Homemade Laundry Detergent - Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
Homemade laundry detergent can save you a bundle and is an eco-friendly alternative to mainstream detergents.
Mainstream laundry detergent pollution is a problem. Many popular detergents contain phosphates and other hazardous chemicals that pollute our water and
harm our health.
Some of these chemicals include Alkyl benzene sulfonates, artificial fragrance, phthalates, Alkyl phenoxy polyethoxy ethanols, Diethanolamines, EDTA,
Optical brighteners, Polycarboxylates, Polyethylene glycol, Quaternium 15, and Xylene sulfonate.
These chemicals are ridiculously hazardous. We are talking cancer, asthma, allergies, eczema, respiratory problems, endocrine disruption, and
reproductive issues, etc. Homemade laundry detergent can be better for your health.
Detergents always leave some residue on your clothes and are absorbed into your skin. If you aren't concerned about the detergent pollution part of it,
as least realize your health and the health of your family is at stake.
All of these homemade laundry detergent recipes are low-sudsing and thus can be used in an HE washing machine.
The recipes mainly call for borax (sodium borate), washing soda (sodium carbonate), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), essential oils and Castille soap.
Borax and washing soda are generally found in the cleaning aisle of a grocery store, and baking soda in the baking aisle. You can usually find Castille
soap and essential oils in natural grocery stores or buy them online.
For an HE washing machine, you might start out using 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load and work your way up from there since HE machines use less water. A regular
washing machine may require 1/2 cup to 1 cup. You have to experiment with the amount you use.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Tips
- Take wrappers off bars of soap and dry them out for a few days so they are easier to grate.
- Microwave the bars of soap first so they expand. When they expand, they crumble apart, so you can avoid the need to grate the soap. Be cautious!
- Dedicate some of your tools for use only for making homemade cleaners. You'll want to set aside measuring cups, a whisk, a big spoon, a cheese grater, a large bowl, and a large pot.
- You can use essential oils when you make your own laundry detergent.
- If you use scented Castille soap, you may not need or want extra essential oils.
- Many recipes call for Fels-Naptha soap, which contains petroleum-based ingredients and fragrance. It is not earth friendly and I don't recommend melting it, grating it or doing anything else with it. Stick with natural soaps (like Castille soap) and essential oils for fragrance.
- Make your own Homemade fabric softener and dryer sheets.
- Try different recipes to see which one works best in your particular washer with the type of water you have locally. Every situation is different. What works for some, won't work as well for others.
- Liquid detergent may work better for those with he washers, because you need to dissolve dry detergent in water first. It is easier to throw the detergent in a regular washer as it fills.
- Letting homemade liquid detergent sit around for a long time seems iffy to me. You might want to add something like tea tree oil to the detergent to prevent things from growing in it. You can also make smaller batches, so they are not sitting around for a long time.
- Some people find that homemade laundry detergent (and eco-friendly laundry detergent, in general) doesn't clean quite as well as the mainstream stuff. You may, on occasion, want to wash your whites with some oxyclean or hang them out to dry on a sunny day to prevent dinginess.
- Use rubber gloves. My hands were pretty red when I was done with Recipe #5. You don't want water mixed with borax and washing soda coming into direct contact with your skin.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe #1
- 1 cup of washing soda
- 1/2 cup borax
- 1 bar of soap (Castille or other natural soap)
- 3 gallons of water
- 20-30 drops of essential oil of your choice
Grate soap with cheese grater. Boil a few cups of water and gradually add soap flakes / curls to the water, stirring to help them melt.
Simmer the water and soap mixture until all the soap is dissolved. Put around 3 gallons of hot water in your detergent container. Put washing
soda in the container and add the hot soap mixture and stir. Allow to sit and solidify a bit. Use a scoop for each load of laundry.
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe #2
- 4 tablespoons of Washing Soda
- 2 Tablespoons Borax
- 1 oz. liquid Castille Soap
- 1 gallon HOT water
- 10-15 drops essential oil of your choice
Fill container up with hot water.
Put soap, washing soda and borax in the container. Put lid on container and shake it until everything has dissolved.
Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load.
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe #3
- 2 cups Washing Soda
- 2 cups of Borax
- 2 bars of Castille soap
- 10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice
Grate soap until you have about 4 cups of soap. Combine soap flakes, borax and washing soda in your detergent container.
Put lid on, shake up well and you are done! Use 1/4-3/4 cup per load.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe #4
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup Washing Soda
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 2 tablespoons of Castille soap
This recipe is for one load
of laundry in a regular washer. Don't mix this up before hand. Simply mix it as you do the laundry. If you want to do some of the
mixing beforehand, do something like 2.5 cups borax, 2.5 cups washing soda, and 5 cups baking soda in a container.
Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup for an HE washer and
2 cups for a regular washer. Add the soap straight into the washer. Do an extra rinse to make sure everything is out. Use a scented soap instead of essential oils.
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe #5
1 cup of White Vinegar
1 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Liquid Castille Soap
1 cup Washing Soda
Mix all ingredients together and pour into an empty container with a lid. This was the first homemade laundry detergent I ever made, and it was extremely clumpy. Mix
the vinegar in gradually to try to prevent this.
It hardened quite a bit and it did not dissolve easily in my HE washer. You may need to dissolve this in water
first before throwing it in the washer if you have an HE. If you have a regular washer, just throw it in before the clothes and let it dissolve first.
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At Simple Green Living
you can even learn how to make your own homemade soap which is much more gentle on your family's skin.
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