24 August 2017

Homemade 3-Ingredient Laundry Detergent

I can’t remember the last time I purchased store-bought laundry detergent.  There are a million and one other options and I've definitely tried a good number of them!  I used reusable laundry discs for several years, but when they needed replacing, I decided to feel out other options instead.  Soap nuts were okay for a time, but I was never confident they were getting agitated enough in the washing machine to make the most of their saponins and soapy goodness.  I also did a stint using just a small amount of liquid castile soap, which works well but isn’t the most cost-effective option.  And so, I eventually turned to making my own powder detergent.
I shared a photo of the detergent-making process on Instagram stories a few weeks ago and got multiple requests for more info, so I'm finally sharing the (incredibly easy) recipe here.

There are a lot of similar recipes circulating on the internet, but the main difference with mine is that I use proportionately much less soap than other recipes I’ve seen.  Why?  I wash most things in cold water, and find that with a higher soap ratio, some of that soap just doesn’t dissolve, leaving gummy pieces of half-dissolved soap attached to your clothes.  Clearly not what we’re going for!  

This really is a super simple DIY.  I've linked all the ingredients below, should you want to order them online, but everything is pretty easy to find -- any natural bar soap will work, and you can find borax and washing soda at most supermarkets and grocery stores.  Scale the recipe up or down, as needed, depending on the size of your bar of soap.

Homemade 3-Ingredient Laundry Detergent 

1 4-oz bar natural bar soap, grated
4 cups washing soda
4 cups borax
(Essential oils -- optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container.  To use, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons into your load and wash as normal.

And that’s it!

You can scent your detergent with essential oils, but I personally don't.  The soap gives the detergent a fresh clean smell, plus I've never found essential oil scents to last very well in the wash anyways.  Scented bar soap is another option to make the detergent itself smell great, but, again, I don't find the scent detectable once clothes/linens are dry.  I use whatever bar soap I have on hand -- scented or unscented -- and really can’t tell the difference once everything is dry.  

Have you ever made your own laundry detergent?  What are your favorite household DIY’s?
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