Borax Free Laundry Detergenty
When I first started this blog my family and I were drowning in our finances. I routinely had to choose which bills to pay and which bills to default on. If I managed to pay all the bills due that month, then I would often have to purchase food for my son, while my husband and I would sustain ourselves on ham and cheese sandwiches, or dollar store groceries. I chose to embrace minimalism in an effort to simplify our lives and, hopefully, to save money.
As our lives improved, and we started to be able to support ourselves better, (and some much needed and welcome help from my family) our outlook and habits changed as well. I started making new priorities. I was able to put my family’s health above our financial situation. I watched a documentary called GMO OMG on Netflix that really changed the way that I think about the food that my family and I eat. I would look at the difference in price between organic and non-organic groceries, and started asking myself, “Is my family’s health worth and extra $.75, and extra $1.00, and extra $2.50?” Once I started asking that question, then the answer was always “yes”. Adding more organic foods to our diets is one of the changes that we’ve made that has reaped the most reward. My son and I have stopped getting sick (my husband has an iron immune system and never gets sick anyway). Hopefully I won’t jinx myself by saying this, but while my coworkers get knocked off their feet each year by a winter cold, my son and I have stayed healthy. Last year I did get a taste of the gunk that was going around, but I was sick for about two days, unlike many of my coworkers who were fighting it for weeks. We haven’t gone totally organic, but I try to make sure that at least some of our diet is. For example, I try to buy organic fruits and vegetables, organic dairy, Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, and organic snacks such as Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies. If I don’t buy organic I do try to look for non-gmo food. I’ve stared buying Zulka sugar, which is part of the non-gmo movement, and I was pleased to discover that my husband’s favorite orange juice, Florida’s Natural Orange Juice, is also part of the non-gmo movement. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of non-gmo seeds in agriculture and whether they actually pose any health concerns, but the lack of transparency from companies, like Monsanto, have convinced me that my family and I are healthier without them. And the fact that it took me three days to get over the last cold that tried to take hold of my system goes a long way toward supporting that theory.
I’ve also been able to support another cause that is close to my heart, cruelty to animals. Even when we could barely afford it, I was always sure to buy free range eggs, or at least cage free if free range weren’t available. The first time my husband saw me purchase $4.00 eggs over $1.80 eggs he had a few words for me, but my response has been my mantra ever since. “We don’t have the space to rescue, and we don’t have the money to donate. All I can do is buy food that wasn’t tortured when it was alive, so that is what I’m going to do.” Since then, I have also started buying grass fed beef and free range chicken. It’s more expensive, but the only way I know to fight for fare treatment of farm animals is with my decisions as a consumer. I know that PETA believes that we should all be vegetarians, but that is not a choice that my family and I are going to make. Besides, I believe that buying humanely raised meat says just as much as not buying meat at all. I also shop at greatergood.com. Greatergood.com has “sub-sites” that are geared toward supporting specific causes, like the animal rescue site, the breast cancer site, or the veterans site. When you purchase from these sites they donate to that cause. For example, I bought gloves and a scarf from the autism site for a friend of mine that has an autistic son, and a portion of the money was donated to autism awareness and research. They also have “gifts that give more” which allows you to donate to a specific cause. If I have a friend or family member that is particularly difficult to buy for, or is passionate about a cause, then I will often make a donation in their name rather than buying a gift. For example, I have another friend whose husband is retired special forces. They are active in a local canine rescue group and have fostered dogs, so for Christmas I made a donation to military dogs in her name. I have also started shopping for cruelty free cosmetics, such as ELF for my makeup and Giovanni for hair care. I found this blog post that helps you decode the symbols on your cosmetics. The one I look for, though, is the leaping bunny, which essentially means that the company doesn’t test on animals, does not use third party ingredients that were tested on animals, and is not distributed by companies that test on animals.
Recently I made the mistake of stumbling onto this website, www.ewg.org (Environmental Working Group), that rates the products that we use. I was devastated to learn that Mrs. Meyers, my favorite cruelty free cleanser got an F, as did Borax because it has a high concern of developmental and reproductive toxicity. This turned me back onto making my own cleaning products. My first order of business was to find a Borax free laundry detergent. I found a recipe through Pinterest that is seriously easy. All you need is water, washing powder, castile soap, and your favorite essential oils, all of which get an A on ewg.org. Here’s the link to the original post if you want to try your hand at your own homemade Borax free laundry detergent. I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks, and it works really well. I did have to wash one of my son’s shirts three times, but I don’t blame the detergent, I blame the chocolate milk. The milk was finally defeated and the shirt looks good as new. The next time I make it I think I will use more citrus essential oil. I like a little stronger scent than I got with the lavender. Each load of laundry uses 1/3 cup, which is the same as the cap from my last store bought laundry detergent, so I just kept the cap. Easy.
Note: This detergent will separate, especially if it gets cold, so be sure to shake it well before using it. If it starts to separate and you don’t shake it, then you could end up with a glob of detergent on your clothes at the end of the cycle. If you prefer powdered laundry detergent, you can find those on Pinterest as well. I chose this one because it meant I didn’t have to grate any soap, so it’s less labor intensive.
I also made some Borax free dishwasher detergent, but I’ve only used it once, so I’ll wait for a few more loads to review that one.