I would like a recipe for a biodegradable laundry soap. Thanks.
Laura from Fresno, CA
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha, 5.5oz bar
1. 1/2 cup arm and hammer WASHING soda not baking
1/2 c borax
1T essential oil (optional)
2 1 gal. jugs
Grate the soap and put it in a large saucepan with 6 c water over med. heat. Heat until soap melts. Add washing soda, borax and oil if desired, stirring constantly until all has dissolved. Let it sit for 5 min. over the hear stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit another 5 min. Using a funnel put half the mixture in each gallon jug. Fill each jug halfway with hot water and shake well. Continue to fill the jug to the top with hot water. Shake again. Put aside for about 24 hours. This gels up and looks like egg whites. Use 1/2 to 1/3 c. per load. It won't suds up like most detergents but the clothes smell wonderful. You can also add 1/2 c. white vinegar to soften the clothes. All ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle of the grocery. usually on the top shelf.
I lived in a place without a septic tank, running water or electricity (out in the woods) back in the early 80's. I'd go to a Laundromat to do my clothes, but I'd go to a health food store to buy biodegradable dishwashing detergent so it would be safe for me to dump my dish-water out on the ground... I noticed that the ingredients were the same as in mild shampoos & seem to work just like a very mild shampoo would... But to be honest, this stuff never REALLY cleaned my dishes like it should, I had to use boiling water & thick latex gloves (so my hands could take the heat) to get my dishes clean. When I lived there I never used bleach to clean my floors (or anything) with, but would instead use just a little Ammonia mixed with water (because ammonia is naturally occurring in nature in small quantities) ... Another "natural" cleaner is Borax... Also, Vinegar & Baking Soda... But if I were you I'd go to a health food store & check out the ingredients on the "Natural" Laundry Detergents they sell, then use those ingredients as a starting point... I bet they have a book in the health food store with recipes for laundry soaps & other natural cleaners, look for one while you're in there & copy it down... Another thing you might try is those "Laundry Balls" they work by breaking the surface tension the same way detergent or soap does... But do some research before shelling out any bucks because some work & some just "take you to the cleaners" The key: Make sure they offer a "Money Back Guarantee"!
HERE'S ONE TYPE OF LAUNDRY BALLS I FOUND:
Also beware of things like Castile Soap because it leaves a soapy film on your clothes (or hair) that's hard to remove unless you uses super hot water... Remember back in the 1700 & 1800's they made or bought Soap to wash with (not detergent) so they had to use super-hot or boiling water to remove the soap with & you can imagine how fast their clothes broke down into threads! ... Soap may be natural, but it can be very hard to get it totally rinsed out of your clothes, you may want to run the rinse cycle twice, but then again, are you then wasting excess water???
If you are in a bind (without septic tank & live in the woods) you can use shampoo in the wash, but before you start using things like Vinegar & Baking Soda (things that can be corrosive) make sure to talk directly to an appliance repairman so you know what will & what won't hurt your machine... Of course if you're washing by hand, I'd use shampoo from the dollar store, (Shampoo is made from coconut oil) as it rinses out easily & does the trick, but first pre-spot the soiled areas with shampoo & let sit several minutes before you begin washing. The best natural spot treatment is plain old Hydrogen Peroxide if it's an organic stain. The example I use is it will take out grape JUICE but not grape KOOL-AID or grape Jell-O... Get the picture? In fact, sometimes you can be wearing something, & get a bit of sauce on it & all you have to do is soak the spot with a bit of peroxide & *PRESTO* the stain is TOTALLY gone... Right before your eyes, while you're still wearing it!
Another item that works wonders (for cleaning) is GSE (it's made from grapefruit seeds) & also some of those Orange-Oil products... If you live with someone who has a bad liver or Hep-C don't let them near the GSE untill it's dry (It's actually eatable as a natural antibiotic but most people don't know that GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) causes your liver to make enzymes that can be bad (IF your liver is already damaged) & it shouldn't be handled by anyone that takes a medication for which drinking grapefruit juice is a restriction. But besides this, just wear gloves, it makes an AMAZING cleaner, just dilute it down... They use it to clean hospitals with because it even kills antibiotic resistant Staph (MRSI) The one sold to clean hospitals is more cconcentrated, it's called Citracidal. You can buy GSE at any Health Food Store. Many people that make "Natural" hand & body soaps will add a bit of GSE to their recipe as a preservative, otherwise their hand soaps can get rancid quite quickly. I bet it might be a great additive to your Natural Laundry Soap.
GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT INFO:
HERE'S HOW LAUNDRY SOAP WORKS:
THRIFTY FUN SEARCH FOR "LAUNDRY SOAP":
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