DIY Experiment: Laundry Detergent Edition

As part of our commitment to simple and eco-friendly living we spend a lot of time discussing things that we want to make from home, things that we can do to decrease our harmful impact on the world. We’ve focused mainly on cleaning supplies without all the harsh chemicals and growing our own food. These plans have been pushed back due to our preoccupation with preserving local food (and waiting for spring time to plant things outside and not in recycled peanut butter jars and milk cartons.) But now that we are half-way through the program and are done with the local eating experiment (more about that later!) and will be on SNAP (food stamps) we have more time to focus on other projects.

This week we made our own laundry detergent. Nothing special or unheard of, I know. With the internet (especially Pinterest), the popularity of DIY projects to save money, concerns about the chemicals in soap, and tradition, homemade laundry detergent is pretty common. But I had no idea how cheap and easy it really is to make. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by all of the ads for detergent, all of the different brands and types and smells and colors… We were able to circumvent all of that and use 3 ingredients- baking soda (which I’m convinced is a miracle cure-all), Borax, and scented castile soap.


We shaved the bar of soap and mixed the ingredients together. And voilà.


If you would like to learn more about making laundry detergent, my fellow Food Justice League-er Alex wrote an interesting blog post about the science-y and chemistry stuff.

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