A couple weeks ago I decided to make a batch of homemade laundry detergent. While on a shopping mission to find Arm and Hammer washing soda locally, I decided to restock our laundry room cabinet with homemade cleaning supplies, like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice and essential oils.
I have to admit, the past few years I have gotten lazy about making homemade cleaning supplies. Instead I’ve been taking the easy route and buying products by Seventh Generation and Ecover. Even after creating the newly freshened up space to make the cleaning supplies, I still needed a little incentive to get me over the hump and start mixing.
Sunday I went over the hump, when I attended a Green Momma Party at the home of Anne Brock from Flour Sack Mama. She opened her house for a tour on ideas and ways to rid our homes of harmful chemicals. Anne invited me to give a presentation on some of the natural play ideas I feature on Simply Natural Mom. So I shared about our Montessori lesson shelves to simple ways to keep children busy using natural materials and items you might have at home.
To end the tour, she generously had her kitchen stocked with natural cleaning supplies, essential oils and piles of empty mason jars for us to fill up and take home.
Together us moms munched on chocolate covered strawberries, chatted about motherhood, and made creamy soft scrub to clean our bathtubs. This was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, in my opinion.
In addition to the jar of creamy soft scrub, I took home a jar of homemade furniture polish, and a jar of laundry detergent that uses powered oxygen bleach intend of Borax. Anne also treated us to a bag of dried lavender, mixed with dried rice and essential lavender oils, to use as a naturally scented drawer cache.
Other cleaning supply recipes Anne shared was an all-purpose cleaner using vinegar, toilet bowl cleaner and drain opener. All the recipes are available here, at the Women’s Voices for the Earth, the parent organization affiliated with Green Momma Parties. There are some other great recipes here as well, including a reusable diaper wipe solution, grapefruit sugar scrub for mom, and non-toxic bug repellant that Anne testified to truly work.
If you are not aware of the dangerous chemicals in most household cleaning supplies and the risk they pose to women, please read more about these issues over at Women’s Voices for the Earth.
“Certain chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to fertility problems, birth defects, increased risk of breast cancer, asthma and respiratory disorders, and hormone disruption,” is just one snippet it you’ll find on their site.
Part of me has heard this information before and believed it for a long time. A bigger part of me is thankful the information is it going more mainstream, with science-based evidence backing it up, and organizations like Women’s Voices for the Earth and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families taking action to make our envorment safer for our children. It’s alway nice to get a refresher course and a new dose of inspiration on ways we can do better for our children.
With three daughters in our house, and with early onset puberty on the rise for girls, I’ll make any kind of homemade cleaning supply, laundry detergent or bug repellant to help keep them safe.
Making your own cleaning solutions and laundry supplies is easy. And it even saves money. You just have to get past the initial change in routine, and get the right set up.
We have a cabinet in our basement set up with cleaning supply ingredients and containers to hold the concoctions. My toddler even enjoys helping mix up the soap flakes and washing soda to make laundry detergent.
The first laundry detergent recipe I started with was this one from EcoKaren. It uses Borax, which some say is bad. But it works, even on those stinky towels that sit damp for too long. When I got home on Sunday night I did a load of towels with the laundry detergent from Anne’s house, and it did okay – well enough to replace the recipe using Borax. Which is good.
I also made this dishwashing detergent recipe by EcoKaren that does not use Borax. When I followed the recipe EXACTLY it worked great. When I eyeballed things and sloppily threw it all in the dishwasher the results were not as great. But still, I’d love to not buy dishwashing detergent again. So I’m going to stick with this one.
To find more recipes on homemade cleaning supplies, I’ve been pinning things for weeks, on my Homemade Cleaning Supplies Pinterest board. So you can check out that for even more ideas and inspiration.
In true Pintererst style, I’ll admit I have not actually made any of them on that board, other than the ones by EcoKaren. So I can not vouch for how well they work. But if Pinterest is good for one thing, it’s getting us rolling on thinking about all the things we would like to make, while making the idea seem very attractive.
On the subject of homemade cleaning supplies though, I must say creating a non-toxic home for my family is my biggest motivator.
To read more about the Green Momma Party hosted by Anne, visit her post on the event with more details about how to host your own party and contact your senators to advocate for the Safe Chemicals Act. If you live in East Tennessee and would like assistance hosting your own Green Momma Party, you can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for another post soon, when I start making things from my Homemade Pampering Pintererst board. I can guarantee that grapefruit sugar scrub for mom will be getting added to it. So you don’t miss it, please subscribe to Simply Natural Mom – by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email or RSS feed.