Pink and Goopy

A few days ago I realized I was running out of laundry detergent, some toxic green stuff I picked up at Wal-Mart when I was possibly clinically insane, but since I have been trying to make greener changes in my life I thought I should probably look into some better options for detergent. The Eco brand from the Natural Food store is like $7 a bottle, so perhaps something cheaper?


I found a couple recipes for making your own detergent, but this one from The Simple Dollar seemed the best.


It calls for:


  • 1 bar of soap (check).
  • 1 box of borax (check – I have been using a mixture of borax and warm water to clean the bathroom floor).
  • Water
  • 1 box of washing soda (what the…).

After searching for washing soda at Wal-Mart, Target, the Natural Food Store, and Atwoods, I finally found it where I least expected, at PriceCutter, which is the closest grocery store to my house and the one I go to when have forgotten something on the weekly trip to Natural Foods (I should really start biking to PC…soon).


Anyway, the recipe goes something like grate the soap into 4 cups of water you are heating on the stove and then stir until the soap is dissolved. Let me tell you a few things:


  • grating soap is hell on earth
  • do not put your face over the steaming soap/water – you will then sneeze for 10 minutes straight
  • if you give up and cut up the soap instead of grating it, it will take an hour to partially dissolve
  • your kitchen will smell so much like soap that you will not want to enter it for the rest of the day

So after that funness you mix the soap/water with more hot water, the washing soda and borax. Let it sit for a day and you come out with this:

Yes, pink and goopy goodness to throw in the washing machine (I am hoping for one of these soon) and then hang on the line to dry. All in all, I think it was worth it because a 5 gallon bucket of environmentally-friendly laundry detergent cost me $1 and it was kind of fun to make, if you don’t count the soap grating.


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