soap nuts were natural and could be composted after using but they had trouble removing stains and odors.
Then I came across some laundry detergent recipes online and gave a few a try. They were simple and worked surprisingly well. Years later we still favor homemade laundry detergent. The recipe I settled on and that works the best for us is below.
1 bar of homemade coconut oil soap finely grated (a Dr. Bronner's bar works too)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup OxiClean
20-40 drops of lemon essential oil (lemon deodorizes and helps cut grease)
Mix all ingredients in a container, stirring well to incorporate the essential oil. Sometimes I will add the grated soap and washing soda to a food processor to get a finer powder before mixing in the other ingredients.
Use 2-4 tablespoons per load.
Sometimes I run out of our coconut oil soap (or I'm feeling lazy and don't want to grate the bar) and instead will mix up the other ingredients and just add a squirt of natural dish soap to the washer along with each load. That also works well and saves the time I would have spent grating the soap. I'll also add a little dish soap to the load (or spot treat) if the clothes are extra soiled or have car grease on them. If there is a food stain I will pre-treat with dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.
If I am going to use this with cloth diapers I omit the bar soap and use the powder mixture in place of the straight OxiClean. Here is a breakdown of my cloth diaper wash routine.
Now I should probably get back to the mountain of laundry that is calling my name :)
P.S. This post may be linked up with the following blog hops: Monday- The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Tuesday- The Homestead Blog Hop, Wednesday- The Homemaking Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Coffee and Conversation, Thursday- Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Friday- From the Farm Hop, Awesome Life Friday, Saturday- Simply Natural Saturdays, Simple Saturdays.