Natural products (cleaning, personal care and food) are important to me. One of my number one goals is to always be working to reduce my toxic load. What does that mean? Well every day we’re exposed to gazillions of toxins from things like:
- pesticides on our food
- pollutants from living in a city, or near a highway
- air fresheners
- make up
- personal care products (shampoo, deodorant, perfume)
- chemicals in our water
- flame retardants on mattresses, couches, computers, clothes
- cleaning products (kitchen, bathroom, laundry)
- pharmaceuticals (prescribed, OTC and in our meat/dairy)
- the list goes on and on….
Some of these things you can totally avoid by purchasing organic food, cleaning up your make up/skin care routine and changing from air fresheners to essential oils. However some you simply can’t avoid. So instead of going crazy over trying to avoid every last toxin (which is impossible), by avoiding the toxins you are able to, you take the constant pressure off your detox pathways, which will allow them to do their job when they do get exposed to toxins you are unable to avoid. Make sense?
One way is to make your own cleaning products! I’ve used vinegar, lemon, baking soda and castille soap in various combinations for kitchen and bathroom cleaning for a long time now, and I will never go back. Not only is it incredibly effective, but super inexpensive as well!
Laundry detergent, however, is something that I came to later. I purchased “clean” detergent from health food stores for years, but always wondered how effective a DIY version would be. I was hesitant to try it on any of the washing machines in my previous living arrangements, because we were renting so they weren’t mine. As soon as we moved into our first house though, I was ready to make the change.
As with all DIY home products, I hopped over to One Good Thing By Jillee and found this post about variations on laundry detergents. I made a few tweaks and eventually came to the following recipe. I have been using this recipe in my high efficiency washing machine for 9 months now and our washing machine is doing just fine! Our clothes come out fresh and clean – even if they’re super dirty!
Homemade Laundry Detergent (adapted from this post)
- 3 tbsp Borax
- 3 tbsp Washing Soda (not baking soda! I found it at Home Hardware)
- 3 tbsp Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap (I like lavender or citrus, but any scent will work)
- 20-30 drops essential oil (optional – I like lavender or citrus)
- Pour borax and washing soda into an empty detergent container (approximately 3L in volume).
- Add 4 cups of boiling water. Stir/shake to combine.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with tap water. Let cool to about room temperature.
- Add castille soap and essential oil (if using) and gently swirl to combine.
- When using, fill the detergent holder on your washing machine to the max line. None of the ingredients are sudsy, so it won’t oversuds your laundry like using regular detergent!