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Dear historic, not to be confused with histrionic,
It’s Throwback Thursday, time to reblog one of your favorite posts from the old blogstead! This post originally went up June 19th, 2012 – unbeknownst to me, just three days before our son would make his very welcome arrival into our home! It’s been one of our most popular posts ever since it first launched, so much so that I had to write a follow-up. The following post has been modified from it’s original version; it has been formatted to fit your screen.
Dear frugal readers or earth-conscious types,
And those who write to-do lists,
I’m getting to the tail-end of my “to-do before baby” list, which is good since I’m also getting to the tail-end of my “how long it usually takes to build a baby” calendar.
One of the things on my to-do list was to make some cloth diaper detergent.
Bona-fide bottled store-bought cloth diaper detergent – which can’t contain certain fragrances, whiteners, and other ingredients that adhere to cloth and diminish the absorbency of the diaper – can be expensive, especially if you’re trying to find something that’s not too harsh on the body. I also feel bad going through lots of plastic bottles, since plastic doesn’t really deteriorate once you throw it out. Homemade just seemed like a natural choice.
I started my recipe hunt, and stumbled across Elisa’s beautiful blog. She shared several detergent recipes, including a cloth diaper recipe that was ultra-minimal to avoid causing any rash or problem with her child’s sensitive skin.
This recipe became my choice for our diapers so far. I like leaving out as many chemicals as possible, but I also like clean diapers. I am grateful to Elisa for sharing this recipe!
Here, she explains the ins and outs of the recipe – as well as another recipe for your everyday laundry, if you need one! (She also posted a recipe for dishwasher detergent!) We’ve chosen to use the following simple cloth-diaper-safe detergent for all of our laundry needs; when my husband comes home with fuel or grease soaked uniforms, I throw in some extra detergent, or even beef it up with Borax (I definitely keep the baby clothes separate from his uniforms!).
When you’re looking for an oxygen cleaner, if you aren’t sure exactly what it is just check the ingredients on the container – there should only be two. The oxygen cleaner and washing soda would be in the laundry aisle, and regular baking soda will be in the baking aisle. You can bring the cost of the detergent down even more if you can find these items in bulk at a big-box store or wholesale supplier!
Mix equal parts of each ingredient. Use one tablespoon for a small load, two tablespoons for a medium load, and … you can extrapolate for the large load! For extra stains, throw in additional baking soda.
I put the jars on the laundry-room shelf, and posted instructions for mixing more and how to use, in case family members ever volunteered to run a load. Why only two tablespoons for an average load, you may ask? Homemade detergents will always be more concentrated than store-bought detergents because we don’t bother to add extra fillers and junk to make it look like we have more than we do. Using a one-cup scoop for laundry detergent feels pretty pointless now, doesn’t it?
I didn’t add any fragrances to this batch, but you could try adding essential oils if you wanted a little something more.
We’ve been using this laundry detergent for over two years now, and we’ve loved it continuously! My husband has taken it on deployment, we’ve traveled with it and use it for all our towels, linens, laundry, dish cloths, diapers and the whole nine yards [of fabric]. Our diapers are remarkably stain-free, and our clothes are light and without a filmy residue of chemicals. I borrowed a pair of jeans from a friend and was shocked that I immediately felt the residue of chemicals and fragrances all over the clothes – it took me a moment to realize what was “wrong” with them!
Yours in laundry,