Are you trying to make your own all natural laundry detergent? If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place. This tutorial for natural homemade laundry detergent is easy, cheap, and fun to make.
With just about $20, you can purchase all the ingredients needed to make all natural laundry detergent right from the comfort of your home.
Why Use All Natural Detergents?
Did you know that conventional laundry detergents contain a number of chemicals such as phenols, sulfates, and petroleum distillates that can be easily absorbed into the skin leading to cancer, lung diseases, and allergies? This is why it is important to make your own all natural laundry detergent.
So, for all my DIY lovers, you can make your own all natural laundry detergent with just 4 major ingredients. But before we get into the procedure, let us learn a little about the various ingredients needed for this recipe.
Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap made of animal fats and synthetic ingredients. It is non-toxic and available in bar and liquid form. This soap is not only environmentally friendly, but it also has a variety of uses.
It can be used in cleaning wounds or it can be used as a dish soap, shampoo, household cleaner, or spray. It can also be used for sinus decongestion.
This soap may sound like the ‘ultimate’ multipurpose soap. However, there are a few key notes to avoid when using it.
- Never use castile soap in combination with vinegar or lemon juice as it is basic. Due to its alkaline nature, it would react with the acidic vinegar or lemon juice converting it back to oils. This can be seen as a white film residue.
- For my beauty lovers, avoid using castile soap on bleached hair as it may strip away some of the color.
It acts by binding to the minerals in hard water thus allowing the detergent to be absorbed into the fabric to enhance cleaning.
Washing soda is also quite effective in removing tough stains from fabrics, greasy build-ups from dishes, to clean outdoor furniture, etc.
However, washing soda can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities and can cause skin irritation. Always wear gloves when handling it, and make sure there are no kids around you during the handling process.
Baking soda is often confused with washing soda, but these two compounds are different. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3) is a white crystalline non-toxic salt that can be crushed to a fine powder. It has leavening properties and is often used to leaven flour based products like pancakes, muffins, or bread, etc.
Aside from cooking, baking soda also has a variety of household cleaning and health uses. Therefore, adding baking soda to your DIY laundry detergent is quite beneficial. I’m sure you’re asking yourself why.
Baking soda is an alkaline compound too and therefore, it can neutralize acid stains. It’s also a natural fabric softener and can lift dirt from fabrics. In addition, baking soda helps brighten your clothes and is an effective deodorizer.
Essential oils are a natural ingredient extracted from different parts of a plant such as the leaves, flowers, roots, etc. These oils tend to retain the natural fragrance of the plant.
Essential oils have been around for decades and have been found to have several health benefits, including hormone balance, brain function improvement, stress reduction, and relief from headaches and migraines.
Due to their fragrance, essential oils have gained popularity in the DIY community. They are often incorporated into homemade bathing soaps, laundry detergents, and shampoos to leave your body, clothes, and hair with that natural fresh scent.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits of using these ingredients in your DIY all natural laundry detergent, let’s get to the procedure.
How to Make All Natural Laundry Detergent at Home
For a 3-gallon laundry detergent, you’ll need the following:
- ¾ cup washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer Super washing soda)
- ¾ cup baking soda (I use Arm & Hammer pure baking soda)
- ¾ cup Dr. Bronner’s pure castile liquid soap (you can also use ½ bar Kirk’s original coco castile soap or ½ bar Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap)
- 40 – 50 drops of essential oil of your choice ( I love lemon scented essential oils)
Procedure Using Liquid Castile Soap
1 – In a 3 – gallon plastic bucket, dissolve the washing soda and baking soda with 2.5 gallons of hot water until it is completely dissolved.
2 – Pour in the castile soap and gently mix.
3- Add warm water to almost fill the bucket.
4 – Add the essential oil and mix.
5 – Allow it to cool before storing in bottles.
Procedure Using Castile Bar Soap
1 – Grate the soap over a large pot.
2 – Add ½ gallon of water and gradually heat while stirring to dissolve the soap.
3 – Pour 2.5 gallons of hot water in a 3-gallon bucket and add the washing soda and baking soda. Stir until it is completely dissolved.
4 – Pour the soap mixture from the pot into the 3-gallon bucket and stir.
5 – Add the essential oil and stir.
6 – Let it cool completely before storing in bottles.
You can use between ¼ and ½ cup per load depending on the efficiency of your washing machine. Always remember to stir or shake the detergent before each use.
Please note: I do not use borax as one of the ingredients in this recipe. Though borax plays a big role in laundry detergents, there are however a lot of controversies on the safety of borax. All ingredients used in this recipe are available in most stores and have all been rated an ‘A’ by the Environmental Working Group.
Most people usually ask themselves whether homemade detergents really work. Yes, they work. This DIY all natural detergent would leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean and save you several dollars per year.
I hope you love this natural homemade laundry detergent as much as I do. Give it a try and let me know if you like it in the comment section below.