Homemade Laundry Detergent

If I’d chosen a colored soap, this would probably look a lot cooler.

I’m ashamed to admit how long I’ve been meaning to make laundry detergent. One of my biggest obstacles was finding the right soap—I didn’t want to use something cheap with crappy ingredients, but I’m also in no position to use something fancy (like the $5 bar of peppermint Dr. Bronners I’ve been rationing in the shower for at least three months). So when I found a fairly affordable 3-pack of Kirk’s Coco Castile soap at Publix (while on vacation in Gulf Shores with my family, which means I still have to find a local source or order it from Amazon when I run out), it seemed like a logical choice for grating into laundry detergent. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday afternoon, following this homemade laundry soap tutorial from Clean, the Lusa Organics blog. The soap itself smells a little like Ivory, but the laundry detergent turned out fairly unscented. I tested it on a load of towels and gym clothes (the grossest load of laundry I had) and was really happy with the results.

To make your own laundry detergent, you’ll need:

4 to 5 oz soap (2 C grated)
2/3 C baking soda
1 C borax
1 1/3 C washing soda

Grate the soap using a box grater or food processor. (My sad old food processor wasn’t up to the challenge, so it was actually easier for me to grate the soap by hand.) In a large mixing bowl with a spoon you don’t plan on using for food, mix the soap, baking soda, borax, and washing soda. Store in an airtight container—I’m using a large, wide mouth mason jar for easier scooping. For best results, use 2-3 tablespoons of detergent per load of laundry, adding the detergent as the machine fills with water and giving it a minute or so to fully dissolve before throwing in your clothes.

For those of you lucky enough to have HE washing machines, this detergent is supposed to be low-sudsing and, therefore, safe for you to use as well.

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