Effectively clean your clothes while reducing toxins in your home by making a jar of do-it-yourself laundry detergent. Made with just a few simple ingredients, you can quickly make up a batch of homemade laundry detergent that’ll last for many months.
Washing. Drying. Folding. Laundry is a chore that never seems to end.
One day I feel accomplished because I managed to get the hamper unloaded, the dirty clothes washed and put away. And the next, I have a pile of laundry that is practically the size of Mount Everest. The washing and drying I can handle but the snag comes when the clothing needs to be placed back into the closets and dresser drawers. Can you relate?
I have been a homemaker for several years now. Every day there are tasks to be done like dishes, sweeping the floors, making meals and maintaining the homestead. Part of taking care of our home is making sure we have safe and natural cleaning products to use. Years ago when I made the switch to DIY cleaning products, I tossed out several boxes of commercial cleaners. The first item I made was a bottle of four thieves spray using a plethora of herbs from our garden and some distilled white vinegar. From there I expanded my horizon by making soaps, all-purpose sprays and even grew a couple of loofas to use as a natural sponge. But the one item I couldn’t make the transition to was homemade laundry detergent.
You see, I feared it wouldn’t work. Could it remove stains? Would our clothes come clean? Was it strong enough to pull out the dog odor from their bedding? If you’re a pet owner, you know what I’m talking about.
After trying a jar of my friends homemade laundry detergent, I decided to start making my own. It smelt wonderful and checked off all the boxes on my list — clean clothes, removed stains and defeated the dog stench!
If you’re looking to make your own detergent, I encourage you to take the leap! You won’t be disappointed. This recipe for DIY laundry detergent is easy to make and comes together in minutes. I like to double the recipe and fill a gallon jar so that it’ll last our family a long time.
Why Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?
- Saves money.
- Helps you feel more confident, knowing what ingredients are going into the detergent and onto your skin.
- Contains more natural ingredients than some store bought laundry detergents.
- Is often less irritating to skin.
- Effective at cleaning clothes, bedding and even pet beds or blankets.
- Quick and easy to make.
- Can be used in regular and high efficiency washers.
- Adding a quarter cup of vinegar into the rinse cycle of your machine helps to soften your clothing.
- Skip the commercial dryer sheets. Use homemade dryer balls instead.
- Hairspray helps remove ink stains.
- Running your loads (colors, towels and whites) on the “whites” cycle ensures the water is hot enough to remove stains and help dissolve all kinds of laundry detergent. (Yes, sometimes hot water fades colors but personally I’d rather have clean clothes instead of potentially faded clothing.)
- Instead of using a dryer, save money by hanging your clothing outdoors on a clothesline or dry your laundry indoors on a wooden drying rack.
- Sunshine can help to brighten and disinfect your clothes.
Free Spring Cleaning Checklist
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DIY Landry Detergent
Learn how to make homemade laundry detergent using only a few ingredients. This laundry powder is easy to make and effective at washing clothes and removing simple stains.
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent
Using a cheese grater or food processor, grate the bar of soap until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl.
Add washing soda, borax and baking soda. Stir until combined, breaking up any chunks of baking soda as you go. Store powdered laundry detergent in a sealed, airtight container.
To use homemade laundry detergent, add 2-3 tablespoons per load.
Optional Laundry Detergent Add-Ins
The DIY laundry detergent works wonders using a combination of washing soda, borax, baking soda and a grated bar of soap such as Fels-Naptha or castile soap. For extra cleaning power, you can add in a bit of the following items.
OxiClean – Removes tough stains. If you’d prefer to shy away from harsh chemicals, try OxiClean Free without any dyes, fragrances and chlorine.
Essential Oils – Make a nice additional to homemade laundry detergent recipes because they can add a fresh, clean scent. An oil like lavender is a popular scent choice. Orange and lemon are my favorite essential oils and are packed full of extra cleaning power which makes them perfect for washing clothes.
Salt – Helps to prevent fading of dark colors as well as remove pesky stains in your clothing.
How Much Laundry Detergent to Use Per Load
I find that 2-3 tablespoons per load in my Whirlpool washing machine is sufficient to clean my clothes and make them smell fresh. Depending on your load size and the type of washer you have you can use as little as one tablespoon or as much as a quarter cup. I find experimenting is best to determine what works well in your particular situation.
Does Homemade Laundry Detergent Work?
Yes! I was hesitant to use homemade laundry detergent for many years but since using it for a while, I have had nothing but positive results. My clothes come out clean, stains removed and they smell great.
Why is There Soap Residue on My Clothes After Washing?
There are a few reasons your clothes may have soap residue on them after washing including adding too much detergent to the load, not having the water hot enough to dissolve the laundry detergent or the machine is overloaded.
More DIY Cleaning Recipes
- 1 5-ounce Fels-Naptha soap bar (or castile soap bar), grated
- 2 cups washing soda
- 2 cups borax
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- Using a cheese grater or food processor, grate the bar of soap until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl.
- Add washing soda, borax and baking soda. Stir until combined, breaking up any chunks of baking soda as you go. Store powdered laundry detergent in a sealed, airtight container.
- To use homemade laundry detergent, add 2-3 tablespoons per load.