Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On My Soapbox -- Fight Club Re-Run with a Twist

Faceoff:  Soap vs. Laundry Detergent  
Are we that much dirtier than we were 50-60 years ago?  (Keep those thoughts clean, I'm talking laundry here!)   And, do we really require industrial-strength, petroleum-based detergents and fabric softeners to get the grime out of our clothes?  Given that we've entered into the 21st century and much of our work is hardly strenuous, I would argue that most of us stay pretty clean on a day-to-day basis.  And, that relatively plain old soap and water can get our clothes clean just fine.

Short of taking your clothes down to the nearest stream and beating them on a rock, there are far more environmentally friendly, healthier and cheaper ways to get your clothes clean than using the highly advertised, chemical-laden, and expensive laundry detergent.   The good news is you can buy environmentally friendly laundry soap just about anywhere.  The even better news is that you can make it yourself and save a bunch of money in the process!  You can control the ingredients, and can create your very own signature scent by using different soaps or adding essential oils. Any Google search on the Internet for homemade laundry soap will give you many recipes from which to choose.  Here's a popular recipe that I have used as have several friends and family members.

Eco-Step: For added environmental and wallet friendliness, hang your freshly-washed clothes out to dry (or over bars, on hangers) instead of tossing them in the dryer.  


  1. On that note, I'll keep the soap for my clothes and skip using it on my skin. It's not like I'm changing the oil in my car every day or sweeping chimneys. We've become obsessed with sterilizing EVERYTHING. I use an olive oil/honey/lemon recipe instead of soap and my skin thanks me for it.

  2. Another recipe for home made, DIY, cheaper, better Laundry Soap:

    Simple Washing Powder

    16 cups baking soda
    12 cups borax
    8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
    3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

    Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

    Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

    *Try Sun Feather Natural Soap Company, or buy bars of castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s) and grate with a kitchen grater.

    Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-home-living/make-your-own-lavender-laundry-detergent-for-pennies.aspx#ixzz1FGiXsKJc

  3. Here are some more ideas on making your own natural laundry soap: