Over the past year I have been gradually transitioning my family towards a more natural lifestyle. Some parts of natural living has been pretty hard, such as converting the entirety of our OTC couponed medical aids stash into a holistic medicine cabinet. But one of the easiest transitions? Making my own natural, homemade cleaners. And the easiest of all to make? Natural Laundry Detergents.
For our family the switch was a no-brainer. Conventional laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols, paba, stabalizers, bleach compunds, benzoxazolyl, diaminostilbene, disulfonate, and even worse, 4-dioxane, a polysorbate-20 compound known to contribute to lung distress in newborns and young children. Worse still, some brands even contain petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease.
Fortunately, making your own laundry soap is an easy process, and gives you the peace of mind to know exactly what you are washing your families laundry with! My version of natural laundry soap recipe is awesome all it gives me peace of mind in knowing I am washing my families with natural, eco-friendly laundering products.
I also love the frugality of this product. As I can make a year’s supply of detergent for under $30.00. The best part? This detergent is completely customizable, is allergy-safe, can be made scented or non-scented, is good for both standard and HE machines, and can also be converted into liquid detergent too! With Natural detergent, your not paying for water, your paying for quality laundry detergent.
- Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer Brand available at most stores)
- Borax (20 Mule Team Borax available at most grocery stores)
- Bar Soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, or other natural, unscented bar soap)
- Oxy Booster (from the Dollar Tree)
- Epson Salts (from the Dollar Tree)
- Essential Oils
- Scent Boosters (optional and from the Dollar Tree)
Please note, though there has been a lot of speculation as to the safety of Borax, through my own research I have found that the ingredient is a naturally occurring mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. Borax is also used in most of the natural soaps commercially available on the market today including Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and Method. I feel comfortable using Borax, of the mule team box variety, because this product is comprised of sodium tetraborate or sodium borate and not boric acid or hydrogen borate. This is a common misconception in many naturalist forums. Further, Borax is an alkaline, and some even report drinking it in small doses medicinally as an aid in rhumatory artheritis, to clear yeast infections of the skin, acne, and as a no-poo alternative to shampoo.
Another ingredient I use, Washing Soda, sometimes called sodium carbonate or soda ash, is made from common salt and limestone or found as natural deposits. If you can’t find this ingredient locally, you can make your own from from baking plain baking soda for one hour at 400 degrees, and stirring occasionally until the baking soda turns into a grain. with this tutorial.
I also use Zote laundry soap bars, which are made of pure organic oils to help break down organic stains, and Dollar Store Oxy Booster, to boost my blends stain-fighting power. And to scent my blend I use both Epsom salts, sprinkled with essential oils added to my blend, and for added scent boosting scent boosters from the Dollar Tree. Both boosters are optional.
Ingredients in Laundry Soap:
- 3 Boxes of Arm and Hammer Brand Washing Soda, $2.98 each
- 3 Boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax, $2.98 each box
- 4 Bars of Zote Soap, $0.98 each
- 2 Tubs Oxy Booster (from the Dollar Tree), $1.00 each
- 1 2-pound bag of Epson Salts (from the Dollar Tree), $1.00
- 40 drops of Essential Oils per pound of Epsom Salts, price varies
- 2 1-pound tubs of Scent Boosters (optional and from the Dollar Tree), $1.00 each
Materials used to make the laundry soap:
- 5 Gallon Bucket, with lid (on hand)
- Scoop (on hand)
- Gallon Mason Jars (on hand)
- Glass mixing bowls (on hand)
Cost for one year’s supply of natural laundry detergent: $25.82, roughly about $0.05 per load!
- 3 Boxes of Arm and Hammer Brand Washing Soda
- 3 Boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax
- 4 Bars of Zote Soap
- 2 Tubs Oxy Booster (from the Dollar Tree)
- 1 2-pound bag of Epson Salts (from the Dollar Tree)
- 30 drops of Essential Oils per pound of Epsom Salts
- 2 1-pound tubs of Scent Boosters (optional and from the Dollar Tree)
- In one bowl, grate the bar soap into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a different bowl, add your Epsom salts and 30 drops of each essential oil you are using. Combine the ingredients with a fork until well blended.
- Add the washing soda, Borax, oxy booster, scent boosters, Epsom salts, and grated soap to your bucket.
- Place your lid on your bucket and gently shake your blend until well mixed together.
- From this point, you can store your blend in your bucket.
- We transfer our blend to glass 1-gallon mason jars for easy storage throughout the year.
- Use 3 tablespoons per load for regular wash; adjust accordingly.
- Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket
- Pour eight cups soap mixture into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- Use 1/8 cup per load.
Here’s to more sustained living,