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How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

If you’ve got a knack for DIY projects and enjoy finding new uses for household products, you might be interested in making your own laundry detergent. While the idea of saving a few bucks and making your own laundry detergent might sound attractive, you might also be wondering what the process is like and just how effective homemade laundry detergent really is. If you’re curious about DIY laundry detergent and are dying to learn more, read on!

Before laundry detergent was commercially available, everyone made their own. Hard to believe there was a time before being able to get whatever you need at Target and Amazon, right? As supermarkets began to stock laundry detergent, DIY’ing fell out of fashion as most people chose the convenience of premade laundry detergent as opposed to the cost savings of making their own.

Today, families across the country are discovering just how much money they can save and just how much control they have over the ingredients they include in their homemade laundry soap. DIY’ing is coming back into favor. You can personalize your detergents in many different ways; essential oils, active ingredients, or even by choosing to create a liquid vs. a powder detergent. Below, we curated two base recipes to follow for laundry detergents, one liquid, and one powder form. 

Laundry Detergent

‍Liquid Laundry Detergent

To start, you’ll want to gather your ingredients. For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of Washing Soda (click here to see how you can turn baking soda into washing soda, as they are two different chemical compounds)
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 2 cups of liquid Castille soap
  • 3.5L (15 cups) water
  • 25 drops of essential oil (optional)

‍Next, In a large pot, bring half of the water to an almost boil and dissolve the borax and washing soda before removing from the heat. Add in the rest of the water (room temperature) and liquid soap and stir to combine.

‍Finally, after cooling, you’ll want to transfer your mixture to a closed container and add essential oils if desired. You can use something as small as a mason jar or as large as a resealable bucket to store the mix.

‍Powder Laundry Detergent

To start, gather the following:

  • 2 cups of Borax
  • 2 cups of Washing Soda (click here to see how you can turn baking soda into washing soda, as they are two different chemical compounds)
  • 1 bar of soap or 1 cup of soap flakes (preferably natural and unscented)
  • 10 drops essential oil (Optional)

‍Next, grate the bar of soap (if needed), combine all of the dry ingredients then mix in optional essential oils.

‍Store this mixture in a sealable Tupperware in your laundry area for easy access.

‍The last step of the process is using your homemade laundry detergent! When you use your laundry detergent, you’ll use it just as you would with any other detergent. For liquid, aim for about 2-3 tablespoons per regular-sized load of laundry, with a bit more for a large load. For powder, 1-2 tablespoons will be enough for an average-sized load of laundry. Remember, you’ll want to avoid overdoing it with laundry detergent to avoid any residue and unwanted odors.

‍As you get more experienced making your laundry detergent you can experiment with slightly different formulas and with adding scents to your mix. Lemon, orange, and eucalyptus essential oils all make for a clean, fresh scent. In time you’ll likely wonder why you ever bought laundry detergent in the first place!

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