Get clean with some homemade detergent

  • Homemade soap from Purely Wholesome Farm. Courtesy

For the Monitor
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

When I’m getting my hair cut or I’m at the feed store, I wonder if anyone will notice the mud on my boots or crusted dirt on my cargo pants.

Cargo pants, with their many pockets, are regulation farm-wear for me. Before cargo pants, I frequently lost my cellphone, literally. It would slip out of its holder and hide in the grass, on silent ringer, lost, literally. One side pocket of my cargo pants holds my phone, the other my knife and glasses. Every farmer needs to keep a knife handy and this farmer needs glasses. Extra pants pockets make all the difference.

Farming dictates my clothing choices, but it also changed my laundry choices as well. I have discovered that it was easy to ditch commercial laundry soap for my own homemade variety.

Not only do I save money making my own laundry soap, I also avoid washing my clothes with harsh chemicals. Making laundry soap is so easy I wonder why I ever gave over this task to huge corporations?

There are lots of great laundry soap recipes online that are easy to make. Sometimes I also add a dash of white vinegar to the washer for those smelly, piggy-manured covered pants.

Just like cooking, substitution for a missing ingredient works when it comes to detergent.

I’ve also stopped buying commercial body soap. Local soap makers Janet King of Meadow’s Pond Soap and Cindy Shea of Purely Wholesome Farm both use the tallow from our cattle to create a perfect soap; soap good enough to eat, which my porch pig, Tazzy, does. Occasionally she knocks a bucket of soap chips to the floor and will eat a piece. She especially likes the oatmeal soap. Talk about a clean pig, inside and out!

Farming made my fashion choices easy; pockets, lots of them, are required. Homemade cleaning products are the best to keep those pocketed pants clean. I may never go back to buying commercial soap, but I will never give up my washing machine. There are some modern conveniences that even this farmer can’t live without to get the crusty mud off cargo pants.

Looking for a laundry soap recipe? Here’s a recipe from Wellness Mama, online at wellnessmama.com/27059/high-efficiency-laundry-detergent.

(Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com.)