Instead of the recipe I link to below, I now use a liquid homemade laundry detergent that you can find at the Duggar family website under ‘Recipes‘. It’s more cost effective and makes HUGE quantities which is great for my larger than average family.
It calls for:
- 1 Bar Soap, grated
- 1 c Washing Soda
- 1/2 c Borax
In response to one of the comments below, YES, you can use homemade laundry detergent in high efficiency front loading washers. It’s perfect for those because it doesn’t lather up.
It works wonderfully, although the texture is a little funky (it separates into a liquidy gel, so you can either just ignore that or stir it more).
I had been wanting to try Lynnae at Being Frugal’s homemade laundry detergent recipe for some time but just never got around to it. Then I ended up with a big container of detergent that had a perfumey smell so strong it made me nauseous when I held my youngest in my lap. Gross. So, I decided to whip up a batch.
I don’t think she’ll mind me sharing the recipe here, as I’ve seen it in many other places around the net and doubt it’s copyrighted material. Or maybe she’ll forgive me for the link love.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
- 1 bar soap (I used a Fels Naptha laundry bar I had hanging around)
- 1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (get this in the grocery store – same aisle as the laundry products)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax (ditto)
You can either mix all this up in your food processor or grate the soap first then mix it in a container. I wouldn’t recommend doing this around kids because the dust from the Borax can be dangerous if inhaled (I mixed mine in the food processor and “smoke” came out the loading chute thing.)
Use 2 Tablespoons per load.
I think I’ll add a few drops of essential oil because it has a tiny bit of smell that I don’t like. Either that or I’ll use a nice smelling soap next time.
I actually doubled the recipe since I do a lot of laundry and since I was going to the trouble, might as well make a big batch. I found that it worked nearly as well as my other favorite detergents. I say almost because there were several items of clothing stained with the homemade chocolate pudding from yesterday. I didn’t pretreat them though, and I doubt any detergent would have been able to tackle that particular stain without help! So, it will take a few more loads before I know for sure.
It did dissolve quite well for me in cold water so that’s a plus. My suspicion is that due to the fat in the soap, this recipe might make cloth diapers less absorbent. Since everyone in my house is potty trained that’s not an issue. The soap would make the clothing a bit softer which is nice. This recipe is also very environmentally friendly. It also doesn’t contain optical brighteners and other ingredients like fragrance, enzymes and dyes that can irritate the skin.
Have you ever made homemade laundry detergent? What were your results? Was the recipe similar to this one or different?
I’m too lazy to do the math, but from what I hear this recipe costs less than the best laundry detergent deal that you could purchase at the store.