Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chemical Free Laundry and Dishwasher Soap

Thomas and I have been trying to find replacements for all the chemicals (shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, laundry, and dish washing soap) we have been using. But at the same time, we are already making all of our own food and quite frankly I do not have the time to make our cleaning products as well. So far I have found a laundry soap alternative that I don't have to make. 
They are called soap nuts. They are my new best friend.
Well they would be if I did laundry. 
So really, they are Thomas' new best friend.
You use about 4 shells in a bag for 5-6 loads until they turn grey and then you compost them!
"Very simply, soap nuts are the dried shells (or husks) from the soapberry (or soap berry nut). These berries are the fruit from a quite unique tree species. These shells contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. Saponin is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers. It can replace many chemical detergents such as those containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) that are becoming well known by consumers for being a skin irritant and health hazard."

If you want to try them out, I would suggest getting the trial size for just $5. 
Simply go to the website here.
And they will send you enough for 15-20  loads with a little muslin bag.
No I am not getting paid. I just love them.

I mean really? I get to wash my clothes without chemicals and I get to compost the little buggers as well? Dream come true in the Kucera house.
Of course I had to buy them in bulk and make a fun little bag to store them in.

The second thing we ran out of so I had to come up with a replacement quickly, was dish washing detergent. I could not find a one to one replacement like the soap nuts, but I did find a relatively simple recipe. I already had the Borax from a desire to make things naturally years ago, and I also already had the kosher salt from Thomas' bacon making days. The Washing Soda (yes, it is different from baking soda) I found at Winco, but I believe you can also find it at Walmart. The only thing I could not find in a store was Citric Acid, so I made sure I bought food grade Citric Acid online. I figure if I can eat it, it will be find on my dishes.

So here you are. Simple.
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
½ Cup Citric Acid
½ Cup Kosher Salt
Use 1 Tablespoon per load.
Approximately 48 loads worth

So I made a double batch so I don't have to think about it for ages now.
2 less chemical inducing items in my house.
Love it.

Do you have a favorite homemade recipe you make? 
I would love to hear about it!