Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY: Make at Home Laundry Detergent

DIY: Make at Home Laundry Detergent

Quick, cheap, safe for cloth diapers!

Whether you are concerned about being ecologically sound, worried about skin and allergy sensitivities, or just cheap like me (my dad would say "frugal"), making your own household cleaning products just makes sense (and cents)! One of the easiest places to start saving money and help protect sensitive skin is with laundry detergent - a natural choice if you cloth diaper!

Here is a great recipe for making your own inexpensive, effective laundry soap. This is a low-sudsing soap, perfect for HE and front loading washing machines. All you need are a few easily found ingredients, a food processor, and about 10 minutes.


1 - 14 oz (or 2 - 7 oz) Bar of Zote, Ivory, or Fels Naptha soap
2 cups Borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle of most supermarkets)
2 cups Washing Soda (NOT baking soda, though I've heard you can make washing soda by baking baking
            soda on a shallow tray at 425 degrees) also available in most supermarkets in the laundry or
            household cleaning products

1 mL Essential Oil of choice.
            I recommend lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, or orange oil


Cut bars of soap minimally to fit in food processor. 

Process soap lightly to big chunks in Food processor. 

Add other dry ingredients 1 cup at a time (order doesn't matter), process each addition for about 30 seconds. 

Add essential oil. Process to desired consistency. 

Pour into moisture-resistant container. I use a coffee scoop to measure it out.

Great for HE washers!! Use 1-2 Tbsp per load. If using for cloth diapers you might add 1/4 cup of vinegar or 1/4 cup of baking soda to every other or every 3rd load (I find it works best to alternate between the two as each seems to have different properties) to "strip" the diapers, keeping them at their freshest and most absorbent.

Cost Breakdown:

Cost: about $1.50/batch
1 batch = approx 40 loads
= about $.04/ load

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