How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
Toxin-Free, Affordable, Easy
It is incredibly simple to make your own laundry detergent. I will likely never buy laundry detergent again. I was blown away by how easy and effective (your clothes will get clean) this recipe is, and how much safer for your body and the environment!
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1 bar of Dr. Bronners Castille Soap (pick unscented or a scent you like)
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (found at large grocery or hardware/general stores in laundry or cleaning aisle)
Borax (see above for where to find)
Essential Oils of your choice (2-3 drops)
1. Grate bar of soap by hand or in a food processor (that scared me, so I grated by hand).
2. Measure out your soap, that’s your baseline “1 part”. Add 2 parts (twice as much) each borax and washing powder to the soap.
3. Put it into a glass mason jar, stick a label on it and put it in the laundry room with a spoon for scooping.
4. Add 2-4 TB per load of laundry. Add 1-2 tsp of baking soda or a scoop of oxygen boost for extra dirty or smelly stuff.
5. Add essential oils of choice to a damp rag and throw into the dryer with your load for scented laundry.
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral composed of boron, oxygen, sodium and water. Dr. Bronner’s soap is vegetable-based, organic and fair trade. Washing powder is simply sodium carbonate from salt and limestone. All stuff made from recognizable elements without anything weird added in.
A liquid version of this may be more effective if you have hard water. Find natural stain treatments here.
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Why make your own laundry detergent?
Health: Most commercial detergents are full of nasty chemicals which are potentially very risky to your health, and they use artificial dyes and fragrances which are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with your hormones. You put this in contact with your skin every day via your clothing.
Money: You don’t have to spend more when you make your own laundry detergent. It costs less than 10 cents per load in ingredients. Cheap!
Environment: This is a great way to reduce waste and your contribution to polluted waterways. When you make your own detergent, it is one less thing you use in life which creates trash, since you can keep refilling the same container. This should make you feel good! You also help the planet by not putting dye, bleach, fragrance, and other toxic chemicals into the water.
Knowledge: You know what you’re putting on your clothes, and therefore onto your skin. Instead of being clueless as to what makes something go from clean to dirty, you get little more involved in the process… maybe you start to wonder why advertisers make us think we need these complicated products in the first place. And, if you try it and decide it’s not for you, it’s okay, I will still love you. Pick another awesome healthy habit instead.
Does it work?
You don’t want to make your own laundry detergent if it’s inferior to commercial products. The good news is it works great! I have yet to wash a load of laundry and notice any difference between this and my previous commercial detergent. Baking soda kills odor causing bacteria very effectively. Borax and washing powder and Castille soap all cleanse, removing dirt, stains, and sweat.
The main thing people seem to miss is that fresh laundry smell–you can still throw in an all-natural dryer sheet or a few drops of lavender essential oil on a damp rag into the dryer if you miss the scent.
Don’t want to make your own laundry detergent? Ecover and Branch Basics both make good products which use minimal to no toxic chemicals. They cost a little more than making your own, but you save on convenience. Recycle your containers when you use them up to cut down waste.