I have been making my own green cleaning products for years now. But homemade laundry soap was one thing I hadn’t tackled yet.
When my daughter was born, I quickly realized it was time to green my laundry routine too.
I noticed if she took a nap in my bed or on a blanket that wasn’t hers, or even if she laid her bare face against my clothes for to long, she would end up with a rash on her face. I washed all of her things in baby laundry soap, but not everyone else’s stuff/every washable thing in the house. It had to be the laundry soap and fabric softener messing with her!
So should I wash everything I own in Dreft? Or spend tons of money on the so called “free and gentle” laundry soaps? Turns out they’re still full of toxic chemicals.
So I decided to make my own safer, healthier (for you and the planet), laundry soap. None of the crazy chemicals and toxic ingredients. And since I started using this homemade laundry soap, my daughter isn’t constantly getting rashes.
It works great, smells good, and it’s super cheap too! Literally only pennies per load. And it’s so quick and easy to make.
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Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients
You only need three things:
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 4.5 oz bar of soap – I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap
A note about washing soda: washing soda and baking soda are not the same thing. If you can’t find washing soda, you can make it from baking soda.
For the bar soap, many recipes I’ve seen use Fels-Naptha or Ivory bar soap. After comparing ingredients, I chose Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap. I love that they’re made with all-natural, vegan ingredients like organic oils. Plus they have no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.
Homemade Laundry Soap Directions
First, grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater or the grating blade on your food processor. Then add the grated soap, Borax, and washing soda to food processor and pulse until you have powder. Let the dust settle before you open the lid – you don’t want to get hit in the face with a big cloud of laundry soap.
You don’t have to blend it in a food processor, but it may not totally dissolve in cold water with the bigger pieces of the grated bar soap. I wash my laundry in cold water to save energy, so I take this extra step.
Pour your homemade laundry soap into a jar and you’re ready to wash. Use 1-2 tablespoons of laundry soap, depending on the size and dirtiness of the load.
I use an old baby formula scoop. It’s the perfect size to measure 1 tablespoonful.
Green the rest of your laundry routine too
You can’t stop with only replacing your laundry soap with a non-toxic alternative. Traditional liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets pose many of the same hazards, full of toxic ingredients.
Making your own fabric softener is even easier than homemade laundry soap. White vinegar does the trick. It softens and removes any buildup from your laundry. Don’t worry about smelling like vinegar. Once your laundry is dry the smell is completely gone. Check out my recipe, along with other green cleaning recipes here.
A few months into swapping vinegar for fabric softener and switching laundry soap, the inside of my washing machine has never looked cleaner! No more blue fabric softener gunk oozing out the holes!
Finally, think about replacing your dryer sheets with a more eco-friendly, non-toxic alternative. Try wool dryer balls instead. They help laundry dry so much faster! Or check out these other ideas for alternatives to dryer sheets.
A Few more Green Laundry Tips
There’s more to a green laundry routine than simply removing toxic cleaners. Think about all the water and energy that goes into washing a load of laundry. Here’s a few simple tips to make your laundry routine easier on the environment:
- Wash laundry in cold water to save energy.
- You don’t need to wash everything after a single wear. Make sure it’s actually dirty before you wash it.
- Wash full loads. It saves energy and water versus washing a bunch of small loads.
- Try line drying your clothes. The dryer is a huge waste of energy when you have the sun and fresh air to do the work for you. If you don’t have room outside, try hanging a line or rack in your basement or laundry room for line drying.
- If you do chose to use the dryer, make sure to keep the lint trap and dryer ducts clean to improve efficiency.
Do you have any other green laundry tips I left out? Share them with me, then go do some laundry!