Hurried Homemaker

- for supermoms short on time -
September 28th, 2010 by Rhiana

Green Your Clean: Make Your Own Laundry Soap by Jaime McKee

I had the privilege of meeting Jaime McKee IRL a few years ago at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. At the time, I was handling my husband’s PR and she was reviewing his concert. Several years later, we have reconnected via our blogs and Twitter. And although I don’t like running, or cats, I love her blog and her!

You can follow Jaime on her blog or on Twitter.

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For Christmas, I received two copies of “Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home.” (I gave one of the copies to a friend, since I missed the return deadline by a few days.) I had high hopes for this book. My mom has owned a copy for years, and has been making her own cleaning products since I was in college. I used to think she was a little weird for making her own cleaning products. I mean, it’s SO much easier to just buy stuff at the store.

Then my husband and I bought a house. I started realizing just how many chemicals were in our household products, and it made me sick. At times, I was literally sick. (Like the time I poured a bottle of bleach in our shower to try and clean it? Yeah. Had to open the windows for a few hours in the middle of winter to let that one air out. We’ve since figured out that a little bit of vinegar goes a long way – and is less harmful to our health.) My husband, in the past several years, has developed an allergy that we’ve tracked down to certain soaps. We started looking into alternatives for soaps, which led to alternatives for cleaning products.

I digress. Back to the book. I was really excited about this book, and it has different alternatives for making your own cleaning products, including laundry soap. The “recipe” for laundry detergent is:
1 part borax
1 part washing soda

That’s all there is to it. I had bought bars of washing soda in New York last summer, and I finally had the chance to use them. (Turns out, Ace Hardware sells the bars I was looking for in my town. Go figure.) I used a grater to grate the washing soda (we had it in bars, not the powder form), and then added borax to a container. I shook the container to mix it all, and I was done! To make things easier, and to reuse the measuring cup from our old bottle of detergent, I cleaned the cup and threw it into the container with the new laundry powder.

The best part about the laundry soap is that I don’t have to worry about touching it. I know what’s in there and I don’t have to stress out about it being on my hand after pouring it into the washer, or the cat getting into it (because she’s curious.) It’s natural. Our clothes are clean, and nobody has had an allergic reaction to the new soap. It also cost very little ($1 for a bar of washing soda, $4.29 for a box of borax on < a href="http://alice.com"> alice.comand we can make our own detergent when we run out. No more trips to Target on the other side of town to buy it.

We’re about three months into using our homemade laundry soap, and I am always wondering why we didn’t think of it sooner.

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