You only need three basic ingredients and you will never have to buy store bought detergents again. Save tons of money and keep yourself and your family away from harsh chemicals and dyes. Sound good? It’s quick and easy.
This is what works for me. Most homemade laundry soaps call for Fels Naptha Soap but I prefer and recommend you use Organic Natural Soap, as it is gentler on the skin and free of dyes and perfume. Chagrin Valley Soap has some great natural soap to pick from. So here we go grab your Soap, Washing Soda, and Borax. I also like to add Lavender Essential Oil (Optional).
Soap: Options for soap are any organic natural soap, your own homemade soap, Ivory, or Zote. A note about Zote: it is made with essential citronella oil, which possess a smell similar to lime.
Washing Soda: Also called sodium carbonate. This is NOT baking soda. I use the brand Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. It’s a powder and water softener. Check in the laundry detergent section of your local grocery store, Wal-Mart or Amazon.
Borax: A natural mineral: also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. It is a laundry deodorizer and also whitens. The brand 20 Mule Team has been used for over 115 years. You should also be able to find this in the laundry soap aisle at Wal-Mart or Target, otherwise try online.
Grate the soap with a cheese grater and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it on med-high heat until the soap melts. Then add the washing soda and the borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Add your melted soap and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus another 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours, preferably with a lid on it and it will gel. Use ½ cup per load. The soap has very little suds. If you don’t see suds, don’t worry. Suds are not what clean your clothes. It’s the ingredients in the soap that does the trick. One single batch makes 52 loads worth of detergent.
If you want your soap to have a scent you can add ½ to 1 oz. of essential oil of your choice. Or you can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.
Essential oil ideas:
Lavender, Sweet orange, or Tea tree. Choose a fragrance that you like. Be mindful of allergies when it comes to added an essential oil.
Are you having issues the consistency of the soap? I did too. It’s supposed be a gel, but even if it’s a little chunky or runny, that’s ok. Don’t worry about the texture. It still does the job and gets your clothes clean. I do suggest shaking it (a LOT) before you use it.
Do you prefer to use the powdered laundry soap?
Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe:
Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container. Use 2 tablespoons per full load. Try it out. Let me know at Sage Tots Childcare how it works for you and your family.