Friday, January 3, 2014


Making homemade laundry products seems to be easy enough and a lot of blogs talk about ways to go about it. But, like me, you probably wondered if any of that really works? Will the clothes actually be as clean or cleaner than what we buy in those big, colorful boxes on the laundry product isle? 

I decided to find out.

For a while, I’d been collecting recipes for homemade laundry detergent but kept it on the “back-burner” until now. I liked the idea of knowing – for a fact – that what is in my detergent is 100% non-toxic and biodegradable. I was also impressed by the need to save some money on wash days, whenever possible. So, making my own detergent has been on list of things-to-do for a while. And this week, I put it to the test. And, here I am, reporting back from my experiment. 

With just 3 ingredients, you'll have a great wash day product.
What I made was the simplest recipe for laundry detergent I found. It has only 3 ingredients: Borax, Washing Soda, and Laundry bar soap flakes. This mixture washes well with cold or warm water and doesn't tend to form suds or bubbles. It can be used in any kind of automatic washer.

Here are the ingredients and how they work to create a super effective laundry detergent.

Borax, a natural mineral compound cleans and disinfects by converting some water molecules into hydrogen peroxide.

Washing Soda, a high alkaline powder that acts as a solvent to remove stains without causing loss of color.

Laundry Soap, that's the kind of soap that is used to hand wash clothes. When you grate up this soap, it helps eliminate tough, including oil-based, stains.

With the combination of all three ingredients working together, this detergent has great cleaning power. I've tried it, now, on both colored and white clothes and love the results. Best of all, there are no phosphates in this detergent to go down the drain and poison our water supplies. And you can bet that I’m not going back to commercial products.

Want to make some? Here’s what you need.
Box of Borax
Box of  Super Washing Soda
Big bar of laundry soap, grated or flaked (Can use a cheese grater or, easier yet, look for the flakes version at the store.) 

All of these ingredients were found in the detergent isle of our local Big Box store. And good news, the cost for all three products, together, for about 8 dollars. (I estimate that there is a savings of at least 50% when compared to commercial products.

For the 2 quart plastic bucket that I had on hand, I used 3 cups of borax and soda, each, and 3/4-cup of soap flakes.

Mix the ingredients well and store the detergent in a container with a top.

When using the detergent, start up the washing machine and fill it with a some water. Then, add 1/3 cup of detergent for regular wash. It’s a concentrated product so just a little does a fine job of getting clothes clean.

Really, this homemade product is a no-brainer, and I recommend it wholeheartedly  for all eco-friendly people who also don't mind saving some dollars.

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