The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Revolution Laundry

We've decided to tackle some BIG stuff this year, but we're trying to take it in doable chunks.  We want to detox our home--this means detergents, plastics, soaps, shampoos, etc. The more we learn, the more we want to cut back and cut down on the icky stuff, but the more overwhelming it feels!  Let's face it, it isn't just a matter of education and making the decision to change--it means a complete overhaul of how we are used to keeping house.

I thought maybe we'd start by task or room.  Maybe start with laundry and move on to the kitchen and the bathroom.  We already do some decent, healthy, frugal things--wash in cold water and hang our laundry to dry whenever possible; but we have been clinging to some comfortable habits without thinking much about how healthy they are: for starters, using store-bought detergents and dryer sheets (even though we have tried to choose ones that claim to be safer and more eco-friendly.) But, we've decided it is definitely time to make some changes!

This past weekend, we made up our first ever batch of home-made laundry detergent:
  • 6 cups Borax
  • 4 cups Washing Soda
  • 4 cups Baking Soda
  • 2 fragrance-free Ivory soap bars, grated
  • 2 Tbspns Lavender Essential Oil
We mixed it up in a big bucket and I tried to make it as appealing as possible.  Going so far as to make a little tag out of a recycled greeting card and clipping it on with a clothespin: Laundry Soap: Use 2 Scoops! The cost of the ingredients tallied up to about $9.50--more than I would spend for one box of conventional laundry detergent, but this made about 2.5 gallons of powdery goodness and at only 2 Tbspns a load, we'll see if it ends up costing us less in the long run. Of course, for us, it is about making a switch to something that is healthier, eco-friendly, and affordable. Both Teri and I feel strongly that sustainability has to mean cost-effective, as well as useful, practical, and ecological.

We'll see how it goes--it took a little extra time to grate the soap and mix up the detergent, but it wasn't hard or laborious, by any means. I definitely felt better when I scooped it into the washing machine knowing I knew exactly what went into it!

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