Laundry detergent is one of the first things I started making. If you google “homemade laundry detergent” you will find gobs of recipes to follow. Many are for liquid detergent, and they are muy complicado. I’m too busy to do complicated. I like this powder recipe, which takes all of about 10 minutes to make.
First, gather your ingredients and tools.
You will need Borax, washing soda, a bowl, a grater with small holes, a measuring cup, a tablespoon, a storage container, and a bar of soap. Now, about that bar of soap. You can use any old bar. But remember if the bar has a bunch of artificial fragrances and crap in it, they will be in your detergent as well. They do make special bars of soap just for laundry- Fels Naptha is a common brand found in the laundry aisle- but I don’t find that necessary. I’ve always just used what we have around the house, which is usually a pretty plain, unscented kind. Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of using a solid bar of castile soap, but they are nearly $5 each so that really takes away from the cost savings.
First, you will grate your bar of soap into the bowl.
I have the luxury of working from home a couple days of week, and I find myself doing this while I’m on conference calls. But be careful, one time I grated a chunk out of my finger! I timed myself while taking these pictures and it took about six minutes.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s done.
One time I had a grated bar of soap sitting on the table just like this. The husband thought it was cheese and almost ate some, but being the nice, loving wife that I am, I stopped him just in time.
Next, add 1 cup of Borax to the bowl.
Follow that with 1 cup of washing soda.
Mix it all together and smash up any chunks of powder.
Then just pour it into your storage container. I do not have the skills to pour from the mixing bowl to the jar, so I pour it into the measuring cup first and then use that to pour it into the jar.
Add your tablespoon to your storage container and you’re good to go!
For a normal size load of laundry, I use about a tablespoon. That’s it. For larger loads I use more, for smaller I use less. The husband uses three or four tablespoons on his gym clothes. That’s when I knew this detergent was really successful, when it washed those gym clothes.
A couple more things regarding natural laundry-
I’ve read a few things online about using vinegar as a fabric softener in the wash. It’s supposed to help make your clothes soft. I have not tried this and don’t find it necessary, but if that’s a concern to you do some research into that.
Regarding drying, I am still trying solutions. Of course, to be really natural you should hang your clothes to dry. But to be honest, I don’t like how my clothes feel when they’ve air dried. Plus, my dryer doubles as my iron. For now, I use a shoe to prevent static cling. I put a couple drops of essential oil on a soft cloth and throw it in the dryer to help the clothes smell good. Those things work okay. The husband says his clothes are still staticy, but that’s because he tries to do six loads at once. Smaller loads are okay. I have come across a couple things online I’m anxious to try but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I will update you if I find something good!
I’m excited to have a solid laundry detergent before Nugget gets here because I understand the baby detergent is quite expensive. Out of everything I make, this is the one that probably saves the most money. Happy laundry day!