Monday, 19 August 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Today I'd like to share a recipe that I have loved for making your own laundry detergent. 

I really dislike the scented, chemical-filled cleaners that are out there, and since I have sensitive skin, it makes sense to use something that is milder.  We still buy laundry detergent for those especially tough jobs and for my husband's sweaty clothes.  He finds that this homemade version does not always get the smell out of his clothes.  I disagree.  To compromise, though, we mostly use this recipe and every once in a while wash his clothes with a stronger soap to make him feel better. :)

I really like this soap for washing towels, socks, underwear, and my gentle-wash clothes.  I find it keeps the whites white, and doesn't leave residue or too much scent on the clean clothes.  

So, without further ado, here is the recipe:
1 bar shaved bar soap (I use original Ivory)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
lavender leaves or essential oils to choice

Super simple, right?  Normally I make about 5-6 batches at once to make it last a long time.  Here's how you do it:

Gather all your ingredients.  You can find borax and washing soda at the cleaning isles of your local grocery store.  I think each box is about $5-6, which makes this recipe extremely affordable.  

Grate the bars of soap into a large mixing bowl.  I use my cheese grater and a pair of rubber gloves (for grip).  After, just be sure to rinse the grater very well and throw it through a load in the dishwasher to get rid of the soap residue.  

Measure and add in the corresponding amounts of borax and washing soda, and stir, stir, stir!  You want to stir it very well to make sure everything gets incorporated.  At the end, it should be a very fine, crumbly mixture.

Store it in an airtight container.  Usually I put mine into a 4 litre ice cream bucket and then divide it out into jars as needed.

For laundry, use 1-2 Tbsp per load.  The great thing is, it works just fine on HE washers too and doesn't leave any residue in the machine.  The laundry comes out feeling and smelling fresh...Mmm! 


  1. I'd like to try this sometime! Do you like to add the lavender and if so, do you notice the scent?

  2. I haven't added lavender yet, only because it's not something I frequently have around. I plan to buy some essential oils this week and may try it next time. I"ll let you know how it goes.