Make Your Own Environmentally Friendly Detergent and Fabric Softener

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These days, more people are looking for products that are better, safer and cheaper. We want it all to be better – from the food we eat, to the toys our children play with, right down to the detergents we use to clean our homes and laundry.

 For those earth conscious and health conscious consumers, products such as 2X Concentrated Laundry Liquid, Free+Clear 50 OuncesandSeventh Generation Fabric Softener, 32 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2) Packaging May Vary have become stock items in most grocery stores, where they were previously only available in specialty stores. While they are not the cheapest solution, they are eco-friendly and family friendly.

 If you have a few extra minutes and want to save a bunch of money, you can make your own laundry products. I have made each of these and they work just as well (if not better) than their store-bought counterparts, in my front-loading, HE (high-efficiency) washer.

Homemade Laundry Detergents

Powdered –

1 bar of laundry soap, shaved/grated (I useFels Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover, 5.5 Ounce) 1 cup of borax 1 cup of washing soda (I useMule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Variety Pack)

All of the above can be found at most grocery stores – just mix together and use 1 – 2 tablespoons per wash load (depending on size). Store in airtight container.

Liquid –

1 pint of boiling water
1 cup of grated laundry soap
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda

Add the grated soap to the boiling water and mix until the soap is completely melted. Pour the soapy water into a large pot and add the borax and washing soda, stirring until dissolved. Add one gallon of water and stir. When cooled, you can transfer it into old liquid laundry detergent containers or any other sealed container. Use ¼ cup for each wash load. Remember to shake or stir the container before each use, as the mixture will gel when cooled.

Homemade Fabric Softener

Just adding a ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle should give you nice results – and no, your laundry won’t come out smelling like vinegar!

Or you can make this:

1 cup baking soda
6 cups distilled white vinegar
8 cups water
5-10 drops essential oils (Optional)

Bucket for mixing

Reuse old fabric softener or detergent container (clean).

Mix baking soda and one cup of the water in bucket. Slowly add in the vinegar and when it stops fizzing, add the rest of the water. If you want a fragrance, use your favorite essential oil adding 5 to 10 drops (start with less, you can always add more later). Pour mixture into container, put on top and remember to shake before using.

Pour 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup in your fabric softener dispenser - or the at the beginning of the rinse cycle for machines without that feature.

If you are one of those people who often forget to add softener to the rinse cycle, you can make your own dryer sheet by putting just a little bit of your homemade fabric softener on an old washcloth or clean rag, and toss it in the dryer. Just dampen the cloth with a little - you don’t want it dripping on to your clothes.

Reduce Static Cling –

Roll up a ball of aluminum foil (about 2 to 3 inches in diameter) and toss it in the dryer to help reduce static cling. They last for months and can be recycled when you are done!