Due to the expense of most top-brand laundry soaps on the market today, a lot of people are taking some advice from homesteaders and trying a more organic and simple replacement for their clothes washing needs. You can do it in the safety of your home with kitchen items you most likely already own. The ingredients to make the liquid laundry soap are inexpensive and do get your clothes clean; sometimes better than brand name laundry soap.
The average cost savings for homemade laundry detergent can be pennies per load. While cheaper doesn't always mean better, these recipes will get you great results. The recipes I have placed here can be tweaked, but I highly recommend staying as close to the recipe as possible. Some materials you add on your own may interact with others, and I would be remiss if I didn't tell you the dangers or disadvantages.
What you'll need for most of the recipes:
- Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
- Baking Soda (yes, there is a difference)
- Warm to hot water
- A medium to large non-stick pot (the size depends on how much you want to make at one time)
- Cheese grater
- Used (but clean) milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, or other fairly good sized plastic container with a lid.
- A large mixing spoon
- Bars of soap (Castile Soap or Fels-Naptha)
With each recipe, I will show you how to put it all together to make a liquid laundry detergent that really works and saves you money.
- Where to find washing soda - Look in the laundry aisles of your grocery store or supermarkets (Walmart usually carries it as well). If you can't find it in stock, you can call the suppliers/makers of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (or Soda Ash); 1-800-524-1328. Also, check art supply stores. Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate Decahydrate. Baking Soda is Sodium Bicarbonate.
- For those with hard water or well water, you may have to adjust the recipe of your choice in order to keep mineral stains from showing up or your clothes having a dingy look to them. Try adding baking soda or oxyclean or a very small amount of white vinegar as laundry boosters, suggestions for baking soda are to start with 1/2 cup per load. (see list for recipe aimed towards this issue).
- Borax and baking soda used in these recipes are biodegradable. Neither will harm a septic tank or gray water pit (as I can attest from personal usage). In fact, Borax has many uses - including killing insects, freshening clothes, killing weeds and more. Baking soda can help absorb odors and cut down on grease and oils.
- Bacteria may survive when using the cold cycle. To counteract this, my experience is that using bleach (as long as you do not use any vinegar, which interacts with bleach in a negative way) or color-safe bleach works great with these recipes. Also, Tea tree soap or tea tree essential oil can be added to create a natural antiseptic property.
- Essential oils (make sure you know what ones you may be allergic or sensitive to ahead of time) can be added in small amounts to give your detergent a fresh, clean scent. Lavender is a popular essential oil for laundry soaps.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me or leave comments below.
- Are you on Facebook? Follow Christina Rivers
- Contact Christina via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in submitting ideas or to have her answer questions you may have.
- Feel free to leave comments below
- This writer does not endorse any company products, even if they are mentioned in her articles