This time around I’ve been using cloth diapers. It hasn’t been bad except for one detail: the laundry. The amount of laundry wasn’t the issue; it was that I had to buy special “cloth diaper” detergent (which was expensive) that also was able to work with my HE machine. I didn’t feel that the cloth diaper detergent was really getting my clothes clean and I hated having to pay for and keep two different kinds of detergent on hand. I also have a sensitivity to dyes and perfumes so this recipe is fantastic. It also has less chemicals than the store bought stuff I was using and costs me about $10.50 to make two batches–which for someone that does 15-20 loads of laundry A WEEK (yeap, you read that correctly); this will last me around 3 months. When I think about paying $18.00 for the jug of the old stuff that would last me around the same amount of time PLUS buying the cloth diaper detergent this just makes much more sense for me.
HE Laundry Detergent
4 cups of Borax
4 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
8oz. Bar of Olive Oil Bar Soap (I use the brand called “Kiss My Face”)
Optional: 10-20 drops of Essential Oils (I currently don’t use this because I’m worried about what it will do to my baby in her cloth diapers but once we’re out of this phase I plan on using lemon or lemongrass.)
Now, it should be noted that what makes this HE friendly is that it’s olive oil soap. Olive oil or is very low foaming so there’s no issue with overload. Castille soap works the same way but you must read the ingredients on your soap as some soaps labelled “castille” are made with coconut oil and other fats that create a high foaming soap.
Using your grater, grate the bar of olive oil soap. If you’d like you can also cut the bar into smaller pieces and use a food processor for this task. Mix the Borax, Washing Soda and essential oils with the bar soap (I always mix for a bit to make sure I’ve broken down all the lumps of Borax so I’ll have a nice even batch). Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.
I’ve also read of similar recipes that also use 1 cup of Baking Soda as well. Next time I’ll throw a cup in and see how it works.