A little DIY homemade detergent goes a long way

When it’s laundry time, most people open their washer, measure some commercially made soap, and throw it in without thinking much about why they use a particular type of detergent. Is it the cleaning power? The scent? Designed for sensitive skin?

There’s an easy alternative to commercial laundry soap: homemade detergent. With just a few ingredients and a little time, you can have a powerful cleaning product that’s all your own.

Why use homemade laundry detergent?

There are several reasons to make your own detergent. The first one benefits your pocketbook: It’s cheaper to make your own than to buy it. You can make a lot more detergent for the same amount of money you’d spend on pre-mixed soap.

Homemade detergent can also easily be made free of petroleum, phosphates, phthalates, and artificial perfumes and dyes. That’s fantastic news for people with sensitive skin and people who want a natural, Earth-friendly way to clean their clothes.

Ideas for creating homemade detergent

You can easily find homemade laundry detergent recipes, with a few exceptions, most use the same three ingredients: washing soda, bar soap and Borax. You can adjust the recipe to your liking, such as changing the soap or adding essential oils for a scent.

  • 1 bar of soap (such as Ivory™ or Fels-Naptha®)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  1. Finely grate the soap with a hand grater or food processor.
  2. With a spoon, carefully mix the soap, washing soda and Borax.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar.
  4. Use 1–2 tablespoons per load of laundry.

That’s it! To personalize your homemade laundry soap, try mixing in these additives:

  • 1 cup oxygen booster (for added cleaning power)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10–15 drops essential oils (such as lemon, lime, lavender, sweet orange or chamomile)

The next time you do you laundry, you can take pride knowing you have powerful, eco-friendly, personalized homemade laundry detergent at your fingertips!