Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Little Green Cleaning....

For quite some time now, my family has paid lots of attention to the foods we eat, trying to eat as much fresh and organic food as possible, avoiding any boxed or canned foods, eating out at restaurants only on very limited occasions and cooking almost entirely from scratch. That has gone really well and now I am trying to switch all other personal products and cleaning products to those that are not heavily laden with chemicals and strong perfumes. I've had good luck with switching to a natural and organic makeup (the lip color is the best!), using baking soda and vinegar and lemons to clean with, and I finally made the concentrated laundry powder I found here.

You use much less per load than you normally do for store brands, only about 2 Tablespoons! It has really been working well and so much cheaper than those traditional brands. For about $2 I have enough laundry powder to wash all the clothes in my home of 6 for two weeks or more! I highly recommend giving it a try! The simple cleaning power, the absence of harsh and dangerous chemicals, saving tons of money, and having a healthier home and family will make you so glad you did!

Here's the easy recipe!

CONCENTRATED LAUNDRY POWDER - can be used in a traditional or front load washer.

4 cups grated laundry bar soap, any will do (such as, but not limited to this) or homemade soap or soap flakes (Lux)
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl and store in two quart size Mason jars or a plastic container with a lid. Use 2 tablespoons per wash. This powder will not make suds and this is perfectly okay. An added chemical in commercial brands is what produces suds, but suds are not necessary for cleaning. I added a few drops of essential oil, from my local health food store, for fragrance while mixing the ingredients in the bowl...this isn't necessary, but if you choose to add a fragrance, make sure it is an essential oil like this, and not a fragrance oil.

Normally, one bar of the laundry soap will be the equivalent of 4 cups when grated on your box grater. Washing soda is the ingredient that is hardest to find in my area, although many people can find it easily in other areas of the country. I ordered mine from here....they had the lowest price (and shipping rate) I could find anywhere. I split the case of 12 boxes with my mother and those 6 boxes will assuredly last me for quite some time.

**For a little teamwork, this is a great thing to let the little ones help you mix up. They can help grate the bar of soap, measure out the borax or washing soda, stir the ingredients and spoon it over into your container. My next project is to make the liquid version of the laundry detergent because the liquid type has always been my favorite....besides, you can use it for other cleaning all around the home as well as a stain treatment for your clothing.

This is just one more step in the right direction for my family...for our finances, for teaching our children that you can be more self-sustaining without relying on the local super-store to supply each and every need at an ever-increasing cost, and most importantly a major step in the right direction for our health and well-being as we avoid so many chemicals and toxins that we are continually bombarded with in this modern, fast-paced life.