Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Imperfectly Pinterest: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Peer pressure is highly overrated in my opinion. I never did anything that I didn't want to do. Honestly, the first time that I heard someone mention making her own laundry detergent, my initial reaction was to question her sanity.

Then came Pinterest. The ginormous guilt trip to which so many of us subscribe. I found a couple of recipes for both liquid and dry detergent, and it seemed to be a big deal. I made both. I prefer the powder version for whites and lights, but my HE machine makes me nervous when using cold water and powder detergent. You can find the liquid recipe that I used here, and the simpler powder detergent recipe here.

If you want to know why I decided to give it a whirl, I honestly don't know. I think it's my way of compensating for the fact that I do not coupon. If you were looking for a girl who decorates her laundry detergent container, you have come to the wrong place. Don't worry. I'm sure that the next time you stop by, I'll have cricut acrylic letters to label the antique glass jars in which I keep my housekeeping supplies. Because that would make me a better wife and mother.

A few hints:
  • Although you don't have to use Fels Naptha soap, I recommend it. I didn't use it for the first three attempts because I read that it can cause skin irritation. I read further to discover that the old formulation could cause skin irritation, but the new formulation does not. Using Fels Naptha does make a difference in that the clothes smell better. I also add sweet lemon essential oil, which blends well with the soap. It is more difficult to hand grate, though.
  • I set my machine on "Presoak". It doesn't use any more water, but it does take a few minutes longer. I've found that homemade detergent doesn't have as intense of a smell, but presoaking does help the scent stay longer.
  • Do NOT feel guilty if you decide to stick with the store-bought stuff. even if you do a ton of laundry, this will only save you a few dollars a week. Although it will make you feel better on that one day that you typically buy laundry detergent, it isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. If you like making stuff, go for it. If that just isn't your thing, who cares?!

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