DIY Laundry Detergent

I'm so sorry that I have been neglecting you guys!  If you follow me on Twitter, you likely already know that something major happened in my family, and while I don't want to go into it, I just wanted to let the rest of you know that it was a family emergency that caused my absence.

Anyway, we're going to get back in the swing of things, and today I'm sharing something special with you: how my family makes their own laundry detergent!  I've been going through a massive simplifying/minimizing phase, really trying to get at the heart of what we need and what makes my family happiest, and to be honest, this is one of those things that has made a big difference.

Both Joe and I have relatively sensitive skin, which I've talked about several times, including in my last laundry related post, and a lot of the chemicals in detergents you can purchase from the store are just too harsh for us, which makes a more natural alternative highly appealing.  Plus, with any DIY project, you can customize it as much as your heart desires to get different scents, etc., which you'll see toward the end.

As for the basics of this detergent, though, you'll need a cheese grater you can devote specifically to this purpose, Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, and a bar of Fels-Naptha.  You can probably use just about any bar soap, but Fels-Naptha has a really nice citrusy-fresh scent, and it's really good at getting stains out of clothing!  I typically just pick all of it up at Walmart.

Combine the Borax and Washing Soda in a large container.  You may notice that this is not the same container that is pictured above.  Because this recipe makes so much detergent, I like to make one big batch at a time, and keep the majority of it stored in this glass container, then separate it out into a smaller one (pictured above) to have next to our washer and dryer.  But, I'll talk more about that, later. ;)

Then, using the cheese grater, grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha into the Borax and Washing Soda.  Fels-Naptha is a softer soap, so try not to grasp it too hard, or it will likely melt in your hands!  Mix everything together well.

Now, it's time for a little customization.  I first like to separate a some of my detergent into a smaller container, as I mentioned before.  The container I'm using is actually an ice bucket I found at Target, that came with its very own scoop!  Unfortunately, the scoop does have holes in it...but I just make sure to hold the lid beneath, so I don't lose any detergent to the floor.

I then took some Lavender essential oil that you may recognize from my DIY Felted Dryer Balls and my Diffusing Essential Oils posts!  It's from the brand Aura Cacia, and I've been using it so much, just because I love the scent.  However, the next time I need lavender oil, I'll likely get it from Young Living.  Obviously, you don't need to use lavender.  This is where you can really get creative, and choose scents that you really like!  Just make sure the oil is well incorporated in your detergent.

That's it!  That's all I do for a nice, cheap batch of natural detergent that smells exactly the way I want it too, won't irritate our skin, and I don't have to be running to the store as much!  There are so many benefits to it, and you use it just as you would a normal one.  Easy, right?  Oh, and I do have to mention that this works incredibly well with those DIY Felted Dryer Balls I posted about last December.  I'm still keep three of them in the dryer at all times, and just occasionally refresh their scent by adding a little essential oil to them.

If you try this out, please let me know how it worked for you!  Leave a comment here, or chat with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.  I'd love to know what scents you've created!

Thank you so much for being so understanding about my absence, and make sure to stop back on Thursday for a very special post!  I've been working on something I'm quite excited about, and I'll give you a hint: it has to do with knitting!  Until then, love you!