Natural Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent ingredients pose a variety of health risks to humans, ranging from relatively minor—like skin irritation and allergies—to the severe—cancer, poisoning and neurological problems. These products can affect not only personal health, but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into bodies of water, too.

Conventional laundry detergents contain phosphates, sulfates, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, optical brighteners, EDTA, and more. These chemicals can cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems, endocrine disruption, and have long term toxic effects on the environment.

Make Your Own 

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Makes about 200 loads

Tools

  • Dust mask or bandana
  • Gloves of some sort (dish, latex, gardening, etc.)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Borax*
  • 4 cups Washing soda
  • 2 cups Baking soda
  • 4 cups grated bar soap (2-4 bars) (Choose a non-toxic, real bar soap—not a “beauty bar” like Dove or a clear glycerine soap. We use both Kirk’s Castile and Grandma’s Lye soaps for laundry. Omit for cloth diapers.)
  • Essential oil (Optional for scent. is especially nice if you use this detergent for washing cloth diapers.)

Directions

  1. Cut the bar soap into large chunks with a knife.
  2. Grate the soap chunks with a fine cheese grater or throw the chunks into the food processor and blend into as fine of a powder as you can make. (Put on your dust mask and let dust settle before opening processor, so as not to inhale it.)
  3. Put on your gloves and dust mask or bandana.
  4. In a large plastic tub or bucket, mix the Borax, washing soda, and baking soda together. (Washing soda and borax are skin irritants, so wear gloves. Wear a dusk mask or bandana to avoid breathing in the dry ingredients while you mix. You will need to let the dust settle a few times before continuing to stir. If you can seal the container, you can shake it vigorously to mix with no dust.)
  5. Stir in the grated/powdered bar soap.
  6. Stir in 10-20 drops of essential oil, if tolerated. Tea tree oil is great for diapers as it has antiseptic qualities.
  7. Store in a covered, airtight container.
  8. If your powder has trouble completely dissolving, try mixing it in a little hot water before adding to the laundry.
  9. Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. (Adjust for your machine.)

Homemade Laundry Detergent Liquid

Makes enough for about 80 loads

Tools

  • Dust mask or bandana
  • Gloves of some sort (dish, latex, gardening, etc.)

Ingredients

  • Hot water
  • Clean 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • 1 cup Borax*
  • 1 cup Washing soda
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
  • 1 cup grated bar soap (1-2 bars) (Choose a non-toxic, real bar soap. Do not use a “beauty bar” like Dove or a clear glycerine soap! We use both Kirk’s Castile and Grandma’s Lye soaps for laundry. Omit for cloth diapers.)
  • Essential oil (Optional for scent. Tea Tree oil is especially nice if you use this detergent for washing cloth diapers.)

Directions

  1. Cut the bar soap into large chunks with a knife.
  2. Grate the soap chunks with a fine cheese grater or throw the chunks into the food processor and blend into as fine of a powder as you can make. Wear your dust mask or bandana, and let dust settle before opening processor, so as not to inhale it.
  3. Place grated bar soap in a pot. Cover with water and simmer over medium heat until all soap is melted, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour melted soap mixture into a clean 5-gallon bucket.
  5. Put on your gloves and dust mask or bandana.
  6. Add washing soda, baking soda, and borax to the soap mixture and stir. (Washing soda and borax are skin irritants, so wear gloves. Wear a dusk mask or bandana to avoid breathing in the dry ingredients while you mix.)
  7. Add enough hot water to almost fill the bucket. Mix very well until all ingredients are dissolved. (I use a long ruler for this.)
  8. If using essential oil, AFTER the mix has cooled down completely, mix in 10-20 drops, to taste.
  9. Let sit overnight to gel. The gel will be loose and very gloppy—like egg-drop soup.
  10. Use a funnel to pour the gel into clean, recycled detergent containers or leave in the bucket. Cover with an airtight lid if leaving in the bucket to protect children and pets.
  11. Stir or shake well before using. Use 1/2 – 1 cup per load. (Adjust for your machine.

 

Don’t Want to Make it?

A few good brands of eco friendly laundry detergent that actually work (all received an “A” by the Environmental Working Group):

The most frugal option is to make your own, but these natural alternatives are a good choice if you aren’t able to make your own or don’t want to.

You’re going to notice that your health will start to improve as you purge these toxic chemicals from your life.  Your senses will improve and you’ll start to notice all the horrible smells around you that people are wearing unknowingly.  Make sure to tell them that they smell, and refer them to YouSmellBad.org so they can clean up their lives and allow them and yourself to live more salubriously.

 

Links:

https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-recipe

https://wellnessmama.com/462/homemade-laundry-detergent/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *