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(Originally published on my old blog SECS vs PCOS in August 2012)
Remove some evil chemicals from your life, save money, and provide your family with some hypoallergenic laundry detergent. A lot of chemicals we expose ourselves to everyday disrupt our hormones. When you have a disease like PCOS it becomes an even bigger deal!
I developed a powder laundry detergent from researching online, and I can’t remember everywhere I looked, this process took months (if you know of a citation, please inform me because I certainly do not remember where I got all of my information!). My current recipe consists of a large box of washing soda, large box of oxiclean (I used the generic from Dollar Tree), 2 bars of grated soap (I used 1 bar Fels Naptha and 1 bar Kirk’s Castile, watch TV while you grate- it goes faster than you’d think), 1 large box of baking soda, 1 box of Borax- mix everything together in a large container with a lid (I used an old icing bucket I got for free from the bakery at the grocery store- just ask!).
I add things in a bit at a time and mix to make sure everything gets distributed equally. I use a dropper-full of tea tree oil to sanitize loads (research tea tree oil if you haven’t, it’s AMAZING stuff- only thing proven to kill MRSA and a host of other evils, great for skin issues from acne (works wonders on my PCOS acne!!) to blisters and even to make counter cleaning sprays 🙂 I also use Biz (an enzyme detergent enhancer) for stains and/or rub in some Fels Naptha on the stain.
The entire powder recipe cost around $20 and should last (at least) most of the year, which means I’m spending less than $2/month on hypoallergenic laundry detergent (yay!!). You only need to use 1-2 tbsp per load, seriously (the generic oxiclean actually has a perfect sized scoop). I created this recipe by looking around at other recipes online- it is reportedly totally safe for high efficiency machines (mine is from the dark ages) and is supposed to be awesome for cloth diapers.
We have been using this detergent since the end of June and we love it. It is great for sensitive skin (like mine) and the laundry will smell clean but not perfumey- an added bonus that I have noticed is that it effectively removes deodorant residue and the like from clothing without being overly harsh on the fabric (no effort involved on your part).
Let me know what you think and please share your experiences with homemade laundry detergent and cleaners!
***Disclaimer, I am not an expert, this is just what worked for my family.***
UPDATE: I no longer use any type of essential oils in my laundry due to increased risk of fire in the dryer.