Green & Simple | Laundry Detergent

If you are anything like my husband, you might be thinking, “why in the world would I make laundry detergent when I could just buy Tide from the store?”

I swear I don’t just sit around thinking of all of the things that I should start making from scratch.  It started the same way most of my other homemade ventures have.  I wanted something that just isn’t available here.  I try to choose all-natural or eco-friendly options for any household products that we buy.  I actually don’t use any cleaning products at all…but that is another story.  Before we moved down here, we stocked up on all types of all-natural, unscented laundry detergents (all natural detergent is a necessity for washing cloth diapers).  Anyway, fast forward until we used up all of our all-natural detergent.  I ordered it a few times online, and then heard about making you own.  Since I am always game to cut more chemicals out of our lives, I decided to try it.

All you need to make your own eco-friendly, all-natural laundry detergent is:

Please forgive the mangled looking boxes.  They traveled a long way to get to me.

Grate the bar of soap.  This is really the only part of this process that is time consuming.  And it only takes a few minutes.  It takes even less time if you can get someone else to do the grating for you.  :)  The original recipe called for Fels Naptha soap.  I made the first batch this way, but wasn’t in love with the scent.  I prefer the unscented castille soap.

After the soap is grated, mix it together with a cup of washing soda and a cup of borax.  As you mix the 3 ingredients, you will see the little grated pieces of soap start to integrate into the mixture, until you can’t see them anymore.  Pour it all into an airtight container and you’re done!

My little helper got home from school just as I was finishing to do a little quality control.  Her verdict:  I passed.  My verdict:  I think it is great.  It works just as well as any other detergent, and I feel good about not bringing any more unnecessary chemicals into our house.  The Borax and the Washing soda are super inexpensive, so this is cheap to make.  If you do the calculations, it comes out to be just a few cents per load.  Much less expensive than the eco-friendly store-bought brands that I was buying.  My husband’s verdict:  “Why can’t we just buy detergent at the store like normal people?”  Because we aren’t normal.  Duh.

A few notes:

  • There are a ton of different recipes out there for detergent.  This one came from my sister-in-law.  Thanks Robin!
  • I have heard of some people using a few drops of essential oil to make their clothes smell nice.  I have never tried it, but I think I will next time.
  • For cloth diapering parents: forget the expensive Charlie’s or Rockin Green.  This works so much better!
  • Although Borax is all-natural, and has been around forever, I recently read a few things that made it seem like it wasn’t safe to have around.  If anyone knows more about this, please share in the comments!

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