We’re trying to remove the chemicals from our lives and be more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem compatible with a tight budget. So, what does a good homemaker do? DIY. But after some research it out I’m not choosing homemade laundry soap after all.
Why I wont use homemade laundry soap
Remember that tight budget I was talking about? My partner gave me $500 a month for groceries and household items. That’s not a lot of peanuts, people! Especially here in Canada.
We also do a lot of laundry. With 5 kids that usually means 2-3 loads per day. Yes, per day. Thankfully this summer it seems like they’re not getting dressed half the time so I can cut out laundry that way. I already hang everything to dry outside on the clothesline to save money and the be environmentally friendly.
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Cheap laundry soap
Unfortunately, the cheap laundry soap I buy isn’t good for the environment. With every load I’m dumping phosphates into our earth. I’m also exposing my family to harsh chemicals that I don’t want on our bodies. As someone with skin issues I know this is probably making them worse.
Homemade laundry soap is supposed to be better for the environment and your skin. Naturally, it seemed like the best choice. Until I did some research.
Broax is toxic
Borax, an ingredient in the best homemade laundry soap recipe that I’ve tried, is actually toxic. You wouldn’t want your kids or pets getting into it for the same reason as any other toxic cleaning supply.
While that’s not necessarily bad, if you’re looking for something that’s safer for your family homemade laundry soap is not the answer.
The soap doesn’t rinse out
Even though you’re using something gentle like Castile soap in your homemade laundry detergent that doesn’t mean it’s meant for your clothes. Homemade laundry soap will actually leave a film on your clothing that your machine can’t rinse out sufficiently. Not good for fabrics. Even worse for cloth diapers.
It’s not always cheaper
Is it cheaper than store bought natural laundry detergent? Usually. But it’s not cheaper than the cheapest stuff you can find on sale. If you’re making homemade laundry soap just to save money then it’s not the answer.
Quality isn’t there
Laundry detergent is more than just a few ingredients in a bottle. The reason why it has all these harsh chemicals or high price tag in the case of natural soap is because it’s created in a lab to optimally clean your clothes. The stuff you buy in the store is tested rigorously to meet certain standards. Not to mention wouldn’t sell if it didn’t actually clean your clothes. Formulated laundry soap, including environmentally friendly stuff, is designed not to hurt your washing machine.
What to do instead
There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to switch to homemade laundry soap. Cost is a factor, but I also was interested in something safe for kids, hypoallergenic, and better for the environment. Here’s what I found as alternatives to what I’m buying.
Environmentally friendly – try a laundry soap with biodegradable packaging
Safe for kids and pets – try something made with non-toxic ingredients
Love laundry pods? – here’s a natural alternative
For the dryer – switch to a wool dryer ball instead of dryer sheets
The best bang for your buck that I found is this natural laundry soap which is likely what I’ll be switching to myself. I also found this interesting laundry soap alternative. If anyone’s tried it please leave me a comment, I’m super curious!