However, after trying (and loving) some other homemade household product recipes, I decided to at least give it a try.
Results: I was very pleasantly surprised (actually, thrilled), but the REAL test was with Mr. SugarBee. He can be quite discerning (persnickety, really - not a bad thing when it comes to DIY recipes, as I tend to be overly optimistic) when it comes to homemade substitutions, and I knew that if this recipe didn't pass muster, we'd go right back to store-bought laundry soap.
Well, GUESS WHAT?
It passed with flying colors! Our laundry has NEVER been this clean before.
What a liberating feeling it is to not be dependent on mass-produced products, and this alternative in particular is a major deal to me.
Until I tried this recipe, I thought I was stuck shelling out mucho dinero for laundry detergent...
Well... not any more...
DIY Natural Laundry Soap
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 (3 oz.) bar soap (I used Ivory), finely grated*
- 1 cup Washing Soda** (I've had the hardest time finding this, but converted Baking Soda [NaHCO3] to Washing Soda [Na2CO3] by baking it at 400F for an hour)
- 20-30 drops Essential Oils (I used Lemongrass, Lemon, & Lavender).
Store in an airtight container.
Use 2 Tbsp per load (I've used up to 1/4 cup for heavily soiled loads)
*I've found that if I unwrap my bars of soap, and leave them out for a day or two, the bar hardens/dries out a bit, which makes for much more finely-grated soap.
**When I first started experimenting with this recipe, I could not find washing soda locally. It is readily available online (i.e. Amazon.com), but the cost of shipping increased the overall cost. After a bit of research (here, for example), I found that I could easily convert baking soda [NaHCO3] to washing soda [Na2CO3] by baking it at 400F for about an hour). Eventually, a friend found a source for washing soda, and since it was only $2.50 for a 55 oz. box (FAR cheaper than baking soda), I eagerly accepted her offer to pick up a few boxes for me.
In a pinch, I'd use the DIY method again, as it really did work to my satisfaction.