DIY Natural Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents can be full of chemicals and unknown ingredients you do not recognize, nor can you pronounce them. They can also be expensive. Making your own homemade laundry soap is cost-effective, and if you use the right ingredients, it works well to clean your clothes naturally. If you are worried that making your own laundry detergent will be time consuming or difficult, it is not. Little prep time is involved.
Important components to any DIY laundry detergents include:
- They must be safe for septic systems – you do not want to upset the delicate balance of necessary bacteria in your septic tank with toxins from your laundry care products and cause a disaster in your yard. Some laundry soap contains phosphates and montmorillonite clay or other “zero fillers” that will clog piles over time. For this reason, it is important to make sure that on top of cleaning clothes your detergent is septic safe
- They must work with your washing machine – high efficiency (HE) machines need special types of soap because they use less water. The soap that you buy for an HE washing machine is a low-suds type, so that your clothes don’t come out covered in residue. The following recipe for homemade detergent is a low-suds laundry soap, so it can be used in HE machines
- They have to actually work – using the following homemade laundry detergent recipe will get your clothes clean and smelling fresh in no time. It works just as well as a commercial liquid detergent, without all the extra scents and chemicals that irritate sensitive skin
- They must not leave a soap residue on your laundry – soap residue will not only show up on clothes, making them look dirty, but it is also a magnet for bacteria and mildew, and will cause your clothes to smell musty or unclean over time. Using the following detergent recipe for natural homemade laundry detergent will ensure your clothes have no residue whether you wash in warm water or cold
The following is a powdered DIY laundry soap recipe that works well, is easy to store, and is simple to make. It is a tried, tested, and true way to do laundry that thousands of people have used over the years, with great success.
The shopping guide for detergent ingredients is:
- 14 ounces of washing soda*
- 14 ounces of borax**
- 4.5 ounces of the shaved bar of soap***
Just mix these three ingredients together, ensuring the laundry detergent powder is blended well. If you wish you can put them into a blender or food processor****, a good idea if you wash your clothes in a cold water wash cycle, as the fine powder will dissolve easier. Store in an air-tight container, using approximately one tablespoon for a small load or two to three for large or heavily soiled loads, or if your home has hard water.
If you wish to add extra fresh scents to your laundry, you may wish to use lemon essential oil, rose water, scented sachets, reusable lavender bags, wool dryer balls, a scented dryer sheet, citrus or peppermint-scented fabric softener, or lavender water as simple ingredients that will make you feel like you had a day at the spa. White vinegar may help with smelly gym clothes and as a stain remover.
Making your own safe, clean, and natural laundry detergent using this powder recipe not only gets your clothes clean, but you can feel the satisfaction of knowing you made the laundry product yourself, even learning how to make one cup baking soda into one cup super washing soda.
Cleaning clothes naturally has never been easier. With some simple ingredients, a cheese grater, and an airtight container, you can save money and help the environment. From your baby’s cloth diapers to your own sheets, pillowcases, towels or even delicate homemade fabric will be spotless when you use this natural cleaning product.
Making this homemade laundry detergent powder takes nearly zero prep time, it is safe for septic systems and your septic tank, and contains simple ingredients like Kirk’s Castile Soap, soda ash, and Dr. Bronner’s that get the job done just as well as any store-bought laundry product but without the use of any toxic chemical.
Throw just a spoonful of this powder recipe into your top loading or front loading washing machine, and after the wash cycle and rinse cycle you will have fresh smelling, clean laundry that can compete with the best liquid laundry detergent, even if you have hard water or always wash in cold water.
*You can buy washing soda at the grocery store, pool cleaner shop, or online, or make your own natural homemade washing soda (soda ash or sodium carbonate) by sprinkling a shallow layer of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) on a baking sheet, placing it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately half an hour. You will be able to tell that it has changed composition as washing soda is grainier and does not clump easily, while baking soda is powdery and crystalized, and clumps together easily. Ensure you do not handle washing soda with bare hands and never inhale the powder as it is caustic.
**Borax can make you sick if ingested, so make sure your laundry soap is out of reach of pets and small children in an airtight container. Ensure you are not confusing it with boric acid. Do not use boric acid in your laundry soap recipe.
***FelsNaptha, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, ZOTE, or a homemade laundry bar are some examples of natural, soothing bar soap you can try. Shave the bar with a fine cheese grater.
****Ensure you let all the dust of your natural detergent settle before opening the lid of the food processor or blender so that you don’t inhale the fine laundry powder particles.