Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lavender fresh

About the time I was deep in the heart of dressmaking (did I really just say that? Am I a dressmaker now?) I had to make a new batch of laundry soap. Has anyone reading this made their own laundry soap yet? It’s fun, and I love how easy it is to whip up a batch any time I need to. Here’s how I do it:
soap ingredients blog
First, I gather my ingredients- Dr. Bronner's vegetable oil based soap. I use two bars; plain old baking soda-I love Arm & Hammer so that’s what I use; washing soda, and now we’ve come to a crossing of the streams (name that movie!). Borax powder. I’ve used it for years, and never had a problem with it. I’ve made laundry soap with it, and my basic spray cleaner has it in it, and I’ve even knocked out flea infestations at a few of the places we’ve lived with it. But I’ve been doing my research and discovered a few unsettling facts about Borax powder.
Mainly, that it can kill a child if ingested. *This sentence has bothered me ever since I wrote it- Boric Acid is poisonous. Borax Powder might be. Do the research for yourself and make an informed decision if you want to use it or not in this recipe.
So, I don’t use Borax powder any more. Because we have a little kitty living here with us, trusting me to keep her safe, happy and healthy. I use a lot more soap and vinegar, with baking soda and water and lots of elbow grease, with the occasional spot of commercial laundry soap when I’m not too confident of how clean my stuff is getting. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for us.
So! Get out your grater and make some grated cheese! That’s how soft this soap is:
soap shred blog
Two bars is a lot- I was just using one, but found since I used this mixture for laundry soap and household cleaners, it was going pretty fast, so I doubled the recipe. I started with the recipe I found at Soulemama and tweak it according to my needs. The place we’re at now has hard water, so I added a bit more baking soap to help soften it up a tad.
soap fork blog
Then I take a giant wooden fork and crumble those shreds even more. This makes the soap dissolve faster. I don’t have the storage for a huge tub of liquid soap, plus I love the old fashioned look of a container of laundry “powder”, so I make the dry stuff. It lasts a long time, and is multi purpose. At this point you just dump all the ingredients together and mix it up really good. My recipe is:
2 bars finely grated castile soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
2.5 cups baking soda
I don’t add any essential oils because I find that the Dr. Bronners soaps are smelly enough for my family. See? Really easy. And it works! Clean, soft, non-icky-commercial-smelling clothes. My washer doesn’t get all mildewy any more, and since I use this mixture to clean with, my whole house smells lavender fresh (that’s the soap fragrance I use the most, although the rose and citrus scents are good, too!) I still need to evaluate a non-Borax mixture, so stay tuned for more pseudo-science updates in the future!


  1. Hi :) I found you again and love this post.

    1. Hey, you! Glad to see you :) Thanks for reading my blog! Thought you might like this particular one...