Homemade laundry detergent is nothing new. There are TONS of recipes online. Each time I saw a recipe though, I would laugh at the thought of making my own laundry detergent.  It seemed absurd to me the length of time and energy people put into making their own to save money.  I just wasn’t willing to put that much time into it: grating soap, cooking it down, etc.  And, then I had read people saying you needed a pot just for soap making – so your food wouldn’t taste like soap – and grater just for soap, etc.  I didn’t have an extra pot or grater and wasn’t willing to buy one.  To me, it seemed like too much effort.  {Anybody else out there as lazy as I am?}.

Then, I found recipes that were easier but the cleaning agents they used were toxic and not the ones I use in my house. I buy green, natural cleaning products and that goes for my laundry detergent too {especially}.  I typically guy an organic store brand from Whole Foods that costs a little more than the typical/conventional name-brand detergent.  And, I HATED paying the price but knew it was important & worth it to keep the chemicals off my family’s bodies.

Each time I saw another recipe I would evaluate it and it seemed to me there are two reasons someone would make laundry detergent:

  1. to save money
  2. to cut out the chemicals

I set out to do both. I wanted to save money but not at the expense of my family’s health.  So, recipes with Fels Naptha, Dawn dish liquid, ZOTE, and Ivory soap were out.

I had seen a few recipes that used only a little soap and a lot of water… but you needed to use quite a bit of it.  So, I decided to concentrate on it, saving space and storage containers!

Here’s what I came up with and it is working great!

First, I added 4 cups of HOT water to my gallon jug.  It doesn’t have to be boiling, just hot enough to dissolve the other ingredients.  Add the Castile soap and shake it up. It is important to add the water before the soap – I had trouble with the ingredients sticking to the bottom when I tried it in a different sequence.

Next, add the borax and the washing soda and shake some more.  Add water until you get a full gallon.

I use regular {Unscented} Castile soap, but if you like scents without the nasty chemicals, you can purchase Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap in scents like lavender and orange. The scent comes from natural essential oils.  Castile soap is so natural you can use it to bathe with.

I bought my washing soda and borax at Kroger, you can likely find them both at your grocery store in the laundry aisle, but it is also available on Amazon {just follow my links}.

I used the prices on Amazon to get the price breakdown for this detergent and here is what I came up with:

  • Each gallon of laundry detergent will cost you $1.75
  • Each load of laundry will cost about 5 and a half cents.

I can totally make 5 cent detergent in 5 minutes!

Homemade Chemical FREE Laundry Detergent

3 Tbsp Castile Soap {such as Dr. Bronner’s}
6 Tbsp Borax
6 Tbsp Washing Soda

Pour 4 cups of HOT water into a gallon container. Add Castile soap and shake it up to dissolve the soap. Add the borax and washing soda. Fill the container to the one-gallon mark. Shake to mix.

To use: Pour 1/2 cup into the washer for a normal load of laundry.


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