I am starting my series on homestead laundry! For those who do not know, laundry is the bane of my existance. Admit it, we all have those household chores which we do not enjoy. For some it is cooking, others weeding the garden or cleaning the bathroom. Mine? Mine is laundry. In order to deal with the drudgery of it all, I look for cheats… things I can use to make the job go a little easier and quicker. My first cheat is using a Natural Laundry Soap Cube. It is inexpensive to make, easy to produce in bulk, easy to use, great to store and is very effective.
1 cup Washing Soda*
1 cup Borax*
1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide Powder*
3/4 cup Castile Soap* (Dr. Bronner Tea Tree is my Favorite)
1/2 cup Distilled White Vinegar*
20 drops of Lavendar Essential Oil (optional)
10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (optional)
5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)
Ice Cube Trays
Measure out and mix together all dry ingredients; washing soda, borax, and hydrogen peroxide powder in a glass bowl. Measure out the distilled white vinegar and add the essential oils. Add the castile soap to the vinegar and essential oil mix, stir to combine. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Fill ice cube trays and set out to air dry for 24 hours. Remove from the ice cube trays by knocking them out with a firm tap and store in a glass container. Use one cube, preferrably in warm water, per wash.
* Washing Soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash and is not the same thing as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Washing Soda acts as a deodorizer and removes dirt.
* Borax is a naturally occuring mineral called sodium tetraborate and is not boric acid. Borax acts as a deodorizer and whitener. Borax is highly alkaline, which can make it irritating when undiluted, but in these quantities and in this usage should cause no irritation. You may not want to use borax if you use a grey water system attached to your washer as any use of the waste water, in perhaps your garden, may kill your plants. If you do not wish to use borax, subsitute the borax with 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of canning salt. It is as effective, but tends to leave a white residue.
* Hydrogen Peroxide Powder is sodium percarbonate and breaks down into oxygen, water and soda ash. Hydrogen Peroxide Powder cleans, whitens and disinfects. Select a product which states that the ingredient is sodium percarbonate.
* Castile Soap ingredients (at least Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree) are water, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, palm kernel oil, olive oil, tea tree extract, hemp oil, jojoba oil, citric acid and tocopherol. Castile Soap cleans, brightens and kills dust mites.
* Distilled White Vinegar is made from the second fermentation process of diluted, distilled alcohol. This alcohol is typically made from corn, potatoes, rice or barley. Distilled White Vinegar contains acetic acid which whitens, lightens, brighten, deordorizes by killing bacteria and soften clothes. Such good stuff…