Chemical Free Laundry Soap Formulas, an Essential Guide
An Argument For Doing Your Laundry the Essential Green Way
Manufacturers of laundry products spend a great deal of their time and money to advertise the products they produce. These companies attempt to convince consumers that their detergents, softeners, whiteners, and stain removers have magical powers that will annihilate laundry problems better than their competitors. In reality, not one of them does. The big laundry product companies get their cleaning power from some pretty caustic stuff like bleach, EDTA, and optical brighteners (that are generally very irritating allergens), proving that magic has nothing to do with their effectiveness. The honest truth (and fact) remains this, almost every commercial laundry soap contains close to 70% regular old washing soda. Where the differences fall into play is in the fragrance, color, and the percentage of additives in their formulas.
Detergent vs Homemade Essential Oil Laundry Soap
Whether you realize it or not, you are more than likely using a lot more store bought laundry detergent per laundry load than you really need to. Do you know how much is really needed? Don't be fooled, the recommended amount on the box is almost twice as much as is needed for an average load. And get this; using too much detergent actually traps the dirt you just washed out of your clothes because it causes a residue to linger within the clothes fibers to grab hold of the dirt as it floats around in the washing machine cycle. So, if not for the sake of being environmentally friendly, think about the residue that WON"T get caught in your clothes, and the relief your budget will get from using less detergent in the first place!
Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips
- White Vinegar - Softens Blankets, dissolves uric acid (urine), reduces soap residue, breaks up grease and oil, is a natural bleach, helps prevent static cling in the dryer.
- Laundry Soap and Hard Water - Laundry soap won't clean as well in hard water, adding zeolite powder, orrisroot, baking soda, or borax to the wash corrects this problem.
- Where to Get Natural Soap Flakes - England exports Dri-Pak Soap Flakes, that are sold in 1-pound or 2-pound boxes. These are imported by MSO Distributing. Or you can click on the Soap Flakes above (in this section) to order now.
- Washing in Cold Water - Prevents shrinking, dyes won't release, great for bright colors, lightly soiled items, dedicates, and it saves energy too!
- Warm Water and Wrinkles - Reduces wrinkling, reduces bleeding of colors, best for washable wool, permanent press, dark colors, and synthetic fabrics.
- Hot Water Magic - Best for heavy soiled items, towels, whites, pastels, and light-colored prints. Never use on 100% cotton or wool or they will shrink. Wash 100% cotton in cold water and hand wash 100% wool.
NATURAL LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPES
If you would rather simply purchase a natural laundry soap, Dr. Bonner's is said to be the most popular liquid castile soap around, and is offered in a variety of scents. You can pick some up (at right) if you don't wish to make your own essential oil recipe.
Basic Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe
- 2¼ cups liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon glycerin
- ¾ cup water
- 11 - 16 drops of your favorite essential oil
Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic or glass container, or a squirt bottle. Give it a couple of shakes before adding to the wash. ¼ cup for the average load, ½ cup for large or really dirty loads.
Basic Powder Laundry Soap Recipe
You will get about six average loads of laundry out of this formula, but go ahead and double it to save yourself time later!
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup cup scented baking soda (check the essential oil chart for your desired selection)
- 1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure soap bar.
Add ingredients together, mix well, and store in strong plastic container. Use ½ cup for the average load.
Hard Water Laundry Soap Recipe
- 1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure soap bar
- 1 cup washing soda
- ½ cup borax
- 2 cups vinegar
- 12 drops of your favorite essential oil
Mix together only the soap, washing soda, and borax in a sturdy plastic container. Blend the vinegar and essential oils in a different container that has a pouring spout. Use ½ cup of dry soap mix for the wash cycle, and ½ cup of the vinegar blend during the rinse cycle.
Baby's Laundry Soap Recipe
- 3 drops essential oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¼ cup borax
- ¼ cup white vinegar
Mix the essential oil with the castile soap if you decide to include it. Then, add this blend to the washing machine along with the washing soda, baking soda, borax and vinegar. Wash as usual! Looking for a natural way to get those cloth nappy's white?
Diaper Whitening Recipe
- ½ cup borax
- ½ cup vinegar
- 7 - 9 drops of essential oil
- Bucket of hot water
Mix all ingredients together in the bucket using the hot water. Soak diapers for 30 -40 minutes (or more) and then launder as usual.
No More Harsh Chemicals in My Washing Machine!
About Essential Oils and the Chart Below
Herbal essential oils can be added into your laundry formulas (liquid or powdered) or even put right into the softener dispenser of your washing machine. Essential oils not only boost cleaning power but they bring with them a clean, fresh scent.
Essential oils also bring some very therapeutic qualities. Such as, add tea tree oil to your laundry if you suffer with frequent yeast infections. Eucalyptus essential oil is great to use when a loved one in the household is suffering from a cold. Jasmine, rose, or ylang-ylang essential oil get those romantic thoughts going when used on your evening wear. I encourage you to experiment with each! Even try new and unique blends from the essential oil chart below!
A Fun Essential Oil Laundry Tip
Try adding essential oils to regular baking soda for a herbal-scented laundry booster. Baking soda adds whitening power and naturally softens hard water troubles. Using a 16-ounce box, add 15 - 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. You mix it right inside the box! You just add the oils to the container and shake the heck out of it. Or you can add 4 - 5 drops of essential oil to one (1) cup of white vinegar; the oil increases the cleaning power and also assist in the removal of bad odors that may be lingering in the fabric.
Each of the essential oils listed in the chart below help to clean and freshen laundry. They also offer a few extra benefits, as you will see.
ESSENTIAL OIL CHART FOR LAUNDRY
Adds a clean, woodsy scent, great for those macho men (and women)
Soothing, brings a sense of calm
Excellent for cold and sinus troubles, best when used in colder months
Very relaxing, releases tense muscles
Stimulating, great for boosting the whites in the laundry
Great for colds and sinus trouble, invigorates energy levels
For a more romantic scent
Calming (but can be stimulating on its own)
Tangerine and Sweet orange
Helps remove stains and whiten laundry, very uplifting
Antibacterial and antifungal, great for laundering socks and athletic wear
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