Whether you’re wanting to save some money, love DIY jobs, or simply want a detergent that you may understand, I have you covered! I’ve been making my own detergents for many decades, and I’ve been shocked to discover how few folks know that you can. And these aren’t just for”older” version washing machines – these are usually safe for HE washers, also!
I’ve broken up this article into 4 segments, so feel free to skip ahead if you want to learn about a specific kind of detergent. Otherwise, please enjoy!
DIY Liquid Detergent
Liquid detergents can be a bit easier to measure out, and are inclined to be less messy. Plus, making it is a cinch! Here’s my quick guide to making liquid laundry detergent:
– Grate a pub of your favorite soap using either a food processor or cheese grater. You’ll want it to be thin, so stay away from making it chunky.
– In an old saucepan, slowly heat 2 quarts (that is 8 cups) of water along with your grated soap. You will want to stir it constantly until your soap is totally dissolved.
– Get yourself a 5-gallon container. Put 4 1/2 gallons of super hot water, 2 cups of baking or washing soda, and 2 cups of borax. Stir it until everything is dissolved completely.
– Add the soap mixture into your bucket and – again – stir well.
– Cover your mix well and allow it to sit overnight.
– Stir (or shake!) Until the mixture is smooth, then pour it into different gallon containers.
This will last you quite some time, also, as you only have to use 1/2 to 1 cup for each load of laundry.
It’s important to note that based on your washing machine and the type of water your home uses, you might realize that you start getting build up in the machine. If that occurs, there are TONS of ways to eliminate it.
You should also know that using soap as opposed to detergent will give you varying results. Based on the type of soap you use, you may find that your clothes do not get as clean as they should. Play around with additives to find out what works best for you and your clothes.
DIY Powdered Detergent
These can be as simple as powdering your favourite bar of soap in a blender and adding essential oils to it can involve mixing a few common household items to produce a potent laundry detergent. In my experience, the latter works better than the former – although I am a proponent of adding in essential oils for a custom scent.
Mix together one 3 pounds, 7 oz box of A&H Washing Soda (like baking soda), a 3 pound box of OxyClean, Zote Soap bar x2, plus a 4 pound box of A&H baking soda. If you want, Scentsy Washer Whiffs are all the rage as of late for including a nice fragrance to your laundry. However, you could always just skip this and add your favorite oils for scent, or skip adding a fragrance all together!
Grate your soap bars until they are fine, then mix everything together in a large container. Yep! You are all done!
You’ll only have to use about 2 – 4 tablespoons of the mixture per load of laundry, making it pretty efficient in terms of price.
DIY Natural Detergent
It was hard for me to decide this one. There are many great DIY natural detergents out there, but I had to choose one recipe. I decided to go with a mix of essential oils with a little baking soda to eliminate any spots and lift dirt.
– Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Sage can be blended together to make a super-effective detergent. It will have an astringent, yet leafy scent. It can be kind of overwhelming for a few. 1 – 2 drops of each of these oils and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda will find the smells and stains out of your clothes, leaving them clean and smelling fresh.
– Orange, grapefruit, and cinnamon oils will give your clothes a deep down clean and a spicy citrus scent that will leave you feeling energized (and maybe a little hungry!) All through the day. Again, add just 1 – 2 drops of each oil and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda into your load of laundry.
– Cedarwood, rosemary, and lime oils will provide your laundry a unique, sweet yet earthy scent that’s sure to please. 1 – 2 drops of all these and 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda will leave your clothes smelling fantastic and looking fantastic!
– As a bonus, I’ll include my”nighttime recipe”, which I really like to use for my kids’ nap time and bedtime clothes and bedding. Lavender oil can be used by itself, but I like to combine it with chamomile and ylang-ylang oils for a sweet, meadow smell that will help whisk my children to sleep. Use just 1 drop of each of these oils, and include – you guessed it – 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda.
This one is without a doubt one of the best. It doesn’t cost very much at all, and it’s super simple to use. It doesn’t even involve any pre-mixing. It can also be a lifesaver if you are short on money or time. Chances are you already have these ingredients!
– After you have added your laundry to the washer, throw in about half a cup of baking soda. Depending upon your washer, there’ll be either a place for dry detergents or you could just put it right on top of your laundry. Make sure you use it accordingly!
– Add about 1/2 – 1 cup of white distilled vinegar on top of that.
– Start up your own washer!
It really is that easy. It gets your clothes super clean, as the baking soda will bubble stains out of clothes and the vinegar will eliminate smells. And do not worry – your clothes will not smell like vinegar! In actuality, they should not really smell like much at all.
If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can add your favorite essential oil or oil blends to add a great scent to your clothing.
My favourite recipes for 4 different DIY laundry detergents. They have saved my family and I countless money and has given us a better comprehension of what goes into washing our clothes. (Plus, our kiddos like to help choose the scents!)