Homemade Laundry Detergent

Back in the spring I teamed up with Hobby Lobby and taught a class on making your own laundry detergent. We did a class in 3 locations; Stafford, Missouri City, and Pearland. I have shared this easy recipe with many of you, but I want to take this opportunity to not only do that again but to also give a better understanding behind each ingredient and why they are important. Making your own detergent is extremely cost effective (about $0.22 a load), easy to do, and best of all you know exactly what is in it! I happen to have a family of “sensitive-skin folks” so it is important to me to keep any perfumes or dyes out of our detergents, soaps, shampoos, and cleaners. I know immediately if my clothes were washed in a detergent that has “unnecessary” or harmful ingredients. My skin will itch endlessly until I get out of those clothes! Red light here folks!

Making your own detergent is super easy and is as simple as 3-4 ingredients:

2 C Borax

2 C Soda Ash (sometimes called washing soda)

1 Bar of shaved Castile Soap (I use coconut castile soap)

A few drops of your favorite essential oil (if desired)

Mix all the ingredients and store in any type of container desired (I use a glass container with a lid). You will need 1/4-1/2 C per load. I use a cheese grater to shave the bar soap.

Why each ingredient is important:

Borax comes from a mine and is a natural reaction between the Boran mineral and salt in the ground. For cleaning purposes it helps to whiten clothes and soften hard water. It is also essential for plants to grow as well as an essential mineral that the body needs for bone building and immune system and brain function.

Soda Ash if formally named sodium carbonate and is the reaction of oxygen and sodium carbon bound together. In a laundry detergent it binds to minerals to help remove stains, helps soften water and also allows the detergent foam and rinse out of clothes.

Castile Soap is made of natural vegetable ingredients. It is effective in laundry detergent because it acts as a wetting agent to cut through grease and and lift dirt. It also provides a clean, fluffy lather. I like to use the coconut castile because the coconut seems to clean better. Castile soap is also available in liquid form and many people use it as a bathing soap and shampoo as well as an all-purpose cleaner.

Essential Oils in laundry detergent simply give your laundry the scent that you want. There are many to choose from such as lavender, cinnamon, basil, lemon, and the list goes on. Use as little or as much as you feel is good. Have fun with it and enjoy the results!

Yours in health and happiness,

Heidi