Why this blog?
For me, being vegan is a continual journey. Every day I find out something new about the things I use in my ordinary daily life. I am interested in finding new ways to enhance the vegan-friendliness of my life through the products I use, eat, wear or otherwise consume. I would love for everything I use to be as vegan as possible, from dish soap to makeup, to the shoes I wear, to my hair care products, and everything in between. I hope to share with you information about what I try and what I discover along the way.
Monday, September 6, 2010
DIY and Vegan Products: How to make your own laundry soap!
One way to make sure a product is vegan is to make it yourself! This can often be very economical and very easy to do. Now I am not the kind of person who wants to spend my entire weekend making soap or some other such thing, so I am always on the lookout for quick and easy do-it-yourself projects.
Initially, my interest in making my own detergent led me to the world of borax, namely the "20 Mule Team" brand. After a little more research, I discovered that this borax is produced by Rio Tinto, a multi-national corporation with mining interests all over the world as well as some human rights and labor violations and environmental controversies, hardy the stuff I want to make my "cruelty-free" detergent out of.
After a little more research, I found a recipe online that did not include any borax and looked simple enough to make. All you need is some liquid castille soap, baking soda, salt, and water. Now for one more complication, Arm and Hammer, who makes the most commonly available brand of baking soda, is a company that tests on animals. Again, not vegan or cruelty-free. Luckily, the wonderful Bob's Red Mill also makes baking soda, and I was able to pick up a four pack when I visited the store in Oregon.
The hardest part of making this detergent was the research that went into it. Trust me, the rest is a breeze! The original recipe can be found here. All you need is a large pot, into which you will add 2 cups of water, 1/3 cup of salt, and 1 cup of baking soda. Warm over medium heat stirring as needed until everything has mostly dissolved. Then remove from heat. Add 1 cup of castille soap and then transfer the mixture to a one gallon container. I re-purposed an old laundry detergent container. Fill the rest of the way with water until you have a gallon, and then shake it up to mix it.
Use 1/2 cup of laundry soap per load just as you would regular detergent. I usually shake it up a little before pouring it out just to make sure everything is mixed up. I made a batch of this last weekend and have been using it ever since. It seems to work fine as far as I can tell, (although I have to admit that my clothes don't really get that dirty). I am not sure how well it works if you need some major stain removal etc but I will let you know if I find out. And if you have any favorite vegan DIY recipes, please feel free to send them my way to firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to try them out myself and then share them on this site.