One of the aspects of living off the grid on an organic homestead is changing many things about how we do things. The changes are supposed to usher in many good and healthy things too our lives. Did you know that the laundry soap that you use is poisoning you? What about those wonderful smelling dryer sheets? Poison too! When you wash your clothes in this commercial stuff that is made in factories your clothes absorbs certain chemicals and then when you wear the clothes your skin absorbs it. One really great method for washing your clothes off the grid or even on the grid but using a more natural approach is to use Borax, baking soda and some naturally made soap with no dyes, perfumes or harmful chemicals.
A lot of homesteaders make their own laundry detergent and dish detergent, cleaning supplies and many other things that most people buy in a store. In fact off grid living challenges you to figure out how to do things using less energy, less money and less stuff. One thing that you have to think about is washing your clothes. Sure you could go to the local laundry mat and spend money on washing and drying your clothes. But if you are far from town that may not be worth a drive and if you are trying to live a more natural life or are just concerned about your impact on the environment then you will want an alternative. As an avid off gridder myself, my family washes our own clothes using a method that does not require any electricity or money.
There are a few new books on Amazon.com that talks about how to wash your clothes while living off the grid, the book is book 1 of two books written about how to live off the grid and live GOOD off the grid. In fact with a search of off grid books, there is quite an impressive list to choose from. But too make it much easier here is the recipe I use to make my own laundry soap. This soap is safe for people, animals and the environment.
1/3 Bar Naptha
1/2 Cup washing or baking soda
1/2 Cup Borax powder
2 Gallon bucket
Grate the bar soap and put it into a sauce pan. Add in 6 cups of water and heat the mix until the soap is all melted. Add in the washing soda a Borax and stir it until it is all absorbed. Take it off the heat and put in 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Now add in the soap mix and stir well. It has to sit for 24 hours now so the soap will gel up. Once it is finished it will not be a solid gel, instead it will be more watery. It sort of reminds me of egg drop soup. The suds the soap will produce is very low which is fine. If you see no suds this is also ok. All you really need is soapy water, not suds. Use a 1/2 cup per load of clothes and less if you do your laundry off grid in a 5 gallon bucket as we do.
Some people may want some sort of fresh or nice scent without all the harsh chemicals. Well there is a way you can do this too. Simply pick your choice scent out of a line of essential herb oils. Use about 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of the essential oil in the final mix. Enjoy!