I finally did it. I finally made my own laundry powder. The first load just finished and it's fantastic. Everything is clean and smells so fresh.
I've thought about making my own laundry powder for a while but I never fully committed to doing it. I wasn't sure if it was okay to use it with the type of cloth diapers were were using (some people said yes, some said no) and I didn't want to risk it. There was no where in our town to buy diaper safe detergent so I found a place online where I could order the detergent I liked without paying tax or shipping. That's what I did for the first year we lived here.
And then they stopped selling it. Conveniently for me, L. was ready to quit using diapers at the same moment I realized we weren't going to be able to get diaper safe detergent.
Even though I no longer have to worry about the safety of my cloth diapers I didn't want to go back to using mainstream detergent. We have several people in the house with super sensitive skin and I don't like the chemicals and brighteners and everything else I can't pronounce on the ingredient list. And I don't like the idea of them scumming up the washing machine I worked so hard to clean to protect the cloth diapers from buildup.
So, I decided to take the plunge. I found a recipe for a laundry powder on SouleMama's blog that sounded perfect and easy. That was the key factor. It is so EASY. Here is the link to the original recipe.
2 cups finely grated castille soap
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup soda ash (also known as laundry soda)
Container to put it all in (I used a old tin from some laundry soap I bought a while back)
Like SouleMama I used Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar. I'm already a big fan of that particular soap so it wasn't a hard decision. I went down to our health food store this morning to buy the soap and guess what? They're carrying a diaper safe detergent now. On the shelves. In the store. Some timing huh?
But guess what else? It costs $17.99 a box not including tax. Yikes. And that is only good for 80 loads. If I ever need to wash diapers again I think I'll try the unscented Dr. Bronner's.
Anyhow, back to making the laundry powder.
Grate the bar of castille soap. Then mix in the other ingredients. Now you're done.
It's that simple. I used my cheese grater to grate the soap. I used the one with the smallest holes. I've heard some people use their food processor but since I don't have one I didn't use one.
You'll want to store the laundry powder in an airtight container and use about 1/8 cup (two tablespoons) per load. SouleMama says you may need to adjust the sodas a bit depending on your water. I have a top loading machine and an 1/8 cup worked fine for me.
Have you ever made your own laundry powder or liquid? How did you do it? Do you like it?