Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Update In Honor Of Earth Day

Back in the beginning of March I wrote a post about the homemade laundry soap I made. You can click here. if you want to read it and get the recipe. It's been a couple of months. I've truly gotten a feel for how I like it. I'm on my third batch 'cause I have shared it with my mother-in-law so she can see if she likes it. Yes! It is a miracle! I actually love my MIL - and she loves me! At least that's what she tells me. Anyway, this stuff is truly AMAZING!

Some things I've noticed since using it:

a) Our clothes are REALLY soft. I have even quit using fabric softener because they are so soft. Now I just place about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse water. I'll comment on that more in a minute.

b) Our clothes rarely have static cling when I take them out of the dryer.

c) This one is a little revealing. How many of you that have been married for a while actually buy new bath towels? I have recently begun to replace ours because the ones that we were using are shameful. You know the look - ripped edges and thread-bare middles. Then there's that nasty grayish cast that they take on over the years. Weeelll...that nasty little grayish cast on our towels is vanishing. Yes, people, it's VANISHING. It's like some magical mystery potion has enveloped our bath towels.

d) Our clothes look BETTER, CLEANER.

e) Our whites are WHITER.

f) We have very hard water and had begun to see rust marks in the area that holds detergent and what not. The rust marks are now gone.

g) We have this awesome, thick, fuzzy blanket that is red, white and blue. It got washed with something else red that bled all over it about a year ago and has been red, pink and blue ever since. Do you know that since I've been using the homemade laundry soap it has pulled all of the pink out of that blanket and it's red, white and blue once again? I kid you not!

I am still amazed and astounded that something so cheap, so safe, so simple to make is having such a huge impact on my laundry. I feel like it's new advocate. My mom just made a batch and split it with my sister. Good reports, so far.

If you read my blog much you'll know that I am on a mission to rid our home and yard of chemicals and pesticides. I checked out this great book from our library recently, "Clean Home, Green Home" by Kimberly Delany. It is full of great information and easy recipes if you are on this journey, too. I highly recommend it.

I just wanted to share a couple of things Kimberly mentioned in this book. Keep in mind that the homemade laundry soap consists of 3 ingredients, plus water: Fels Naptha soap, washing soda and Borax. Also, keep in mind that I am only using white vinegar in my rinse cycle.

This is some information concerning vinegar. It disinfects, loosens dirt, deodorizes, removes mineral deposits, stains, and tarnish, and eliminates static cling when added to the rinse cycle. Go figure. Also, studies show that distilled white vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs. I now by this stuff by the gallon. I use it everywhere.

Now, allow me to share some information about soda. Not the kind you drink, silly! It's abrasive enough to make a great scrubber that won't damage most surfaces, it eats odor and works as a deodorizer and (get this) you can add it to the wash cycle to soften fabric!

Lastly, here are some things that Borax does. It can be used as an abrasive to scrub stubborn stains off of counters or bathtubs, cleans toilets, cleans ovens, whitens clothing when added to the wash cycle, and it fights mold, bacteria and neutralizes odors.

All right. Now you have another update on my homemade laundry detergent and one more (actually many more) reason to try it for yourself. And really, if you're interested in finding out more money saving, healthy cleaning options you need to see if your local library has "Clean Home, Green Home" by Kimberly Delaney. You can also get it online. It won't disappoint.

OK. I'm outta here folks! Have a great "Hump Day"!


  1. Hi Pam,

    I clicked a link on another blog while surfing today and it got me to you. And I'm glad it did... I've really enjoyed your blog!

    I, too, recently began my foray into making my own laundry soap and had read on a forum that you can substitute other types of bar soap (one lady even used up bars of hotel soaps in hers with great success). So, not finding Fels Naptha in our area and being too impatient to wait for Amazon to send me some, I substituted dollar store 3-for-$1 Jergen's Pure & Natural bar soap (I used a whole bar for a double batch, which made 4 gallon milk jugs full). The clothes are clean, soft and smell good, and there doesn't seem to be any chemical residue irritating my sensitive skin (makes me cringe at how much I've spent on 'hypo allergenic' liquid and baby detergents over the years!).

    I've read that Fels Naptha and Ocatagon bars are best for pre-treating stains, so I intend to locate some for that and to try a batch of it to see if it seems to do any better...but for now I'm totally cool with my cheap dollar store soap version (it also works pretty well in my handsoap dispensers, though not quite as 'thick' and 'creamy' as we've come to 'expect' from commercial products).

    It's fun to find other 'kindred spirits' out there who appreciate this sort of thing, lol.

  2. I hate static cling. I will have to try the vinegar tip, thanks for sharing.


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