I was going to go with a huge batch as inspired by One Good Thing by Jillee but I was unsure about some of the ingredients trying to make it as green as it could be. For example, I wasn't sure I wanted fabric softener in my detergent. I may change my mind later after a few test runs but so far, I like what I made.
After scouring the web and reading many recipes and comments, I decided more along the lines of the recipe at Keeper of the Home. 3 main ingredients... that's it. They give a very small batch recipe. I was going to triple it to use the whole box borax and the whole box of washing soda but ultimately decided to go with the small batch recipe to make sure I like it. I can always tweak it later.
Now that I found the recipe I was going to use, my next step was to figure out how to get it the way I want it, especially the aroma. I love a good smell, lavender being my favorite. It's hard to get it just right sometimes because if it's not done right, it can give me a headache that lasts for days. It has to be clean and it can't be overwhelming.
So, one of the comments I read from One Good Thing by Jillee's blog was that in the process of trying to make her detergent smell good, she wasted a whole bottle of essential oil. I estimate that to be about $20 down the drain, more expensive than any detergent on the store shelf just for that one component. And she got no redeeming results. Eeeegad.
As I was scouring the innerwebs, a light bulb went off. I'm sorry I can't credit the site that gave me this idea- I can't find it anywhere now. But they said you could use any bar of soap and had a picture of Dove cucumber soap. Nice! But Dove isn't very clean (ha! soap not clean) in their ingredients but it made me think to use something like Dr Bronner's lavender or what I happened to have:
So without further ado, here's what I did:
- 1C of Borax
- 1C of Washing Soda
- 1 bar of grated Farmers' Market Lavender Eucalyptus Soap
I only grated the soap. Some recipes call for you to grate and then pulverize it in the food processor or blender to be extra fine. I agree with Keeper of the home though...it all dissolves anyway.
Mix together and Voila! Yummy laundry. Use 1-2 tablespoons for HE machines. I don't have HE so I used about 4 tablespoons (about 1/4C).
I ran a batch of towels last night and this morning and am super pleased with the results. Now, I'm almost out of dishwashing detergent. On to the next homemade cleaning solution!