For many years I bought more natural, safe for the environment laundry detergent, and had been happy with them. I had no intention of making my own but as I started to see just how easy it was and that the cost savings was significant, I got excited about the process.
Many recipes I found call for grating a bar soap called Fels Naptha. For some reason this method didn’t appeal to me. I think I questioned a few of the ingredients listed on the package and decided to look for something else. After searching around I found a method that uses Dr. Bronner’s soap. I typically always have that on hand (I use it to make an all-purpose spray) so this appealed to me. (Plus it reminded me of my childhood as my mom always had a bottle in the shower to use instead of bar soap.)
I adapted the recipe for our personal home use and have been using it for over 2 years now. We have been very happy with the results. The cost savings has been awesome as well. I haven’t done a breakdown but I will tell you that in the 2 and a half years of using it, I have only purchased the ingredients twice, excluding the Dr. Bronner’s soap because in this recipe it stretches very far.
Here is the method I use:
- 1/2 Cup Borax
- 1/2 Cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
- 1/8 Cup Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap
Place all ingredients in 5 quarts (20 cups) of water and stir. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally just to make sure all of the ingredients are dissolved. Once boiling, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let stand over night.
In the morning, place the mixture in a bottle and it’s ready to use. (As you can tell from the photo, I use and old laundry detergent bottle for mine.)
A few words of caution: the mixture will look like water with clumps in it… or kind of like egg drop soup! At first it is hard to get over the fact that this laundry soap is not thick like regular detergent and your mind will play tricks on you making you think that there is no way this could possibly clean your clothes. But don’t fret, it will! Also, your clothes will not have a “detergent” smell, so if that’s your thing, this homemade laundry detergent probably won’t cut it for you. Your clothes will just have a freshly laundered smell. And that’s good because those smells we all love and have come to know actually come from chemicals. And who really wants more chemicals in their life?? Not me.
As far as the amount that I use, usually a half capful of a standard detergent cap does the trick. If the items I’m washing are particularly soiled, I’ll add more. Happy washing!