Conventional store-bought laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols, and more. Many brands contain things like petroleum distillates, which have been linked to cancer and lung disease. Not to mention that the fragrances in those detergents are often made with a mix of harmful chemicals that can irritate and even damage the skin. Because of that, we’ve come up with a few ways to make your own natural laundry detergent that won’t break the bank, or harm your family’s well-being.
Often, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) laundry detergents contain the ingredient Borax. And while it is still considered safe to use, many have opted out of it for their own reasons. It can be irritating to the skin and there are still others who have questioned its safety. Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate, is a boron mineral and salt that’s mined directly from the ground. Borax is not boric acid. Boric acid is produced when borax is reacted with another acid (like sulfuric or hydrochloric acid). The result is an acid structure (pH of 5.0), rather than alkaline, as borax is (9.3 pH). Borax is an all natural substance, however, and it can be used in your detergent. For those who wish to stock up on some Borax, the following recipe is great on for making a very effective and natural laundry detergent. Plus, it will cost you much less to make five gallons of the stuff than you’ll get from the store!
DIY Laundry Detergent From Around the Web
Mrs. Happy Homemakers Laundry Detergent Recipe
You Will Need:
Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha (you can substitute Castile soap if that’s easier to find) Grab a 5-gallon bucket and let’s get started! *Helpful Hint: Stock up on these! You’ll be able to make plenty of laundry detergent to have on hand during any situation!
- Start by grating your Castile or Fels Naptha soap.
- Add the grated soap to a pot of 4 cups of hot water.
- Stir until all of the soap has melted.
- Fill your 5-gallon bucket halfway with hot water, then add your melted soap mixture.
- Stir in one cup of Borax and one cup of the washing soda.
- Fill the bucket completely full with warm water and stir again.
- Put a lid on your bucket and let the detergent set up and gel for 24 hours.
- At this point, you can put your detergent into individual containers or use it straight from the bucket.
Note: You can also dilute this further by pouring half of the mixture into another 5-gallon bucket and filling both with warm water. You’ll have less cleaning power, but twice the laundry detergent. It’s all up to you! Find out what works for you!
Borax-Free Laundry Detergent From Dwelling in Happiness
You will need:
2-gallon bucket, 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda, 1/2 cup Baking Soda, and 3/4 cup castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s in lavender is a great choice)
- First, put the 1/2 cup of the Super Washing Soda into a 2-gallon bucket.
- Add enough water to cover the washing soda and stir until it is all dissolved.
- Add the 1/2 cup of baking soda and once again, stir until it all dissolves.
- Fill your bucket 1/2 from the top full of water.
- Add 3/4 cup of the castile soap.
- Stir until it is well mixed. Put the detergent into individual containers or use straight out of your bucket!
*Helpful Hint: if you prefer a more scented laundry detergent, add 30-50 drops of a favorite essential oil once you’ve finished your mixtures. Stir once again and you’ll have a custom scented detergent!
You can use 1/3 – 1/2 cup of either detergent when washing your clothes.
A Simple 3-Ingredient Powdered Laundry Detergent From Live Simply
You will need:
- To start, grate both of the 5-ounce castile soap bars.
- Put the shavings in a food processor.
- Add 3 cups of washing soda.
- Place a towel over the top and pulse for one minute. (You can also mix these ingredients by hand in a bowl sans food processor).
- Pour the mixture into a storage container then add 2 cups of Borax.
- If you would like to add essential oils for a boost of scent, add them here as well – about 30 drops. Stir everything together.
That’s it! This will only take about 1 Tablespoon to 1/8 cup of powder to wash one load of laundry.
S0 why not try mixing up some chemical-free laundry detergent? It’s pretty easy and can save you a lot of money in the long run!