With the variety of laundry soaps available today only growing, why would you ever bother to make your own?
“My mama always said life is like a box of chocolates“, is a well-known quote from the classic (1994, that makes it a classic, right?) Forrest Gump.
Well, my mama always said, “don’t throw money around on things, if you can make them at home“.
She also said a house without chickens is a house, not a home, but that’s another story.
As I was saying, mama was a big fan of making things at home instead of buying them. She made her own clothes, she made bread and a lot of other things we nowadays are used to buying from the supermarket.
But nothing fascinated me more than her ability to make soap in her backyard because she used lye and lard, and the soaps were these big chunks of dubious coloring and even more dubious smell.
But it worked like a charm.
The reason more and more people are considering making their own homemade soap is that it’s cheaper and safer than industrial soaps, especially if natural ingredients are used.
The truth is, conventional detergents have a lot of junk in them that’s not good for your clothes, your washer, or especially YOU!
Homemade laundry soap recipes are based on common ingredients and easy instructions, although you should still keep in mind to take precautionary measures, like using gloves.
When you add just a little bit of imagination and a drop of creativity – not to mention the satisfaction of making something with your own two hands, the results could be pretty cool.
So what are the basic ingredients of homemade laundry soap?
Most of the recipes out there use natural bar soaps, washing soda, borax, and essential oils. Each ingredient has its own specific role.
– Bar soaps are the principal cleaning ingredient. You can make your own, or you can buy it. Most common variants are based on coconut-oil and palm oil*, which you can buy them in a supermarket or online.
– Borax is used to soften hard-water and to act as a buffer in your homemade cleaner. However, there are plenty of voices claiming borax is possibly carcinogenic and a risk to fertility and pregnancy. If you’re concerned about this you can always use a substitute like vinegar.
– Essential oils are to add a nice fragrance, and based on what oils you choose, can add other benefits as well.
Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
- Two full cups of grated bar soap.
- Two full cups of washing soda. You can buy it or make it yourself using regular baking soda and this tutorial.
- Two-two and a half gallons of hot water.
- Melt the grated soap bars in a saucepan, while covered with water. Stir until dissolved, using medium-low heat.
- Pour the rest of the hot water in a large pail, then add the mixture of soap and the washing soda.
- Stir very well.
- After cooling down, store in a sealed container.
- Use one cup of mixture per full load of laundry.
Some prefer using homemade powder laundry soap instead of the liquid one, so here’s a recipe for this type of cleaner.
Homemade Powder Laundry Soap Recipe
- One cup baking soda
- One cup washing soda
- 1/4 liquid Castile soap
- One cup of vinegar
- Pour the liquid soap into a large bowl.
- Add the washing soda and stir.
- Add the baking soda and stir.
- Add the vinegar – in small batches, while stirring.
- Use half a cup of mixture with every full load of laundry.
Don’t worry about the foam or lumps – both are normal. Just continue to break them down while stirring. You’ll find the mixture to be thick, but it will soon break down into powdered detergent.
These recipes are unscented, which may feel weird if you’re used to conventional laundry soap. The truth is that while most industrial detergents smell lovely, the scent is achieved with loads of chemicals which are often toxic.
If you’d like to add a scent, try 10-15 drops of essential oil per every two gallons of your homemade laundry soap. Do it AFTER the soap has dropped to room temperature – just stir well and then cover.
Some good options are lemon (because of the citric acid), lavender, and rosemary.
A word of caution: if you’re not a chemist, please make sure to be careful with your concoctions. You shouldn’t use the same saucepan for both food and cleaners.
Don’t want to mess with making your own laundry soap but still know you should detoxify your laundry room?
Personally, I don’t want to take the time to create or store homemade laundry soap. Good thing there’s a better alternative!
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AND they have a new discovery kit so you can try it out for yourself!