Keeping it Clean
Laundry, we all have to do it, some more often than others.
With a family of seven it’s being done just about every day. Thankfully, three of our oldest children that are 13 years or older do their own. We have a schedule so the kids know when I’ll be using the washer and dryer.
As I began learning about the harsh chemicals in laundry DETERGENTS it has lead me to look for gentler options, especially with sensitive, and dry skin in our home and the eczema I’ve battled most my life. Consequently, I try to avoid fels-naptha and Borax in the everyday cleaning. We’ll use it occasionally for stubborn stains.
Here are the soaps we’ve found that are affordable, clean fairly well and are gentle on the biggest organ of our bodies, your skin. These are soaps, NOT detergents.
We have a septic tank and have been told by the septic tank technicians that liquid soaps are best to keep your tank and drain-field unclogged. The last technician also said our tank keeps the microorganism healthy when we do NOT use the anti-bacteria soaps. Those microorganisms help by “eating” some of the material in your tank. This keeps the tank from filling up too fast; thus needing to be pumped sooner which is not free. Anti-bacteria soaps kill the good along with the bad bacteria. Regular soap can do the job of getting us clean.
This recipe we’ve use for over 2 years now. To save time and effort, I usually double the recipe to make 2 gallons at once.
This recipe makes 1 gallon and takes maybe 10 minutes to complete.
Liquid Laundry Soap:
1/3 c. salt
1 c. washing soda
1c. Castile liquid soap (There are many kinds and scents to choose from)
Warm salt, soda & water in a large pot – stir till mostly dissolved
Transfer to a 1 gal. bucket
Add soap fill rest with water and stir well
Use 1/4 to 1/2 c. of soap per load
Use about 1/4 c. of vinegar + add water to the fabric softener reservoir to fill, for softener if needed
Vinegar helps get out odors and softens clothes without more harsh chemicals and is so much cheaper than fabric softer.
I do like to alternate soaps once in awhile just to make sure we won’t have any build-ups and other options if I haven’t gotten around to making my soap.
Soap Nuts/Berries are another great affordable “green” laundry soap I like to keep on hand.
Put about five nuts in the little cloth bag tie and throw in while the water is running in your washing machine.
Load in clothes and wash normally
You do have to find that little bag when putting the wet clothes in the dryer so you can use it for 4 to 5 more washes, as long as you don’t let it go through the dryer cycle.
Here are some of the brands you can buy:
EcoNuts (This site has a little video)
Soap Berries These are the ones I bought through the Co-op we’re part of.
We also use wool dryer balls to help cut down any static and reduce clothes drying time.
And yes, we’ll buy a store bought detergent once in awhile, Seventh Generation is a good one.
Enjoy your clean laundry and healthier skin,