This week on my 52 Ways, I am going to start making my own dry laundry detergent. Ever since the inception of BGH, It’s something I’ve always wanted to try.
It just seems like it would feel good to use it, like eating homemade bread instead of store bought; you just know everything that goes into it and it feels right. The cost is another part I like about it. Is it just me or is laundry detergent a rip off? The "reliable" brands are pricey and the cheap ones make half of my family break out into hives.
Did you know?
In the 1960s, detergent manufacturers waged an advertising battle over who had the longest lasting suds, and detergent compounds quickly appeared in the waterways. Suds began to appear in streams, rivers, lakes, and at the foot of Niagara Falls, where piles of discolored detergent foam rose eight feet high. As with dishwashing liquid, the suds are totally cosmetic and add no cleaning value, but are created by an additive surfactant.
Detergents also contain phosphate additives.
"Barry Commoner ... noted that between 1940 and 1970 the amount of phosphates in city wastewater increased from 20,000 to 150,000 tons per year." With the increase in phosphates, algal blooms grew splendidly on the excess phosphorus and consumed most of the oxygen in the waters, killing fish and plants."
These are compelling reasons to adopt the cheaper, homemade version. The only thing holding me back has been finding the ingredients. I’m not a big online shopper, but for those who are, this would be very convenient. I’m in the “don’t plan ahead” camp, who runs out to the store in the middle of a load to buy more. I suppose I will have to plan a little bit better than that when I switch to home-made detergent, but supposedly it makes a ton! I’ll let you know.
WE NOW PAUSE FOR A BRIEF INTERMISSION WHILE KAREN GOES TO BUY HER DETERGENT INGREDIENTS...
I’m back from my errand and I’m happy to share that I found everything I needed at my local grocery store. The Borax and Washing soda were located in the laundry isle. I could not find soap flakes, so I made my own by grating 4 bars of Ivory Soap in my food processor. My total cost - $10.70.
I mixed all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and transferred it to an old empty Arm and Hammer detergent box I saved just for this occasion. Immediately the smell reminds me of a Laundromat, fresh and clean... I liked it.
Next step, turn my family into human guinea pigs and throw in some laundry. I started with towels but threw in a few undergarments. If anyone was going to have an allergic reaction, I’d know right away!
Here is what I learned: