When David was about two months old he developed what I thought was a rash on his cheeks. Being the good mama I thought I was, I washed his cheeks extra good with our Huggies head to toe baby wash and a washcloth every day. The rash only got worse! His face was red and bumpy, and it started looking infected. So I would scrub it even more, thinking I was somehow making this rash cleaner and it would then heal better. A few days later it was still there, and now he had this “rash” on other parts of his body as well. I took him to the pediatrician and he told us the David had excema. Excema! Something so new to me, I really didn’t know anything about it. We were prescribed cream for his body (but not his face, because the medicine is too strong for such thin skin), and we were told to keep David’s skin out of contacts with harsh chemicals and other things that his sensitive skin may react to. That Huggies wash? Yeah, probably one of the worst things I could have put on his face (Have you read the labels on many of the popular name brand baby soaps recently? They are full of harsh and potentially harmful ingredients).
One of the changes in our house (well, apartment at the time), was laundry detergent. We need to stay away from any dyes, bleach, fragrance, etc. It was not that hard- we would use either Seventh Generation detergent or Tide Free and Clear. We did this for a few years. Then one day I was reading a blog that had nothing to do with laundry detergent, and I started viewing the comments on the article. Someone lightly mentioned homemade detergent during their post, and my first thought was “Homemade laundry detergent? That is so weird!” Later that night I thought about it more. Is it really weird? After all, we use powder laundry detergent, so this would just be a few dry ingredient that I would measure and throw in a container, right? I decided to Google it. There are many different DIY homemade laundry detergents out there, but they all pretty much consist of the same three ingredients- Borax, washing soda, and laundry bar soap. Only three things! I then thought these items must be expensive and hard to find, that I would only be able to settle my curiosity by purchasing expensive, random items off of the internet. All three of the items can be found at any grocery store for $3 or under (I usually shop at HEB or Kroger), and Target carries Borax. I love trying new things in our house, this was no exception.
Is it any good? I had my doubts. The first time I tried my new laundry soap was when one of my kids had an accident in bed. I figured stinky, gross sheets was a great way to test it out! The worst thing that could happen was the detergent would not work that well and I would just rewash it in my normal detergent, no big deal. Lucky for me, the detergent worked great! Very clean, fresh, no smell, and very soft! We don’t use any fabric softeners (again, David’s excema), so I was surprised at how soft these sheets were. I thought it was a fluke. So I washed a load of diapers (for those of you that don’t know, we use cloth diapers for Brooklynn). Again, the homemade detergent was amazing! The diaper inserts were much softer than I ever remember them being before, and the inserts lost any odor they had before I washed them. I am seriously impressed with this homemade laundry detergent. You should try it out! It is very easy, cheap, and it works great!
Homemade Laundry Detergent
What you will need-
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda ;) )
1 bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (Or 5.5 oz of a comparable soap. Some people use Ivory bar soap but I do not care for the smell of it.)
Step 1. Pour 1 cup of both Borax and Washing Soda into your container.
Step 2. Shred the laundry bar soap and add it to your container.
Step 3. Using your spoon, mix the ingredients together.
Step 4. Use your new homemade laundry detergent! I use 2 tablespoons for a medium load of laundry and 3 for a large/ extra large load.
I really love this detergent, and so does my son’s skin :) If you are interested in natural cleaning products (or other natural, healthy home ideas), check out diynatural.com. Let me know if you try this out, I would love to hear about it!