Resolving to Make My Own Laundry Detergent in 2012

Making changes to go green are on the list for many people with New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out where to start and what to do, so my strategy was to sit down and think about daily or weekly challenges that would benefit from a ‘green’ change. That’s when I remembered two consistent issues that would definitely benefit: dry cleaning bills and loads of laundry.

My green New Year’s Resolution is to make my own laundry detergent. For months, I have noticed the dry cleaners really aren’t all that ‘dry’ and I constantly get stains, odors or color changes in my clothes. Having paid a significant amount of money on dry cleaning bills over the years, going green on this issue will not only save time and money, but peace of mind. In addition, I’ve noticed a steady increase in options and prices of detergents at local markets and am not at all impressed with the quality of cleaning they provide. In addition, the products contain irritating chemicals that can cause skin irritations and other allergies.

The step-by- step plan for my green New Year’s resolution is to research ingredients that are common for cleaning clothes, their affects on fabrics, such as cotton, spandex and blends, then expand my knowledge from there. As I learn more about what to use for more delicate types of garments, I will make a detailed list and find local markets that carry the ingredients. The next step will be to start experimenting with measurements and volume to get the right ‘formula’ for my needs. Once I have the formula in place, I will try small loads of clothes that consist of casual wear and measure their cleanliness, freshness, softness and durability.

It is my hope that I can at least use my own formulated detergent on loads of clothes that contain whites, towels and household items. Special fabrics may still need store bought detergent, but I will cross that bridge when I get there. I want to use the dry cleaners for pressing only and realize my goal may take two to three months to master, but it will be well worth the effort when I calculate the savings at the end of the year.

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