Eco-Friendly Living, Natural Living

Tough Love Thursdays

Ok, I’m going to give it to you straight.  When you pay for crap in a store, the majority of the purchase price goes to marketing, advertising, packaging, transportation and display- the actual PRODUCT itself is worth just pennies of each dollar you spend.

This is why it’s worthwhile to make your own stuff as much as possible. What kind of stuff, you ask?Well, laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner and cleaning supplies, for starters.

Making your own products ends up being cheaper, better for you and better for mother earth too  (won’t someone think of the children!)

I am a clean freak and I’ve been doing this for like three years. It’s simple, it’s cheap and it works. Let’s get started.

                                                LAUNDRY SOAP!

Don’t be intimidated, kittens! If you can operate a cheese grater and a measuring cup, you can do this.

First of all, go to the grocery store and wander through over to the laundry aisle. Note how you can smell the overpowering scents of “Fresh Breeze” and “Spring Meadow” even through their SEALED containers – this is gross.

Commercial laundry detergents use chemically derived fragrances and harmful chemical compounds to coat the fabric that we wear closest to our skin.

This is bullshit (and overpriced bullshit at that).

SO, ignore all of the brightly coloured expensive plastic bottles of chemical goo and look along the bottom shelf – that’s usually where the good stuff is stashed. The stuff with no advertising budget, no marketing strategy. Just pure product.

You’re going to buy one box of Washing Soda, and one box of Borax. Note how they are packed in easily recycled cardboard boxes as opposed to hulking great plastic bottles.

Now go over to the baking aisle and get a giant box of baking soda. Then pay for your shit (probably a total of $20 or less) and go searching for natural soaps.

If there’s someone in your town who makes soap, support them. If not, see if you can find Dr. Bronner’s bar soap at your local health food store, I usually use eucalyptus or peppermint (this bar is Rose scented because I like pink).

If you live in a backwater hellhole where no one makes soap and you can’t find Dr. Bronner’s, don’t despair, you can use Sunlight soap. It’s not as eco-friendly but it’ll do the job.

Get two bars of whatever soap you’re using and pop them in the freezer for a few hours so they harden – then grate them.

Add the grated soap to 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Baking Soda and 1 cup Washing Soda. Mix well.

You’re done!

Use 1-2 tbsp per load, it’s safe for HE machines too.

I know I sound a bit preachy, but all joking aside I can’t overstress the importance of initiatives like this. We can make stuff ourselves! We don’t need huge corporations to sell us this junk. I’m completely incompetent at things like basic addition but I KNOW cleaning, and this works like a hot damn and I’d estimate that this detergent probably costs like a penny a load. Maybe half a penny even!

Do it. Send me pictures. I’ll send you a puppy.

(I will not be sending you a puppy. But seriously, do it.)

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  • Reply Meg November 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Thoughts on using this with cloth diapers?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      I’ve used it for the past year with great results 🙂 I’ve only had to strip the diapers once, so I’m thinking it might even cause less buildup.
      If you try it please come back and let me know what you think 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Also, please ignore my creepily fast reply. I’m sitting at the airport after saying goodbye to Olive, trying not to cry SND looking for any distraction I vs. 🙂

  • Reply Meg November 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    🙂 have a great trip! I can’t imagine leaving my 8 month old girl, but can totally relate to the little flutter of excitement I get just thinking about a full nights sleep. Really, it’s probably creepier that I just read your post about that so I know how you’re feeling. I then started exploring your site and came across the laundry post.
    I’m enjoying your blog so far! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine November 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Ha! Happy exploring 😉 search for the sex attic post, or one about bees- they are my favorites!

  • Reply Hot mess, 2015 edition - Sweet Madeleine October 19, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    […] which is slightly annoying, but I love the results so I do it. I grate soap to make my own laundry detergent, which does take some time, but it’s safe, natural, inexpensive and works like a hot damn, so […]

  • Reply Anna October 22, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    Instead of grating a bar of soap, a good zester will be easier on your hands and create nice fine soap clippings.

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