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Homemade Lavender Laundry Detergent Powder



I have been getting more irregular with my postings recently, but better late than never I always say. I remember when I first started this blog in August 2019, I had the goal to post every Monday & Friday, which slowly dwindled down to every Monday, which dwindled even further to no real set schedule & just posting when I am able so thank you to everyone who has stuck around this long.


I realized that I haven’t posted recently about DIY/ sustainable home products, so I wanted that to be my focus for this week’s post. Today, we’re going to be making sustainable home-made powdered laundry detergent. Thankfully, it was very easy to come up with this particular topic because I needed to make a new batch for myself anyway & since all of us are trying to social distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic it may save you from running to the store unnecessarily!


WHY I USE HOMEMADE DETERGENT



SKIN IRRITATION

Up until a year ago, I was using store bought detergents but eventually I gave in to switching because I kept having repeated skin irritation from the store bought brands . I also wanted to be more mindful about the amount of waste I was producing & about the impact my commercial detergents were having on the environment. I think the main reason why I was dragging my feet about switching for quite some time was because I was under the impression that making my own would be extremely difficult & time consuming. But after doing some research & reading about the types & the amounts of chemical that are absorbed into our bodies through our skin, and realizing this was the culprit of my skin woes, it was time to take matters into my own hands.


If you think about your skin & the fact that it is our largest “organ,” it has the ability to absorb some pretty toxic things, including the chemicals found in our traditional laundry detergents. When we use these detergents on our clothing those toxins enter through our skin into our blood stream & have been known to cause autoimmune diseases & even cancer. One of those chemicals, 1,4-Dioxane has been found in paints & varnishes, but also in leading brands of laundry detergent such as Tide. This is just one of the many ingredients in traditional detergents that have adverse effects on your body. Not only are detergents harmful, but the standard dryer sheets, that may leave your clothes smell fresh & clean, contain more than 25 volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to you & your indoor air quality


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Speaking of indoor air quality & your living environment I wanted to mention that another factor that played into switching to homemade detergent was the impact on both living environment & the health of the external environment. When it comes to indoor living environments, the volatile organic compounds that are found in dryer sheets & laundry detergent, when heated & dried, have a potential to reduce the quality/add to the pollution of the air indoors. Not only are these chemicals harmful to your air, if you’re washing your clothes with these toxins that are harmful to you & your skin, imagine what they are doing to the water supply?! While these harmful chemicals & the pollution they cause are reason enough to warrant a switch, the added fact that most detergents are packaged in plastic gave me all the more reason to say goodbye to my traditional detergent



THE BENEFIT OF MAKING YOUR OWN


Thankfully, as more information comes to light regarding commercially bought laundry detergent, more & more companies are making the switch to non-toxic alternatives. However, with all of the greenwashing that occurs in the “non-toxic” marketplace, it can sometimes difficult to be sure that what you’re buying is truly non-toxic. Which is where the solution of making your own laundry detergent comes in!


I felt a little like Goldilocks when it came to the perfect laundry detergent. Initially I had started out with a DIY non-toxic liquid detergent as that is what I was using when I was purchasing store-bought detergent. But I found that, for me, the formula was a pain in the butt after it sat for a while. It would get chunky & settle to the bottom & I would have to stir it every few days. I also didn’t feel like it got my clothes as clean as I would’ve liked to see them. However, after playing around with ingredients a bit more I have found laundry powder detergent combination that makes this recipe just right. It smells great, is eco-friendly, budget-conscious, is non-toxic, & most importantly it works perfectly for me & I hope it does for you too!


THE INGREDIENT LIST & HOW THEY WORK


  • Borax – Borax (aka sodium borate) acts as an alkaline mineral salt that when added to laundry helps fight acidic stains like tomato or mustard & can help get white clothes whiter. You can also choose to exclude this, but I like adding it to give my laundry loads a little extra boost. Another positive about this ingredient is that it is packaged in cardboard.

  • Baking soda – I like to use baking soda in my recipe because, again, it gives a little extra boost to your whites & brights. It also helps eliminate clothing odors. It is another great ingredient for those who are conscious about waste production as it comes in a cardboard box.

  • Castile Soap – for this recipe we will be using the Castile bar soap (link castile soap here). Castile soap is a concentrated, vegetable based so that is typically made from olive oil or sometimes coconut oil. It is naturally antibacterial to help get rid of nasty germs/soiled material & it’s also biodegradable so no harmful chemicals being transferred to the water supply. The bar version of Castile soap is also a great low waste ingredient as the outer packaging is made from paper

  • Washing Soda – Washing soda is essentially just sodium carbonate & it is used for neutralizing/eliminating odors as well as a natural cleaner. When added to your laundry it dissolves & is perfect for washing & cleaning your clothing. I use Arm & Hammer’s super washing soda (link here) which you can get for $4 on Amazon. Once again, this ingredient comes in cardboard packaging which can be recycled

  • Lavender Essential Oil – You can choose to leave this ingredient out if you would like or even get inventive & make a blend of your favorite essential oils, but for my recipe I like to use lavender. Obviously, I add this ingredient because lavender smells fantastic & will give your clothing a light, fresh scent. Lavender essential oil is also known to have antiseptic & anti-inflammatory properties which is an added bonus.

  • Dried Lavender Buds – this is just an extra/add on and can be excluded if you wish. I just like to throw in a few small handfuls of dried lavender buds to give the powdered detergent a little scent boost. I got mine from my local herb shop but you can buy them online as well


Homemade Powdered Lavender Laundry Detergent Recipe



This all natural, homemade, sustainable powdered laundry detergent is a great way to get your clothes to get clean & smell fresh without all the toxins of traditional detergents & is environmentally conscious as well


Prep Time 5 mins


Equipment

  • cheese grater

  • food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Baking soda

  • 1 cup Borax

  • 1 cup Washing soda

  • 1 bar Castile soap (unscented) grated

  • 35 drops Lavender essential oil

  • handful Dried lavender buds optional

Instructions

1. Grate your bar of Castile soap with a hand grater or food processor

2. Combine all of your dry ingredients (baking soda, borax, washing soda) into a bowl and mix thoroughly

3. Add your grated Castile soap to the mixture & combine thoroughly

4. Add your drops of lavender essential oil & sprinkle a handful of dried lavender buds into your mixture & combine thoroughly

5. Store in an airtight container & add 3-4 tablespoons to your laundry (if you use warm/hot water) or dissolve in 1 cup of hot water & pour into your detergent cup or over your laundry (if you wash your clothes in cold water)



TIPS FOR USING YOUR DETERGENT

Typically, this detergent works best if you use warm water to wash your clothing. However, I typically always use cold water because it saves money & has less impact on the environment. Even if you use cold water, there is an easy fix to get the most out of this detergent. Just add 3-4 tablespoons of the detergent to a cup of hot water, allow it to dissolve & pour it into your laundry, or if you have a detergent cup in your washing machine, add the water/detergent mixture to the detergent cup (I don’t have a detergent cup in mine so I just pour it right onto the clothing). Or if you use warm water already, just sprinkle a few tablespoons in with each load!


A few other tips & tricks to be aware of when using this detergent is to double the amount of washing soda in your recipe if you have hard water & if you want your whites to be even brighter add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to your load. If you plan on doing a load of dark colors & would like them to retain their dark coloring, use 1 cup of white vinegar in your laundry load.

I hope you like this recipe as much as I do & if you have a recipe of your own that you like to use please feel free to share. I’d also love to hear what you think if you decide to make it – what worked or didn’t work & if you plan on continuing to use it!



Until next time...











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