Homemade Laundry Detergent

Lately, I have been making my own laundry detergent. I’ve been doing it for the following reasons:

  1. The store bought stuff is pretty expensive & the brands I was using didn’t do a great job getting my clothes clean.
  2. I would like to know what’s in it. Scented laundry detergent can be toxic.
  3. When I run out, I can just make more.

Here’s a recipe I found from The Simple Dollar.

Ingredients:
1 cup washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer)
1/2 cup borax (I use 20 Mule Team)
1 bar soap
1 large pail (I used a 5 gallon Home Depot pail)

Method:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. As it’s heating, grate one bar of soap (I use a box grater to do this).

When the water is boiling, add the soap to the pot, a little at a time until it is well combined. Remove from the heat until you’re ready to use it.

Add 3 gallons of warm tap water to the large pail. To this, add 1 cup of washing soap and 1/2 cup of borax.  (Some people don’t like borax because it can be harsh and it’s not as “natural” as it claims. It’s optional, but I’ve heard it really cleans well and I haven’t tried this recipe without it yet.)  When the bar of soap has completely dissolved, you can add that in there too. Give it a good stir and ta-da! Homemade laundry soap. I usually let mine sit overnight, but I’m sure you could use it right away.

Add one cup of detergent to each load of laundry. Makes approximately 52 cups.

This detergent doesn’t have much of a scent and personally that doesn’t bother me. If I’m looking to spice up my laundry, however, I’ll do it in the dryer. Dampen a washcloth or rag and hit it with about 10 drops of essential oil:  lavendar & tea tree oil are my favorites.

One more tid-bit: all ingredients are easy to find and apparently it is significantly cheaper (2 cents per load vs. 20 cents using Tide with Bleach). I haven’t done the math, but you can check it out at The Simple Dollar.