Keeping expenses low is a priority for many cloth diapering parents. After all, for many, saving money is the reason they chose to cloth diaper.
One quick way to blow the budget is to overspend on detergents that promise a lot and under-perform. Even if many detergents are worth the price, most families don’t have the extra cash to experiment with every brand until they find the one that works best for their environment.
Thankfully, it isn’t necessary to commit a large portion of your budget to cleaning supplies. Vinegar is cheap and can clean pretty much everything. And you can make your own laundry detergent!
After scouring the web for homemade laundry detergents safe for cloth diapers, I realized they were all almost identical.
** Before using this detergent on your cloth diapers please realize that for some they experience zero problems, while for others repelling does occur. If you are using natural fibers you shouldn’t have a problem. However, synthetics can develop a buildup.**
Recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar of soap (Zote, Dr. Bonners, goat milk soap…)
- 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
- 1 cup washing soda (usually found right next to the Borax on laundry aisle)
Dr. Bonner’s is available in scents which makes it easy to scent the batch. You can also add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil or essential oil.
Another recipe I found substituted 1/2 cup Oxiclean for the soap (Sisters n Cloth).
If you prefer a liquid detergent follow these instructions provided by Rachel of The Cupcake Sprinkles In Life:
-1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender, Citrus, Peppermint, Almond or Baby soap
- 1 dry cup of Borax
-1 dry cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
-opt. a few drops of tea tree for disenfecting (esp. good for cloth diapering)*grate soap into sauce pan- add 2 cups of water- stir, dissolve.
*into a five gallon bucket add Borax, washing soda and tea tree if using.
*dump melted soap liquid into bucket and stir quickly
*add water to about 3/4 of way to top- stir and put lid on.
*set overnight- measure out 1/2 cup of liquid for light loads and 1 cup for normal.
There’s something invigorating about creating your own detergent or anything for that matter. We live in such a convenience consumer driven society that we’ve almost completely lost the art of simplicity.
I’m guilty. My simplicity is buying the product with the fewest number of ingredients (and realizing I could make that myself!) and feeling good.
I think we owe it to our children to teach them the basics in life. Basic skills that now get you a raised eyebrow if you “brag” about your accomplishments.
I applaud mothers who refuse to give in to convenience 100%. Perhaps that will be my 2012 resolution: Back to the Basics. My translation of “basics” being to live more simply, live on less, choose natural.
What better skill can we pass on to our children than self-reliance, especially in an age where children aren’t being taught how to provide for themselves but to rely on others?
What types of “basic” skills do you/ have you taught your children?
I’m diligent about teaching our children to pray and read the Bible, avoid medicine except in emergencies, breastfeed and birth naturally at home. We plan to grow a garden in the spring. We buy raw milk, grassfed beef, organic produce and explain why this is important.
Explaining the why to our children is just as important as the how. Without the knowledge of why you do something they will easily conform to society’s ways when they leave the home.
Parenting is a great and heavy responsibility. There are so many ways I can improve my parenting and family lifestyle. I look forward to learning a lot from you as your comments come in.
(I have to share my husband’s comment to my resolution idea: “but you can never live more simply in 2012 and buy Toms. Those two things are mutually exclusive.” Duh, doesn’t he realize that TOMS are the epitome of simple??)