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Make Your Own Sustainable Laundry Detergent

March 5, 2024

Make Your Own Sustainable Laundry Detergent

Making your own laundry detergent is a great way to save money, reduce waste, and use gentler ingredients on your clothes and the environment. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up an effective and eco-friendly laundry detergent right at home.

Why Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?

There are several benefits to making your own laundry detergent:

It’s Cheaper

Store-bought detergents can be expensive, especially if you’re buying green or organic brands. Homemade laundry soap costs just pennies per load. The ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find. You’ll save money in the long run by making your own.

It’s Customizable

You can tweak your homemade detergent recipe depending on your needs. Add in natural scents like essential oils for fresh smelling laundry. Use gentler surfactants if you have sensitive skin. Control the amount of cleaning power by adjusting the ingredients.

It’s Sustainable

Making your own detergent reduces plastic waste from buying bottle after bottle. The ingredients often come with little or no packaging. You can even compost some ingredients when you’re finished with them. Going the DIY route is better for the planet.

It’s Gentler

Store-bought detergents often contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, and other irritants. Making your own allows you to control exactly what touches your skin. Choosing plant-based, non-toxic ingredients results in a gentler, hypoallergenic formula.

Choosing Your Ingredients

The basic ingredients for homemade laundry detergent include:

  • Surfactant/cleansing agent – Helps lift dirt and stains from fabric. Common options are soap, Sal Suds or castile soap.

  • Borax – Boosts cleaning power. Also softens hard water.

  • Washing soda – Removes tough stains and odors. Helps laundry detergent work in cold water.

  • Essential oil (optional) – Adds natural fragrance. Look for skin-safe oils like lavender or lemon.

  • Water – Dissolves and activates the cleaning ingredients.

You can substitute and tweak based on personal preference and availability of ingredients. For example, some recipes use a natural laundry booster like oxiclean instead of washing soda. Play around to find your perfect homemade detergent recipe.

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making homemade laundry detergent takes just a few easy steps:

1. Gather Ingredients

You’ll need distilled white vinegar, washing soda (arm & hammer brand), baking soda, castile soap, water and essential oils (optional for scent).

2. Grate Soap

Grate a few bars of castile soap into flakes. You can use a box grater or food processor. This helps the soap dissolve.

3. Mix Dry Ingredients

In a large container, mix together equal parts washing soda and baking soda. Aim for about 4-6 cups each. Then add 1 cup of grated castile soap.

4. Add Vinegar

Pour in 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. The acid helps break down soap molecules.

5. Add Water & Oils

Slowly pour in about 4 cups warm water while stirring continuously. The detergent will start to thicken. Stir in 15-25 drops essential oils if desired.

6. Allow to Set

Let the detergent sit for 24 hours to thicken up further. Stir well before each use. Store in an airtight container.

7. Use as Usual

Use 1-2 tablespoons per laundry load. Adjust amount as needed based on load size and soil level.

That’s it! With this easy homemade recipe, you’ll have natural, eco-friendly laundry detergent for just pennies a load. Adjust the ingredients as needed to suit your washing machine and laundry needs. Soon you’ll wonder why you ever bought detergent at the store!

Tips for the Best Homemade Laundry Detergent

Follow these tips for stellar results from your homemade laundry detergent:

  • Use very hot water when dissolving the grated soap to ensure it fully melts. This prevents clumping.

  • Let the detergent set for at least 24 hours before using. This gives the molecules time to bind together properly.

  • Shake or stir the mixture before each use, especially if it’s been sitting awhile. This evenly distributes the ingredients.

  • Start with smaller amounts if transitioning from commercial detergents. Homemade soap may not contain whiteners so colors appear dull at first.

  • Pretreat tough stains with a dab of detergent mixed with water. Homemade soap has less harsh chemicals than store-bought brands.

  • Add a splash of vinegar to the rinse cycle to eliminate soap residue on clothes. It also acts as a fabric softener!

With the right technique, you can feel good about the money you save, reduced waste and gentle ingredients used when you make your own sustainable laundry detergent. Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to clean clothes and clean conscience with DIY laundry soap!

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