*This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, click here*
I like doing laundry. I mean, isn’t it fun to throw in dirty clothes, add a little soap, and then see how clean and good smelling they come out? It’s actually kind of satisfying! Now, I didn’t say I like the folding and putting away part, I just like the “doing” part. Who’s with me?
While I love the smell of my fresh clean clothes, I really dislike knowing that a ton of harsh and “icky” chemicals went into cleaning them. Don’t believe me? Visit the Environmental Working Group’s site and check it out. I dare you to type in your favorite laundry detergent that you’re using right now and see the grade it gets. My favorite that I used to use a few years ago received a big fat F. Yikes! I was shocked when I started typing in other known brands and seeing more and more “F’s.” No good, folks! There are known chemicals in store bought laundry detergent that have developmental and reproductive effects, cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, and allergies. To name just a few!
Yeah, I’ll just go the “no-chem” route myself.
I’ve been making this borax-free liquid laundry detergent from The Hippy Home for the last 2 years, and I gotta say, I love it. I much prefer liquid over powder. But, if I’m being honest, it’s because I don’t want to take the time to grate the soap. Ha! Call me lazy; but really, who has time for that?!
So, as stated above, this recipe is borax-free. I know there are several DIY laundry detergent recipes out there that use borax, but type “borax” into the EWG’s cleaning list, and see the grade it received. You got it; another F. Boo. It got an F because there’s “high concern” for developmental, endocrine, and reproductive effects. Wowza. Since I’d love to have another baby someday, I’ll go ahead and skip that ingredient. I definitely prefer this recipe to all others I’ve seen out there. AND, I have an HE machine and have had zero problems to date! I even add just a tad extra detergent to my loads, too (because, let’s be real; who really measures out the exact amount needed for each load?). That’s just how I roll.
First, I’ll share with you how to make this chemical-free liquid laundry detergent. Then I’ll go into more detail about each ingredient and what it does.
- 2 gallon bucket
- 2 gallons water
- 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Baking Soda
- 3/4 cup castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s in lavender)
- 30 drops of your favorite essential oils (I used lavender and “joy” blend)
- Large wooden/plastic spoon to stir (not pictured)
- 2 1-gallon glass containers
First, measure out 1/2 cup of the Super Washing Soda and pour into a 2 gallon bucket. I use this bucket for making this detergent only; I store my supplies in it and just grab it when I need to make more! That way it stays nice and clean and doesn’t get used and dirty with other things.
Measure out and pour 1/2 cup of Baking Soda into the water/washing soda mixture, and stir well to dissolve.
Measure and pour into the bucket 3/4 cup of castile soap. My favorite is Dr. Bronner’s, and they have a few different scents. I used lavender because I love how fresh it smells. But, you can also buy unscented and use your favorite essential oils to give it a yummy fresh smell!
Pour 1/3 cup of the detergent in with your dirty clothes and wash as normal. Contents might settle to bottom or clump, but just give the bottle a good shake before you use it every time and it’ll be fine. The clumps will break up in the wash. I noticed mine gets clumpier when it’s cold, so I try to keep it in a warmer spot, like under my kitchen sink during the winter.
Your clothes will come out clean, chemical free, and smelling fresh! Woohoo!
So, want to know what all this stuff does in your laundry? First, if you type in any of the ingredients from this recipe in the EWG’s cleaning guide, every single item will get an “A.” Now THAT is the kind of detergent I want to use for my family!
Super Washing Soda: Or, “soda crystals,” are a highly alkaline substance, which means it can boost the effectiveness of laundry detergent especially in areas with hard water (which we totally have!).
Baking Soda: Sodium Bicarbonate is also a detergent booster. It soften clothes, helps keep them bright, and keeps odors at bay!
Castile Soap: This natural soap is made from plant oils. It’s sensitive on skin, biodegradable, and earth friendly. It has SO many more uses than just laundry detergent!
Essential Oils: These not only provide your laundry with delicious smelling scents, but also can have calming properties as well. I used lavender and “Joy” blend in my detergent, and both these oils help to relax and improve moods. Some other lovely essential oils to add that have relaxing properties: orange, tangerine, grapefruit, jasmine, rose, and ylang ylang. What’s your favorite scent?
Did I mention how inexpensive making this detergent actually is? Washing soda and baking soda are INCREDIBLY cheap. As in, a couple of bucks or less. Both my Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and my essential oils last a really long time. Like, my big Dr. Bronner’s bottle has lasted through 4 laundry detergent batches. With 2 gallons each batch, that’s 8 gallons of laundry detergent! I’m not sure exactly how many loads each gallon gives, but it’s a LOT. One gallon lasts me a couple of months at least. My essential oil bottle has also lasted me through all that, and then some! Together the castile soap and EO’s might run you $30, but that’ll last you a LONG time.
- In the long run, it’s cheaper!
- It’s chemical-free
- You can choose your own scents with you favorite essential oils
- Made with all natural ingredients
- You don’t have to grate any soap!
Convinced yet? 🙂
If you need some essential oils for your own laundry detergent (and want to know how I get mine at wholesale prices), come find out more info HERE! We also have an amazing deal going on this month, with some “freebies” you won’t want to miss!
(I link up at these fun parties!)