Oh Rockin’ Green Soap…how I love you!

     Oh, Rockin’ Green Soap … how I love you!!  Your yummy scents, your eco-friendly nature, your fantastic customer service!  The way I can Rock A Soak and you show me how dirty my clean laundry really is.  The way you gently strip my cloth diapers of ammonia and funk…  But wait, you say.  Didn’t you teach us that we can make our own laundry soap, you crunchy pagan parent you?  Yes, yes … I did.  And I still do make and use my own laundry soap.  For most of my families dirty clothes, our home-made soap works just fine.   Cloth diapers are a different beast, however, and Rockin’ Green is made especially for those fluffy bums in your house.

     My Twitter peeps turned me on to Rockin’ Green when I asked about an eco-friendly detergent for my leaky stinky cloth diapers.  I browsed the FAQ’s on the website, and decided to order some sample packages of soap to test scents and see if it “really” worked.  The scents….Oh, the scents!  I ended up ordering six samples my first go around, because each sounded yummier than the last.  Smart names like Rage Against the Raspberry and Motley Clean.  Tasty scents like Smashing Watermelon and Orangevana.  Even some grown up adult scents like Lavender Mint Revival and The Plain Green Teas.  They were all fantastic, non “fake” smelling samples.  RnG even has Bare Naked Babies (non scented) for those of you who have someone in your house sensitive to scent.  Samples are very reasonable at $.75 to $.80 each, and one sample pack will do 2 loads in a standard toploading washer or FOUR if you use a HE machine.  One pack is also enough to Rock a Soak (but we’ll get to that later on!).  Even better is the fact that Rockin’ Green comes in Classic Rock (for those of us with normal water), Hard Rock for hard water sufferers, and Soft Rock for those over sudsy areas.

     My samples arrived in short order, and I set about to try to strip my cloth diapers.  Instructions are on the back of the bags, as well as on the website.  In addition, Kim (of RockinGreenSoap fame on Twitter) is always fantastic about answering any questions you have via email or Twitter.  My fluff needed to be washed anyway, so I tossed them in the washer and followed the directions on the bag.  It was easy…cold rinse/wash with no soap (to get the nasties out), wash using detergent, then double rinse.  That’s it.  I couldn’t believe the funk that came out in the washer!  In fact, I drove my husband nuts by opening the lid every five minutes during the agitation to check the color of the water.  (Eeeew, is all I can say!)  I couldn’t wait to Rock a Soak after seeing how much ick had come out in the wash, so that was my next step.  I filled my washer with hot water and 3 Tbsp of Rockin’ Green along with my dipes.  The directions say to let it soak for 30-60 minutes, but given the state of my cloth diapers I left them for almost two hours.  The last step was just to launder as usual, skipping the soap.  The bag and website both say that if you have excessive buildup or residue it may take a few soaks or overnight to get them in good condition, but I found that for most of my diapers one soak was enough.  I actually ran out of samples, and Kim was kind enough to send me more so that I could finish stripping those last few nasty diapers that still had residue built up in them!  I wish I had taken photos the first time I Rocked a Soak.  I actually called my husband into the laundry several times so he could see for himself.  “Look at the diapers, honey!  EEEEW!”  “OH!  Look at them NOW!”  He ended up refusing to come look  at my nasty wash water after the third time I called him to share my disgust.

     So, as you know we try to go as eco-friendly as possible here.  Laundry soaps particularly can be hard on the environment and waste water.  Rockin’ Green is fantastic for just this reason.  Its dye free, naturally scented, no fillers, no enzymes, no optical brighteners, 100% phosphate free, HE compatible, and even the packaging is recyclable.  It’s never tested on animals (only baby bums), and “tree hugger approved.”  Using Rockin’ Green ends up costing you about $.13 a load (almost half what some of the big name brands cost, AND its better for the environment!)

     Does this sound fantastic, or what?  It gets better.  Kim has generously donated one bag of 45/90 Rockin’ Green for me to giveaway (and you to win!)  in your choice of scents and formula.  We don’t do super complicated giveaways on this blog, so here’s what you need to do to enter.

     1.  Leave me a comment telling me what scent and formula you’d like if you win.  That’s it.  For additional entries, leave me a second comment and do one of the below.

     2.  Follow Kim on Twitter.

     3.  Follow me on Twitter.

     4.  Subscribe to this blog.

     That’s all, folks!  Good luck…I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday, August 4th at noon using Random.org.  Make sure I can get ahold of you!  The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or I’ll redraw.


I’m so crunchy, I make my own laundry soap!

And ya know what, cats and kittens?  You can do it too!  Really!  It’s so easy that you’ll wonder why you never did it before!

You’re going to need a big pot, a spoon, some empty detergent containers, soap and borax.  That’s all.

What’s the advantage of making your own laundry detergent?  I’m so glad you asked!

For starters, it’s a heckuvalot cheaper than the stuff you buy in stores.  Because you control what goes into it, you have complete control over the end product.  The ingredients that I use are about as eco-friendly as it gets, so yay for those of you putting laundry water into your septic tank.  Besides that?  Well, it’s just fun!!  Lets get started?

The first step in your frothy freedom is heating up a pot of water.  I use my old Tide detergent bottle that holds 100 ounces.  A little more or less one way or another truly does not matter.  ( I cook like this, too — drives my husband nuts!)  Once your water is hot, but not simmering, you’re going to add about two ounces of shaved hard soap.  I use Dr Brommer’s Castile soap.  It comes in lots of yummy scents, its great for sensitive skin, organic, certified Fair Trade, NOT tested on animals, vegan, and packaged with recycled products.  Pretty darn good, huh?  It looks like this:

Got it? Most natural foods stores carry it.  I love switching out the scents depending on my mood and the season.  You can even mix and match!  One bar gives me three bottles of detergent.  They go about $4.00 a bar, which isn’t bad.  You don’t need to use castile.  In fact, ANY soap works.  I know people who save body bar ends for this purpose, or mini hotel soaps.  We’re kinda crunchy around here, so I go with Dr. Bronner’s.  It does also come in a liquid form:

If you use this, you’ll have to tweak the amounts just a little.  I’d use about a third of the bottle.  Tons of yummy scents again, and just as friendly as the bar soap!

So…to your nicely hot water, you’re going to add the soap of your choice.  Really, just grate it or shave it, and  toss it in.  If you choose to use a solid soap, a little patience is going to be required as those lovely little bits get all melted into the water.  Stirring is good, patience is better.  I’ll start a pot going before I start washing the dishes, and typically by the time I’m finished my soap is all lovely and melted.  It’s important to melt all these little bits in well.  Of course, if you’re using the liquid version you won’t have this issue.  Stir it for a bit, though, to make sure that everything is incorporated well.

Next comes our Borax.  You can find it anywhere, typically in either the cleaning or laundry aisle.  Its pretty much my go to now for all my cleaning needs.  It does a great job as an abrasive, and helps “boost” my laundry.  In fact, sometimes I add a little extra to my loads just for fun.  Borax is totally natural and safe for your washer, plumbing, & septic.  Its cool stuff!  To your soapy slurry, you’ll want to add between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of Borax.  A four pound box is about $2.00, and if you just use it for laundry its going to last forever.  Stir the two together, and let them cool before funneling it into your empty detergent bottle.  It will take 24-36 hours to “set” but it will turn gel-like and thick.

Now…I have issues with always using too much laundry soap, even when I don’t have to.  If you’re one of those fantastic people who can pour a third of a cap of detergent and be happy, you’re all done.  That’s literally all you need…about a third of the cap.  Half if you’re really worried about getting those clothes clean.  Whatever you used before is at least twice too much.  I (for my sanity!) divide my gel-ishy soap into two detergent bottles, half and half, then top off with warm water and shake.  (Oh yeah, make sure you shake this stuff before you use it 😉 )  That’s it.  You just made your own laundry soap!

I have seen recipes on the internet that call for washing soda.  None of my local stores carry it, but I figured that I should buy some and try.  I’ll tell you now — don’t waste your money.  I saw NO difference with the washing soda or without.  Like, none.  I don’t bother using it at all anymore.  Feel free to try if you’d like!

That’s it, guys…you’re done!  The entire batch probably cost you less than $2.00 to make, which makes your load cost in the pennies.  Let me know how it goes!

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