Doing Laundry

I’ve been making my own laundry soap for over a year now. Begrudgingly at first. I have sensitive skin and was not able to locate the regular laundry soap I’d been using, and trying something new can be a bit of a challenge.  I found a good recipe on TipNut and have altered it a bit for San Diego’s hard water and my own tastes. I add about a cup of baking soda and a little essential oil in a girly scent. I’m just at the point of having to re-up my supplies. I’ve made approximately four batches and, like I stated, I’m over a year in. You only need to use about 2 tablespoons per load.

The benefits are far beyond cost and convenience.  I have no worries of dermatitis anymore. I can make my laundry smell like lavender, peach or whatever scent I prefer.  It’s easy to make and only takes about a half hour every four months (keep in mind, I’m single and do far less laundry than a family would, so your mileage may vary.) And do I need to mention how green it is? The ingredients come in cardboard which I recycle and I use my old Oxy Clean tub for my soap powder, so I’m not filling up my trash with plastic bottles nor am I tossing more phosphates out in the world. Plus I kinda like the idea of sticking it to the (detergent) man – $15 for a bottle of laundry soap?!  Let’s say that’s about 52 loads – .29/load doesn’t seem bad. However, with my soap it comes out to about .09/load which, extrapolated out over a year’s time is $45.24 vs $14.04.

I also make my own spot remover. Just pour hydrogen peroxide (I don’t measure) in a spray bottle and add water. I spritz away on any stain. The only thing it doesn’t really remove well are oil-based stains. These I just spritz and rub with Fels Naptha soap. Works like a charm 95% of the time. I find that I rarely need bleach – if I use it, I throw in about a tablespoon full.  I don’t even know how little this costs – the bottle of peroxide is usually less than a dollar at the big box stores and I use (guessing) about 1/2 to a 1 cup in each spray bottle.

I use plain ole white vinegar as my fabric softener. Clothes are soft and static free. The added bonus is the vinegar is a sort of neutralizer in my condo complex laundry room. Sometimes there is commercial softener residue left in the washer and I don’t want to take the chance of a breakout.

All in all, my laundry looks great. I don’t have problems with colors fading and everything comes out feeling soft and lovely. However, Pinterest, in its crazy “everything exists here” world has brought to mind a (now) glaring omission – I miss the fluffy, new baby scent of fabric softener!  Well, there’s a homemade version that I found and will try on the next load. Very easy to make and you can either spray it on a washcloth and toss in the dryer, or pour in the washer.  I made mine with coconut Suave shampoo from the dollar store and added a little pineapple essential oil. Hoping for a light, tropical scent.

If you or anyone you know has sensitive skin, I highly recommend my routine to you. Or scout around the interwebs for alternatives that better suit you.  And it may seem like a lot of fiddly work – measuring, storing, labeling – but once you’ve got it down, it’s quick work for superior products than what is typically used.

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