If you’re looking to save money and/or use more natural, eco-friendly products in your own, making your own laundry detergent is a great place to start. It’s simple, quick, and gives you peace of mind knowing what ingredients go into the cleaning of all clothes for you and your family.
Below, we’ll cover some of the main reasons natural laundry detergents are best and break down what you need to know about how to make your own laundry detergent at home.
The Dangers of Commercial Laundry Detergent
Besides saving money, making your own laundry detergent is also non-toxic and helps you contribute to saving the planet.
There are a number of potential health risks connected to common ingredients in everyday laundry detergents. Those include:
- 1,4-Dioxane: considered by the EPA as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans”
- Bleach: known to irritate the skin and eyes, and has been linked to lung, kidney, and liver issues
- Cleaning agents: includes chemicals like diethanolamine, quaternium-15, nonylphenol ethoxylate, and petroleum distillates, all possibly linked to problems ranging from skin irritation and hormone disruption to cancers
- Phosphates and EDTA: associated with damage to the environmental, especially waters and streams
- Artificial fragrances: can be irritating to the skin and cause reactions in some people
Our bodies get exposed to these ingredients when we use detergents containing them. Even though they’re rinsed off in the wash, residues can be leftover after each wash cycle is done. This is why some people can have a skin reactions after wearing clothes washed with certain commercial detergents, for example.
Plus, some ingredients can stay in clothes long after they’ve been washed.
The best way to avoid any potential problems associated with toxic ingredients is by choosing more natural ones. You can do this by either buying from trusted brands or by making your own. You can use the instructions below to make your own laundry detergent at home—easily and at an affordable price.
How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
Here are the components of healthy DIY laundry detergent:
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 natural bar soap, grated with a cheese grater
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2- 5 drops of essential oils (optional, if you want a scent)
Borax might sound weird, but it’s just a natural alkaline mineral salt found in many natural laundry detergents. It also goes by the name sodium borate.
Washing soda is made from water-soluble salts and known as sodium carbonate.
You can get both the Borax and washing soda from the laundry aisle of your local grocery store.
Some regular grocery stores with natural or organic sections will also have the bar soap, or you can go to a local health food store. To save the trip, you can also buy them online. We have an entire bar soap section at Nature’s Ideal. Kirk’s Fragrance Free Soap Bar or any other unscented soap bar with natural ingredients will work great.
The baking soda is optional but recommended for increasing freshness. And the essential oils you use are up to you! Popular scents for laundry detergent include almond, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree.
How to Use These Ingredients
The amount of these ingredients depends on how much detergent you want to make, so feel free to double them if needed. Just make sure the proportions stay the same.
Here’s how to actually make the laundry detergent:
- Borax and washing soda may be irritating to your skin, so wear gloves when making the detergent. You may also want to wear a bandana or mask over your nose and mouth to prevent yourself from breathing in the dry ingredients.
- Add all ingredients except the essential oil to a large bowl and stir together.
- Add the drops of essential oils and stir again.
- Store mixture in an airtight, covered container until ready to use.
- When ready to use, add anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of detergent to each load, depending on the load size. If the powder doesn’t seem to be dissolved completely in the mixture, you might add a small amount of hot water to it before running a laundry load.
Now you know how to make your own laundry detergent that is all-natural and non-toxic—and ready for your next clothes wash!
Don’t Have Time to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?
If you want healthy laundry detergent choices for your family but don’t want to worry about making your own, we carry the best all-natural laundry detergent brands here at Nature’s Ideal. Shop consciously and view what we have to offer by clicking here.