Saturday, June 9, 2012

DIY: Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener

It's been a long week. The whole land thing has been a little stressful and emotional, exciting and relieving. But now the weekend is here, and it's time to relax. Any time I can find a reason to get together with girlfriends, I'm there. Add a little brunch in the mix, and now we're really talking. The fathers took the kids for the morning, and gifted us mamas with some sweet time to sit and talk, and to relax and enjoy this Saturday morning, and then work on a little project together.

A few weeks ago I found a natural do-it-yourself website. They have come up with ways to replicate so many of the household things we use everyday, for a fraction of the price and with much fewer chemicals. So today, a few friends came over and we made laundry detergent, lavender or sweet orange scented fabric softener, and dishwasher detergent. It was a fun mess to make, and so much more fun to be making it with friends.

Here is the recipe I used for the laundry detergent:
1 bar of Fels Naptha- shaved or shredded. (I have found the easiest way for me, is to do it in the food processor, but you could also use a cheese shredder. The finer, the better.)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
(This is COMPLETELY safe for HE washing machines!)
Just mix these three ingredients up and store in an air tight container. The dust can be harmful to breathe, so either consider wearing a mask, or mixing it outside.

I find it most effective to do at least a double batch at a time. Sometimes I go ahead and grind up extra bars of Fels Naptha, two at a time, and keep those two in separate ziplocks labelled "2 bars Fels Naptha", to be mixed with the powders later, when I need them. I'm not a huge fan of pulling the food processor out and making a mess, so if I can get a bunch done at once, that's my preference.

The recipe for the fabric softener is this:
Pay attention, it is very complicated!
Get a jug of white vinegar and add some essential oils of your choosing. We use lavender. If you use a few drops, you will only smell it when you are pouring it. If you use a few tablespoons, you will smell it on your clothing. Just be sure to shake the your bottle of  "fabric softener" before use, as the oil will separate from the vinegar.

Happy Weekend to ya!


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