Whether you are wanting to save some money, love DIY projects, or just want a detergent that you can understand, I have you covered! I have been making my own detergents for several years, and I’ve been amazed to discover how few folks know that you can. And these are not just for”older” version washing machines – these are usually safe for HE washers, as well!
I’ve broken up this article into 4 sections, so feel free to skip ahead if you would like to know about a specific kind of detergent.
Liquid detergents can be a little easier to measure out, and tend to be less messy. Plus, making it’s a cinch! Here’s my quick guide to making liquid laundry detergent:
– Grate a pub of your favourite soap using either a food processor or cheese grater. You’ll want it to be thin, so stay away from making it chunky.
– In an old saucepan, slowly heat 2 quarts (that is 8 cups) of water along with your grated soap. You will want to stir it continuously until your soap is totally dissolved.
– Get yourself a 5-gallon container. Paint buckets can be great for this! Place 4 1/2 gallons of super hot water, 2 cups of washing or baking soda, and 2 cups of borax.
– Insert the soap mixture into your bucket and – again – stir well.
– Cover your mixture well and let it sit overnight.
– Stir (or shake!) Until the mixture is smooth, then put it into separate gallon containers.
This will last you quite some time, too, as you only have to use 1/2 to 1 cup for every load of laundry.
It’s important to notice that depending on your washing machine and the sort of water your home uses, you may realize that you start getting build up in the machine. If that happens, there are TONS of ways to eliminate it.
You should also know that using soap rather than detergent will provide you varying results. Based on the kind of soap you use, you may find that your clothes do not get as clean as they should. Play around with additives to find out what works best for you and your garments.
DIY Powdered Detergent
These can be as straightforward as powdering your favourite bar of soap in a blender and adding essential oils to it can involve mixing a couple of common household items to make a powerful laundry detergent. In my experience, the latter works better than the former – though I am a proponent of incorporating in essential oils for a personalized scent.
Mix together one 3 lb, 7 oz box of A&H Washing Soda (similar to baking soda), a 3 lb box of OxyClean, Zote Soap pub x2, and a 4 pound box of A&H baking soda. If you want, Scentsy Washer Whiffs are all the rage as of late for adding a wonderful fragrance to your laundry. However, you could always just skip this and add your favorite oils for scent, or bypass adding a fragrance all together!
Grate your soap bars until they are fine, then mix everything together in a big container. Yep! You are all done!
You’ll only have to use about 2 – 4 tablespoons of this mixture per load of laundry, which makes it pretty efficient in terms of price.
DIY Natural Detergent
It was hard for me to decide this one. There are several great DIY natural detergents on the market, but I had to select 1 recipe. I decided to go with a blend of essential oils with a little baking soda to eliminate any stains and lift dirt.
– Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Sage can be combined together to make a super-effective detergent. It will have an astringent, yet leafy scent. It can be kind of overwhelming for a few. 1 – 2 drops of each of those oils and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda will get the smells and stains out of your clothes, leaving them clean and smelling fresh.
– Orange, grapefruit, and cinnamon oils will give your clothes a deep down clean as well as a spicy citrus scent that will leave you feeling energized (and perhaps a little hungry!) Throughout the day. Again, add only 1 – 2 drops of each oil and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda to your load of laundry.
– Cedarwood, rosemary, and lime oils will provide your laundry a distinctive, sweet yet earthy scent that is guaranteed to please. 1 – 2 drops of each of these and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda will leave your clothes smelling fantastic and looking fantastic!
– As a bonus, I’ll include my”night recipe”, which I love to use for my kids’ nap time and maternity bedding and clothes. Lavender oil may be used alone, but I love to combine it with chamomile and ylang-ylang oils for a candy, meadow odor which helps whisk my children to sleep. Use just 1 drop of each of these oils, and include – you guessed it – 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda.
This one is without a doubt among the best. It doesn’t cost very much at all, and it is super easy to use. It does not even involve some pre-mixing. It may also be a lifesaver if you are short on money or time. You likely already have these ingredients!
– After you have added your laundry to the washer, toss in about half a cup of baking soda. Depending upon your washer, there will be either a place for dry detergents or you could just put it directly on top of your laundry. Be sure that you use it accordingly!
– Add about 1/2 – 1 cup of white distilled vinegar on top of that.
– Start up your own washer!
It really is that easy. It makes your clothes super clean, as the baking soda will bubble stains out of clothes and the vinegar will eliminate smells. And do not worry – your clothes will not smell like vinegar! In fact, they should not really smell like much whatsoever.
If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can add your favorite essential oil or oil blends to bring a nice scent to your clothes.
My favorite recipes for 4 different DIY laundry detergents. I hope that you find them as helpful as I have. They have saved my family and I innumerable money, and it has given us a better understanding of what goes into washing our clothes. (Plus, our kiddos love to help choose the scents!)