If you’re looking to replace some of your store-bought chemical cleaners with more natural solutions, you should consider making your own laundry detergent! This recipe is made from all-natural ingredients that are safe for both high efficiency and non-HE washers. Aside from the eco-friendly benefits, making your own detergent is a much less-costly alternative to store-bought detergents (not to mention more concentrated so it will last you a lot longer).
- 6 cups washing soda
- 3 bars all-natural soap, 4.5 to 5 ounces per bar (coconut oil-based soaps work best but tallow and lard can also be used)
- Food processor
Other optional ingredients to have on hand:
- Non-GMO white vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide or a versatile stain remover (like OxyClean Free)
- Liquid fabric softener dispensing ball (like Downy Ball)
- Essential oils for scent and degreaser
How to make:
Step 1: Cut soap into small chunks and add to food processor along with washing soda.
Step 2: Blend until you have a fine powder. You may want to lay a dish towel over the top of your food processor to prevent a fine mist of powder from floating into the air. Also, let it settle a bit before opening the container or the powder will float out and make a mess.
Step 3: Store in a clean container with a lid.
How to use:
Step 1: Add 2-3 tablespoons laundry detergent per load. If you’re washing in cold water, dissolve it in hot water before adding it in (start by running hot water in your washing machine to dissolve the detergent, then switch it to cold water once completely dissolved).
Step 2: If desired, add about 5 drops of essential oil to act as a degreaser.
Step 3: If washing whites, consider adding one scoop of OxiClean Free to your laundry, or pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the bleach compartment of your washer.
Step 4: If desired, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a Downy ball or pour into your washer’s fabric softener compartment. Vinegar can be beneficial to add as a rinse because detergent has a very alkaline-PH and the vinegar resets the PH to a more skin-friendly level, and also dissolves any excess detergent from your clothes.
For storing ideas, use an empty gallon-sized ice cream container or ask your local grocery store if they have any empty large buckets with lids. After you’ve gone through your first batch of homemade detergent, you’ll have a good idea of how long it will last you – if you prefer to make it less often, feel free to double the ingredients for a larger batch!