Sick of buying so many things? Sick of using products you’re just so-so about? I sure am.
The Seventh Generation laundry detergent I’ve used for years works just fine, but here are all the ingredients:
“Ingredients: Water, laureth-6 (plant-derived cleaning agent), sodium lauryl sulfate (plant-derived cleaning agent), sodium citrate (plant-derived water softener), glycerin (plant-derived enzyme stabilizer), boric acid (mineral-based enzyme stabilizer), oleic acid (plant-derived anti-foaming agent), sodium chloride (mineral-based viscosity modifier), sodium hydroxide (mineral-based pH adjuster), calcium chloride (mineral-based enzyme stabilizer), citric acid (plant-derived processing aid), protease, amylase and mannanase (plant-derived enzyme soil removers), benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (synthetic preservatives).” (retrieved from the Seventh Generation website)
The Environmental Working Group ranks most of Seventh Generation’s laundry detergents with a D, which means “High Concern: Likely hazards to health or the environment. May also have poor ingredient disclosure.”
Sure, there are cleaner detergents out there that are ready-made and available for purchase. Wellness Mama, the website in which I found this liquid laundry soap recipe, was kind enough to link us to those products and break down how much it costs per load in the same article as the recipe.
I guess making it myself is attractive because it cuts down on packaging used and I know what’s going into the soap.
There was also a powdered detergent recipe which I thought about making, but apparently the powder doesn’t dissolve in cold water.
Thus the liquid laundry soap DIY recipe!
This recipe calls for:
- 1 bar of castille soap
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
You will also need a 5-gallon bucket (I got mine at Home Depot for under $5 I’m pretty sure), a large pot for the stove, a stirring utensil, and either a knife, grater, or strong food processor to break down the castle bar soap.
Castille soap: a vegetable soap traditionally made from olive oil, water, and lye. The soap I’ve chosen is Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Rose Pure. It’s made from organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), water, organic olive oil, natural rose fragrance, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, sea salt, citric acid, and tocopherol (vitamin E).
Borax: AKA sodium borate. Borax can be created naturally by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes or man-made using other boron compounds. Like many more natural cleaning compounds, you shouldn’t eat it, put it in your eyes, or rub it on your skin. If you’re concerned about borax, hop over to Wellness Mama’s article here about the safety of borax, and do your own research!
Washing Soda: AKA sodium carbonate. It removes grease, oil, and wine stains. Sodium carbonate can be made from the ash of plants or synthetically created from salt. Like borax, I wouldn’t eat it, rub it in your eyes or on your skin. Again, do your own research! From what I’ve read, I feel comfortable using it in my laundry soap.
On to the recipe!
- Heat 8 cups of water in a pot on the stove.
- Grate or chop 1 bar of castille soap.
- Add the soap to the heated water and stir until it’s dissolved.
- Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water into your 5-gallon bucket.
- Add 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda to the bucket.
- Add your dissolved soap mixture from the stove into the bucket.
- Stir until everything is dissolved.
- Put a lid on it.
- Let it sit for at least 8 hours.
- Open it up, really appreciate how disgusting it looks.
- Stir it until it’s smooth!
- Transfer it to your favorite containers.
- Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup for each load of laundry.
- You did it!
Here are some recipes without any borax.
Here is a recipe I just came across for coconut oil laundry soap. I think I’ll try this one next time!
What household products have you made yourself?