Sunday, April 22, 2012

Homemade Minted-Lemon Scented Laundry Detergent

Here we are getting back to the basics.  Because frankly, going convenient is no longer healthy, due to harmful chemical ingredients that are now being said to cause cancer (fabric softeners), and truthfully, price-wise, just plain out of control.  I sat back and did the math and was shocked at how much I have been spending on 'household' items.  Using the 'proper' amount of detergent for my laundry, I have been spending about $150 a year, give-or-take.  That is ridiculous and that is just for detergent, not even counting fabric softeners, bleach and stain removers like Oxy-Clean (which is crazy expensive).  I am absolutely done with all of this money wasting and the standing open invitation that I am giving to unnecessary harmful chemicals.  I have always been all about being natural and doing these by scratch.  By growing my own ingredients for most of my cooking, like my own herbs, vegetables, fruits and more.  So, I figured, why stop there?  For my family's health and my own pocket book, I will now and forever make my own laundry detergent.

1- 5 1/2oz. bar of Fels-Naptha
4 cups of hot water
a few sprigs of fresh mint bundled and tied with a piece of hemp (my mint was from out in my garden)
a few slices of fresh lemon (I used 5)
1 1/2 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax
1 1/2 cups of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
more hot water

-Grate the entire bar of the Fels-Naptha soap (I just used a handheld cheese grater to do it) right into a large stockpot; set aside.  Place your fresh mint bundle and lemon slices in a medium saucepan with 4 cups of water and get it going on the stove to a boil.  Boil the fruit and herbs for a couple of minutes, then strain it to remove all the leaves and lemons.  Pour the strained scented 4 cups of hot water right into your large stockpot with the grated bar of soap.   Stir  this mixture continuously over medium-low heat until all of the soap flakes have all melted (takes about 10 minutes). It should be a little frothy with no lumps at all. Next, fill a 5-gallon bucket half way full with hot tap water, pour in the soap mixture and add in 1 1/2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda along with 1 1/2 cups of Borax. Stir this well to combine it all and continue stirring it as you fill the rest of the way up with more hot tap water until the bucket is just about full.  Cover and let it sit overnight (I used a large plastic bowl cover, you could use a lid or saran wrap as well).  The next day, go ahead and uncover it to see that it has thickened up some; stir well.  At this point you can transfer it into containers by pouring it through a funnel into either an old empty detergent bottle (I saved my last couple of 96 load dispenser bottles just for this), old milk jugs, old fabric softener jugs and so on.  Just make sure to give it a good shaking or stirring before each use (it will gel up some from sitting-but that is ok).  Makes 5 GALLONS!  Enjoy saving money and getting creative with scent enhancements!

1 comment:

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