Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been hearing a buzz for a while about homemade laundry detergent.  After researching recipes and seeing all the variations, this is what I came up with. I washed my towels, which sometimes suffer with some "funk" of some type and they came out smelling fresh. No real scent, just fresh.  The wet laundry smelled like clothes that has been hanging in the sun.
Compared to Tide, which I love and have used faithfully, it is such a bargain.  Five pounds of Borax, 3.5 lbs of Washing Soda (I didn't know there was such a thing, so I pictured it here for you), a box of baking soda and a bar of Dr. Bonner's soap (I got the peppermint scented castille soap at Trader Joe's all cost me less than $10.  I didn't even use up the entire bar of soap.  Considering you only use 1/8 C. of the mixture (or 2 T.)per load, it is a bargain. This recipe makes enough for 40 loads and I figure it cost me about $3.00. I'm curious to see how it works on whites...I will keep you posted.

Laundry Detergent

2 C. finely grated Dr. Bonner's Peppermint soap (or any castille soap)
1 C. borax
1 C. washing soda
1 C. baking soda

Use 2 T. of soap per load.

That's it!  Mix it all up, breaking up any lumps.  My Borax was a little bumpy.  Store in a container with a spare tablespoon in the container and you are ready to go.  You want to be able to shake the container to make sure it is mixed well each time. This mixture does not make suds, so it worked just fine in my HE washer. You do NOT need suds to get your clothes clean.

Let me know if you try it and what you think.  We aren't  getting any richer these days, so we may as well find new ways to pinch some pennies.


  1. I wonder...could I use the liquid peppermint castille soap I already have instead of the bar? What do you think that would do? I mentioned the idea to Kenny and he's worried about skin aggravation (yes, I laughed at him)...however, anyone with sensitive skin you know of have issues with this homemade detergent? Great idea! We're penny pinchers, too :)

  2. Jenn,

    From what i've read, sometimes people with sensitive skin make this BECAUSE it is the only thing that doesn't cause them problems. I'll let you know if we suddenly get a rash or something...There are recipes where you make a gel instead of a powder mix and they might use the liquid, but this recipe is for dry ingredients only.

  3. Hi Debbie,
    I found you site. I make a similar recipe to yours. It works out even cheaper as I don't use borax. Instead of castile bar soap I add 60mls of liquid castile and mix on blender. You can add 20 dops of essential oil if you want but I omit that too. I have read fors and againsts with the borax. It seems a lot of people can't get it so the recipe I use eliminates it and it works beautifully.
    I have loved joining the growing list of folk who are giving up as many chemicals as they can.
    Great article and it has been lovely visiting your blog.

  4. This is very similar to the laundry powder I have been using for over a year now. I love it!! I might have to try yours to see if I like it even more :)
    (Here's mine:


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