Last post I mentioned my "is it green, cheap, or local?" quandary. I've started taking small steps to become more aware of what's in my house, what it contains, and where it came from. I'm really not happy with how toxic some of my household cleaners are, and how damned expensive some of them have gotten.
One example is laundry soap. Up until recently, I was a strictly Tide woman. To me, nothing else was satisfactory. Until I read about the levels of dioxane your average bottle contained. Also disturbing was the fact that I never could find out what was in that "fresh" fragrance. (Small sidetrack-this is the case with SO MANY things-you look at the label and all it says is "fragrance". Vague much?) Oh yeah, and this shit's expensive! Your prices may be different, but I was paying around $20 for a big jug.
So I decided to give making my own a shot. There are tons of recipes out there. Through trial and error I came up with this one. Seems to work great for me. Not only is it eco-friendly, it's cheap, too! I think my initial outlay was $15, and after a month I'm still on my first box of Borax.
1 large bar Ivory soap
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1 cup Borax
You'll also need a container to put your mix in, and something to scoop it with. I used an extra rubbermaid box and a spare tablespoon.
Grate your Ivory with an old box grater. I had one lying around that had gotten too beat up for food use.
Mix in your powdered ingredients really well. You'll want to give this another stir right before you use it. I add 2 tablespoons per load. That's it!
This is easily scaled up, so if you find a mega sale on Ivory or a pallet of Borax, you can make a ton at once. The only downsides I've found are the fact that it doesn't really work in cold water, and the lack of scent in my clean laundry. For some this might not be a big deal, but I kinda miss the fake mountain spring aroma of fresh clean clothes. I'm toying with the idea of adding a few drops of essential oil to the mix for a little freshness.