Returning to Our Roots // DIY Laundry Soap + All Natural Laundry Care
The sickness has finally left our family! Thank goodness!! We are all feeling much better and back on our feet. I feel like we have all been sick for the past month and a half, along with everyone else in our small community. Ha! Now that the sickness is on its last laugh, I felt a large desire to clean, clean, clean! Disinfect all of the ick. Several months ago we started converting our cleaning products to more natural or homemade ones. I won't be sharing our bathroom/kitchen/floor cleaning solutions with you today, but I will tell you that some of our favorite products come from the small shop The Old White House. We met Theresa over Instagram and then at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta this past October. What an amazing woman! She makes the most amazing natural laundry + home care products with French lavender. I mean, what else could you possibly want?! We love her linen + room spray and carpet freshener!
One of my first posts in this series, Returning to Our Roots, and on the blog in general was about hang drying our laundry. I really love doing this and find it to be a great way to save money, energy, and to get outside + heal yourself in ways. There are so many studies based on how hang drying clothing can heal depression! It's crazy! There's a magic spark about touching each piece of clothing, hanging it with care, breathing in the fresh scent of clean linen. You can sit in the sun and read a book while it dries. I could talk about hanging laundry for days! It's been so frigid, though, I've been hanging my laundry in the house. Which is just as pleasing! I love seeing all of the colors of Tad's clothes that match our room. It's those little things that make me happy - aesthetic is so pleasing; I just truly love and appreciate every item we own! I think that's the beauty of simple, minimal living. You collect items you truly love and care for them so dearly.
It was when we tried using all natural laundry powder for the first time that we completely converted our laundry routines. It has saved us so much! It's also helping to manage our waste. We started our waste free journey at the beginning of the month (you can read more about it here), and so far it has gone really successful! We have reduced our waste down to one garbage bag, and that's mostly been filled with diapers, sanitary items like tampons, and the few plastic containers we can't recycle. We're still trying to figure out what to do with the cans from canned food. Any ideas? There's not a place we know to recycle them, so we're wondering if we can use them in other ways. Perhaps somewhere in the garden?
Anyway, all natural laundry care! Making our own detergent is amazing. It works fabulously, our clothes smell so lovely without being heavily perfumed, and we're leaving less of a carbon foot print. Along with the detergent, which I will share the recipe below, we also use wool dryer balls and soap nuts from Harper Family Apothecary. The lovely people at this family owned business contacted me several months ago asking if I would like to try their natural home products, and I couldn't resist! They have changed my life!!
Dryer balls help to dry + soften clothes instead of using dryer sheets and fabric softener. They are eco-friendly and organic, which I love. That's less plastic and less money to spend!
Soap nuts have so many incredible benefits including neutralizing odors, clean clothing, and are completely natural - they grow on a tree! In water, the soap nut releases saponin, a natural surfactant. Most commercial detergents contain chemical surfactants, which are carcinogenic and volatile. Things you definitely don't want on your little babe's clothes! They are completely reusable for at least six times before it's been spent and you can compost them. I sometimes use the detergent and the nuts at the same time, and sometimes I switch them out. Just place them in a little sachet and throw them in with your clothes!
Here is how we make our all natural laundry detergent:
- 1 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 1 cup Arm + Hammer Super Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)
- 1 cup Borax (sodium tetraborate)
- 1 bar Pure Castile Soap (we like to use lavender or rose, but there are so many lovely scents!)
- With a cheese grater, grate your Castile soap into shavings. We usually transfer these shavings into our coffee grinder and grind them up smaller. This makes the perfect little balls! If you don't have a coffee grinder, the shaving alone should suffice.
- Mix together all the ingredients, including the now shaven Castile soap, and that's it!
- Using a small 1/4 cup scoop, scoop this amount into your washing machine (make sure it's in the powder container) and wash as normal!
As you can see, it's incredibly simple! You can find most of the ingredients at your local grocery store. The Castile soap can be a bit tricky if you're looking for a particular scent. Most health food or natural-based grocery stores carry it. Or you can find all of the scents on Amazon - my addiction. Give your clothes some love!
If you're curious what's in my herbal medicine cabinet, click here to find out!