There are many recipes for laundry detergent out there. I looked at a lot and tried a few before settling on this recipe which I came up with. It met my requirements – all natural ingredients that no one in my family is allergic to, cost effective, easy to make, and very importantly – gets the dirt out. We are not clean people in my family. We spill things. My son plays in the dirt and gets all sorts of stuff on his clothing. I’m not going to claim that this miraculously gets out every stain and spill, but it does get most of it out and better than some commercially made natural detergents.
So here it is:
- 2 cups Borax
- 2 cups Washing soda
- 1 cup salt
- 3 or 4 oz (approx 2 cups) grated bar soap
Mix the Borax, Washing Soda, and Salt in a bowl. The washing soda is particularly prone to turning into rocks that need to be broken with a hammer if it gets too humid or wet (or if you buy it in bulk during the rainy season and have it delivered damp…). Grate the soap with a regular cheese grater. Add it into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Use anywhere from 2 Tablespoons to 1/2 cup depending on the level of efficiency of your washer (front loaders take less) and the size of your load. This is safe for HE washers.
A couple of notes: Washing soda and Baking soda are not the same product. Make sure you get the right thing or you won’t get your clothes as clean. This recipe doesn’t include any of the heavy perfumes found in many commercial products, so it won’t cover the funky odor washers get when you leave clothing in them more than a day. I highly recommend using vinegar in place of your regular softener. It will kill much of that mildew and soften your clothes. I generally add cinnamon essential oil and lavender or peppermint essential oil to boost the anti-fungal and antibacterial effect of the vinegar. Because essential oils aren’t heavy, the scent doesn’t often carry through the drying process. It just leaves your clothes smelling like nothing.
If you’re unsure about what bar soap to use, especially if you are trying to switch to all natural products, you can order any of the soaps I sell here.
This detergent will not always dissolve in completely cold water. I set my machine to “cool” or some sort of temperature controlled cold water. Check your manual to find out which setting is best for you. Here are some pictures of the particular products that I use for this recipe: