There are many DIY laundry recipes, so why read another one? – Well here is why.
My recipe may be a bit different than others.
I choose not to add baking soda. After much research, I don’t believe that it is needed. It is not as powerful in stain fighting abilities as washing soda, they are both alkaline and baking soda’s pH (9) is not as high as washing soda’s pH (11). I just don’t see a reason to mess with an already powerful ingredient.
I choose not to use Borax for it’s questionable “not so green” effects. You can read more here.
So there is my ‘why I don’t use what others may’ in their recipes.
Now, for my own personal
issues … reasons why I began making homemade detergent.
I have been making laundry detergent for about 6 years now. I have tried MANY – many, many- different methods and recipes.
One of my biggest hang ups was that I needed my laundry to smell great. Not good, but gr-rrreat.
Truthfully, a lot of that great smell was unnecessary chemical additives. I’m not really sure when I made the decision that clean meant a ‘A Hawaiian Paradise Island’… but if you really think on that for a minute, you will understand how our noses have been taken over by the toxic chemical driven industry. I still want, and use, laundry detergent that smells great. I have just come to realize it does not have to be had through nasty toxins.
Secondly, for some reason I thought that liquid laundry detergent was superior to powder. Looking at what the laundry aisle has to offer, I think many people have that assumption too.
6 years ago, I started out making liquid laundry detergent. That was a chore that involved stove top cooking, filling up a 5 gallon bucket, storing it, and trying to add from the bucket to my saved laundry bottles. It got old. Fast.
Then I started powdered detergent. It works better, it is faster to make, and easier to store. After experimenting with many different recipes, and trying to switch over to a natural home lifestyle, I have landed on this gold star recipe. If you are interested in other natural recipes made at home, check out my foaming hand soap recipes or bath bombs DIY.
[The first three ingredients are usually found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets. Try looking high and low.]
- 1 bar (13 oz.) of laundry soap (examples: Zote, Fels Naptha, Dr. Bronner’s)
- 6 cups (3lb. 7oz. box) of washing soda
- 2 cups OxiClean (oxygen bleach)
- 20 drops lemon essential oil
- 30 drops orange essential oil
- Cheese grater or food processor
- Your bar soap is the foundation. This is the cleaning agent that actually ‘cleans’ your dirty clothes.
- The washing soda is a booster to the bar soap. It aids in stain release and dirt and grime removal.
- The Oxi-clean helps brighten clothes color.
- The oils, if using lemon and orange, are natural degreasers. They also make the detergent smell great.
♥If you aren’t a fan of citrus smells, you could always substitute one of the oils with your favorite choice.
Grate the bar soap.
Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl.
Add oils to dry ingredients and stir until you reach a soft powder with no clumps.
Slowly add the grated soap to the dry. Mix in intervals as you add the soap.
You can process this in a food processor if you wish it to be a very fine powder overall. I, personally, skip the food processor.
Use 1-2 Tbsp. per load. Save that OxiClean tub, it comes in handy to store your detergent. (and a scoop!)
Laundry Detergent Tips
- I have never had issues with my grated soap leaving behind any residue on my clothes, I do wash most all our clothes in warm water. Which I believes aids the soap in melting, but it has worked fine for me in cold as well.
- I have never had any trouble with my washer. I do not have an HE washer. Mine is a top loader.
- This recipe should work well with HE washers, as it is little to low sudsing. Always check your manufacturer’s manual and warranty warnings.