I didn’t think I would become one of those crazy people who made their own laundry detergent. Now I have to admit it seems a little crazy not to. This recipe is so simple (it takes about 15 minutes) and inexpensive (less than 10 cents a load) to get 2 gallons of detergent that is effective and safe for your body and the environment.
Most commercial detergents are filled with chemicals such as fragrances, sulfates, petroleum distillates, and many other chemicals that are known to have harmful effects. They may have been deemed “safe enough” to make the shelf but think about how often you use your laundry detergent and how those chemicals sit against your skin all day long. This is an area where we can easily reduce our exposure.
There are some more natural detergents on the market but unfortunately most of those come with a much higher price tag and often still contain some questionable ingredients such as Borax.
I had been looking up laundry detergent recipes for 5 years before I actually found a combination that I liked. A year before I settled on this one I had ordered the ingredients for the basic laundry recipe that you see online. You know the one with Fels Naptha and Borax. I just wasn’t comfortable with the ratings that these ingredients had on the EWG site (nor did I want to take the time to grate soap). If you aren’t familiar with the Environmental Working Group, they have a web site that rates ingredients and products on an “A to F” scale based on their safety for the environment as well as our bodies. It gives Fels-Naptha a “C” for some asthma and cancer concerns and Borax a very poor “F” due to it’s high concern for developmental and reproductive toxicity. This recipe however uses ingredients that all receive an “A”
- 3/4 cup Super Washing Soda
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Liquid Castile Soap
- Essential oils (choose one of the blends below or make your own):
- Fall/Winter oil blend:
- 20 drops Lemon essential oil
- 30 drops Protective essential oil blend
- Spring Summer oils blend:
- 15 drops Lemon essential oil
- 15 drops Lavender essential oil
- 10 drops Purify essential oil
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Servings: 86 loads
- Difficulty: easy
Heat 2-3 cups of water until almost boiling (right when the little bubbles start to form on the bottom of the pan) in a medium sized pot. The water amount doesn't have to be exact because you will be adding more water to make almost 2 gallons later.
Add the 1/2 cup liquid Castile Soap mixing gently so that you don't create a lot of suds.
Fill a two-gallon bucket almost full with really warm water. Leave room for your soap mixture and so that it doesn't splash out when stirring.
Pour the soda and soap mixture from your pot into the water stirring gently.
Add your essential oils and again stir gently.
Pour your mixture into your storage container(s). I used three old detergent bottles that I had saved (they did have natural detergents in them before). I simply removed the pouring spout, filled it, and replaced the spout.
For easy filling, I used a liquid measuring cup to dip in the bucket and then pour into the container.
Now it's time to do your laundry knowing that you are using an all-natural detergent that is safe for your family. I use about 3 ounces (the max line on my HD washer) of detergent for each load. I also add a little vinegar in the fabric softener spot on my washer for the rinse cycle.
Enjoy your new spa-like laundry experience! (At least that is what I tell myself when I do my laundry)