How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

When Pistache was a baby, she had horrible eczema.  It was awful to the point of bleeding sometimes.  Our pediatrician at the time wasn’t very concerned with finding the cause, and so we went on the search ourselves.  While that was an extremely rough time in all of our lives, I’m grateful that it turned me towards a greener, cleaner lifestyle.  Her eczema is the reason for our entire lifestyle. The chemical-free cleaning, clean eating, and slow vaccinations.  The “war on eczema,” as we still call it, was a real turning point in our lives.

One of the first changes we made was to use dye-free, fragrance-free detergent, and we noticed a big change when we did that. Unfortunately, detergents free of dyes and fragrances actually cost more.  Don’t ask me.  You’d think since they are leaving out ingredients they could charge less, but that’s big business for you, right?

Homemade laundry detergent smells great and looks pretty!

Anyway, I did some research and learned about homemade laundry detergents.  How perfect!  This stuff is so easy to make, too.  It’s almost not worth buying detergent at the store, it’s so easy, and cheap.

All you need to make this laundry detergent yourself is:

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha soap (or your favorite bar soap)
  • Cheese grater (or spare food processor)
  • Jar that closes
  • Laundry scoop
You can find the 3 top ingredients in the laundry aisle at most stores.  In fact, I found all 3 items right next to each other, like the stockers knew I was coming in looking for the ingredients.

To make this detergent, you simply use your cheese grater to finely grate an entire bar of Fels Naptha soap into a large bowl.  Then measure out 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda and mix all three ingredients thoroughly.  I use about 2 tablespoons of detergent for a large load.

I know a lot of people are worried about the switch from liquid detergent to powder, and while there are several recipes out there for liquid laundry detergent, I just haven’t felt the need to switch.  We always used liquid detergent and I was a little concerned that the powder would leave my clothes stiff or itchy, but it absolutely hasn’t.  I add a splash or two of white distilled vinegar and then just wash my clothes as normal and they come out with no smell (of vinegar or soap), and just as soft as they used to when I used liquid detergent.

If you have sensitive skin, or even if you just want to cut back on your chemicals, this laundry detergent is a great detergent to try.  Since you can substitute the Fels Naptha for a soap that you know your skin can tolerate, this is even good for people with sensitivities to different soaps and smells! I have a friend that makes this using Dove soap as well, and it works just as well as mine does.  Give it a try.  It’s so easy, and so cheap that you’ll wonder why you’ve been spending the big bucks on brand name detergents.

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2 Comments

Filed under Go Green

2 responses to “How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Thanks for sharing in the Homesteading Link Up! I’ve been thinking of making my own laundry detergent for a while now but have never gotten around to it. Perhaps I finally will!

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