Laundry-boosting fragrance crystals can make your laundry smell great and feel soft, but they contain all sorts of chemicals that I prefer to not use around my children. The crystals sold in the store are simply scented sodium crystals (salt), to which coloring has been added. It is so much cheaper and safer to make your own with just a few simple ingredients. By doing so, you not only save a ton of money, but you can also create your own custom scents.
Salt is a great water softener, and makes your laundry super soft.
1 cup of rock salt (or Epsom salt)
20 drops of your favorite essential oil (10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of lemon smell great)
a few drops of soap coloring (Optional, if you want a bit of color. Do not use regular food coloring, as it will stain your clothes. You can get this at craft and hobby stores.)
Put it together:
Just mix it all together in a bowl, then store in a glass container.
How to use it:
Use one tablespoon of crystals per load. Place the crystals in the washer first, then add your clothes. They will dissolve during the wash cycle.
Have you seen my post that shows you how to make the best homemade laundry detergent? If you haven't, check it out HERE.
Anyone with children knows doing laundry can be a never-ending chore. Constant washing means using lots of laundry detergent, which not only eats into your wallet, but also creates lots of empty plastic bottles that are detrimental to the environment. This 'recipe' for my best homemade laundry detergent is much more cost efficient, better for the environment, and doesn't expose your family to the long lists of dangerous chemicals that are present in commercially produced detergents.
In the photo above, I have stored my finished detergent in a cute metal laundry container. If you don't have anything like this around, don't worry! You can use mason jars or any other glass container. I wouldn't suggest using anything plastic as the chemicals can eventually leach into the detergent.
This is super simple to make and will last such a long time. Each one of these 'ingredients' can be found in the laundry care section of chain stores such as WalMart, and most grocery stores.
Depending on where you buy your supplies, this detergent costs roughly $0.05 per load to use.
Note: Yes, I know that some parents are concerned about the safety of Borax. Let me just take a moment to say that I have studied and used natural products such as this for the majority of my life. Borax is a natural product that is safe for the majority of the population to use (unless you have an allergy or sensitivity). Most people confuse Borax with boric acid. They are completely different substances.
***Stay tuned to this post for an update on how you can make your own fabric softener, laundry crystals, and even wool dryer balls!***
Learn how to make your own laundry-boosting crystals HERE.
a 1.3 pound container of OxiClean
a 55 ounce box of washing soda
a 65 ounce box of pure Borax
a 14 ounce bar of white Zote (this is a bar of soap used specifically for laundry)
Put it together:
1. First, find a large container to mix everything in. Home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot carry large plastic buckets in the paint section. These are great for mixing your detergent in. Just don't use them as a storage container.
2. Add the washing soda, Borax and OxiClean to the container. You may want to do this outside, so you don't inhale the dust that may fly up when pouring the powders.
3. Using a cheese grater, grate the entire bar of Zote into the container.
4. Mix everything together very well, and put into a metal or glass container.
How to use it:
You don't need much of this stuff at all to get clean, great-smelling laundry. For small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For medium or large loads, use 2 or 3.
If you wash your clothes in cold water like I do, you can run the detergent through a food processor to make a fine powder that will dissolve easily in cold water.
Notes for HE (high efficiency) washers:
HE washers call for a special detergent for only one reason: low suds. A definite marketing ploy to get you to spend more money on an already pricey machine. This homemade detergent is VERY low suds, and can be safely used in HE washers. Use the same amount as stated above per load.