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I've been waiting for the day when we run out of our store-bought laundry detergent. As a general rule, I like to replace commercial products with homemade ones whenever they run out. It's been my big project of 2016. Today we finally ran out of laundry detergent, so it can be added to my list of DIY products.
A lot of the recipes I found online called for Borax. There seems to be a divide in the DIY community about whether Borax is truly safe or not, though most have come to the conclusion that it is. Since the whole point of making my own products is to eliminate as many toxins as possible, I decided that I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use it. Not only did this prevent me from having to go out and buy a box of Borax, it also set my mind at ease. (But that's just my mind! A lot of people swear by Borax. Do your own research and make your own choices. I'm never here to tell people: Do these things this way. I'm here to tell you: Do things YOUR way.)
The Borax-free recipe I found is from Mommypotamus. Here's what you'll need:
3 bars castile soap
6 cups washing soda
Optional: lemon essential oil
Here's what you do. Cut the soap up into small cubes. (Notice how much it resembles cheese and offer some to your partner, but obviously tell him it's soap before he eats any.) Throw the soap into a food processor and add the washing soda. Blend. You may need to put a dish towel over the food processor in case a fine mist rises while you blend. I have an awesome food processor (thank you Mom and Dad!) so this was not a problem for me.
Put the blended soap in a container. Use 2-3 tablespoons with each load of laundry. If using lemon essential oil, add about 5 drops separately with each load. I didn't get any lemon oil, but apparently it is a nice degreaser if you do.
So I just finished my first load of laundry using the new detergent. My clothes seem as clean as ever. I'll keep you posted about how it holds up going forward.