I’ve always been a big fan of Gain laundry detergent because it smells amazing. When Tyler and I were dating, his clothes always smelled so good. So I hunted around his apartment and took note of his laundry detergent. Since we dated long distance and only saw each other every few months, I started using Gain so I could smell him (he’s not a cologne guy, so this was my best shot at being a creepy girlfriend and breathing in his scent when I missed him.) Since we’ve had kids, it always made me a little uncomfortable washing their clothes and blankies with the toxins in such delicious smelling detergent. Especially now that my second-born started teething and sucking profusely on any nearby item of clothing. So I decided to try making my own with natural ingredients! Here is the first recipe I’ve tried that I like, and it cleans clothing really well. It’s borax-free and still smells great with the addition of pure lavender. Also, it was so inexpensive and super easy to make.
1/2 C washing soda
1/2 C baking soda
3/4 C Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap
2 gallons very warm water
10 drops lavender essential oil
2 gallon containers for storage
Add washing soda to a very large bucket or pot, then cover with ONE gallon of hot water and whisk well to dissolve. Add baking soda, then the last gallon of hot water and whisk again. It's important to whisk these separately, otherwise it gets SUPER clumpy and hard to break down. Then, add your castile soap and essential oil and whisk until all ingredients are blended. Funnel into large containers. I used two half gallon mason jars + a recycled gallon-sized apple juice jug.
Just add 1/3 cup to a regular load of laundry. After a few days, I noticed a little bit of white filmy build-up in the soap, so just shake well before each use!