I Made My Own Laundry Detergent, and So Can You

Last week, I ran out of laundry detergent. Instead of buying more, I decided to take a risk. I had a random bottle of castile soap that I wasn’t sure why I had bought, and I had a big bulk bag of baking soda. I figured, if there was ever a time to try making laundry detergent, then would have been the time.

I did some research, and I found that most of the recipes for natural laundry detergent involved some combination of soap, baking soda, washing soda, and Borax. Some of them included vinegar, but since I bleach my dish towels, I didn’t want to include vinegar in the detergent. I wanted the option of either adding vinegar or bleach to the detergent, depending on what I’m washing.

Based on my research, I invented a detergent recipe. This is the recipe that I generated:

Equipment: A large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid; a clean, empty can (standard bean/vegetable can) to measure with; something to stir with.

Ingredients: 3 cans of baking soda, 3 cans of washing soda, 3 cans of Borax, 8 oz bottle of castile soap.

Mix all of the ingredients well in the container. I put the lid on and shook it upside down to ensure that all of the powders mixed.

To do laundry with your homemade laundry detergent, dissolve a heaping quarter-cup of it in hot water in your washer’s basin. Then add your laundry. I’ve been adding an extra couple squirts of castile soap to the wash at this point. You can add bleach to the bleach cup in your washer. If you choose not to use bleach, then during the soak cycle you can add a cup of vinegar to the soak water.

That’s it! My laundry has been coming out clean and fresh-smelling. I wasn’t sure if my DIY laundry detergent would work, but it does! Added bonus: Since I live with ancient NYC plumbing, this detergent is actually better for my pipes than conventional detergent, which means fewer clogs to deal with, and therefore fewer calls to the plumber. High five!

Related:
51 Uses for Baking Soda
12 Great Uses for Castille Soap

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx

143 comments

Diane L.
Diane L2 years ago

Melaleuca is the technical name for "tea tree oil", so please explain why it is not environmentally "friendly". It's a natural substance that can be used for many things, including a soothing balm, anti-biotic uses, and topical ointment that works far better than laboratory created concoctions. Yes, it has a rather strong odor, which is the most "negative" thing about it. When used on an animal, for example, in treating a cut, abrasion, "hot spots", etc., it works well because if the animal licks it, it will not suffer digestive problems, so no wrapping needs to be done.

Dani Cade
Dani Cade2 years ago

melaleuca Is NOT environmentally friendly and if you view the ingredients you will see why. Glad to see ppl making their own!

Past Member
Past Member 3 years ago

I can remember back in the 1950's when my grandmother was alive, that is how she washed her her and it always looked great.

Tamie Robinson
Tamie R3 years ago

Thanks for sharing, sounds like a good GREEN mixture to use. And as an added bonus, probably cleans the pipes too!

Tammy Baxter
Tammy B3 years ago

thanks

Sue H.
sue H3 years ago

odd to make your own detergent and still use bleach... maybe think of sing oxyclean

Ram Reddy
Ram Reddy3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Norm Lawlor
Norm Lawlor3 years ago

Way better for the environmenet melaleuca leads the way to being greener
Get a safer home Environmental wellness feel that you are doing your for the enviroment
please watch video this link second link too!!
http://www.melaleuca.com/

Definition of xnlife = is to extend life http://xnlife.webs.com

Norm Lawlor
Norm Lawlor3 years ago

Way better for the environmenet melaleuca leads the wayto being greener
Geta safer home Environmental wellnessfeel that you are doing your for the enviroment
please watch video this link second link too!!
http://www.melaleuca.com/

Definition of xnlife = is to extend life http://xnlife.webs.com

Kenneth P.
Kenneth P3 years ago

For the last time, I did not write this article. I am not responsible for the homemade soap product, I questioned the ingredients and simply made a few suggestions, "as my opinions on this subject" ... that's all, nothing more. For those who bother to actually read this comment, allow me to suggest one final thing. Use what ever you want to use when it comes to washing your clothing. Good night and good luck.