DIY Laundry Detergent

I was shocked when I first learned that ingredients don’t need to be listed in cleaning products in the US. No wonder I was clueless about what was in my laundry detergent! Hiding in conventional detergents are dyes, optical brighteners, and complex fragrance blends that are known to cause allergic reactions.

If a product doesn’t have an ingredient list, how are you supposed to avoid items you’re concerned about?  That’s why I started Meliora K, a cleaning product company that focuses on helping families understand what they are using in their homes and avoid unwanted chemical exposure. 

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Why DIY?

Healthy cleaning is a lot like healthy eating – it’s easier to control the ingredients and keep the cost down by making it yourself. You can avoid fragrances (known to trigger allergies), optical brighteners (ditto), 1,4 dioxane from the use of surfactants (linked to cancer and in lots of products marketed as green such as ‘free and clear’ brands!). By making your own, you can adjust recipes to suit your own needs and preferences.

Choose Your Ingredients

Lots of DIY recipes will include borax and Fels-Naptha. We’ll skip both of those (by the way, they score an F and C respectively on the Environmental Working Group’s rating site ) and use the following:

  • Washing Soda: aka sodium carbonate, it is a laundry booster that helps the soap be more effective by softening the water and raising the pH.
  • Baking soda: aka sodium bicarbonate, it acts as a deodorizer and milk alkaline booster to again help the soap do its job.
  • Soap: the soap itself is what grabs onto dirt and oil molecules, dragging them into the water. (Here’s an explanation of How Soap Works)
    • We will use a No-Frills Soap Bar from Meliora K, but another fragrance-free, dye-free plain bar from Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Natural, or even a homemade plain bar if you make soap at home would also work.
    • Conventional “laundry” bars like Zote and Fels-Naptha contain fragrances, optical brighteners, and unlisted ingredients. Stay away from them if you are DIYing for a healthier alternative.

Recipe 

Ingredients: 

Directions: 

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  • Carefully grate the soap bar using a cheese grater or a food processor or blender [there is a simple trick to make this go faster here].
  • Mix all ingredients together and store in a labeled  food storage container.
  • Use only one tablespoon per load, less in a high efficiency machine. Very dirty loads may need to double the amount used.

Other tips:

  • This is low sudsing and works well in HE machines. Just cut the amount used in half to ½-1Tb
  • The best softener to use with this recipe is adding ¼-½ cup of plain white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Avoids the fragrances from conventional softeners and works great to soften clothes, remove any remaining odors and keep fabrics soft and low static.

Here’s the recipe in an easy to print format

[yumprint-recipe id=’20’]


Sponsored Post

 This sponsored post is submitted by Kate Jakubas. 

Kate Jakubas is the founder of Meliora K, a Chicago-based cleaning products company with the vision of a clean, happy, and healthy home life that doesn’t rely on secret ingredients and mysterious chemicals.  She has a Bachelor’s in Materials Science Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology . Kate believes that consumers shouldn’t need an advanced scientific degree to understand what’s used in their homes, and that for-profit business is a powerful tool that can be used to affect positive change for people and planet. She can be reached at kate@meliorak.com or on twitter @katejakubas.

Nicole

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Nicole is the owner, primary blogger and copy editor of Organic Sunshine. She has a passion for healthy, natural living and hopes to encourage others to live a similar lifestyle. Nicole has a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and over 10 years of experience working in Cancer Research. She's also an experienced content writer, producing high quality articles on a variety of topics for many online publications.

Author: Nicole

Nicole is the owner, primary blogger and copy editor of Organic Sunshine. She has a passion for healthy, natural living and hopes to encourage others to live a similar lifestyle. Nicole has a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and over 10 years of experience working in Cancer Research. She's also an experienced content writer, producing high quality articles on a variety of topics for many online publications.

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12 Comments

  1. Don’t over pay for products. This seems quick easy and money saving!!!

    Post a Reply
    • Absolutely! This is a money saver and you can feel good knowing the ingredients are pure and natural. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  2. My son Enzo has sensitive skin and most detergents cause him to itch or even develop rashes. We use Purex Natural Elements, but though it contains 70% plant-based ingredients, the remainder is all chemical. This looks easy and definitely worth trying! 😉

    Post a Reply
    • I think this simple DIY laundry detergent would be perfect for your son. You should definitely give it a try. Let me know how it works for you!

      Post a Reply
  3. Loved this post on natural laundry detergent! I am all about the green n natural way of doing things especially now that I have a little one on the hip. I love this easy recipe too! Definitely helps in the ease department which, let’s face it – a moms best friend. 🙂 I will be sharing this with my readers who, I know, will enjoy the DIY out of, lol!

    Post a Reply
    • I agree 100%! This is a great simple laundry soap recipe. I love that it doesn’t use Borax. It really is pure and natural and easy! Doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  4. This is a new one. I have tried a few green cleaning DIY recipes, but nothing really works well.

    Post a Reply
    • I like this DIY detergent recipe because it doesn’t suggest using borax. Most of them do. This one is natural and effective. Give it a try Maria. Let me know how it works for you!

      Post a Reply
  5. This is a really good product to try at home. It has multiple advantages. For example, it is healthy, natural, you know what it is made of, it saves money and you are fully confident about the product that you are using.

    Thank you so much for such a helpful article!

    Post a Reply
    • I love the fact that this recipe doesn’t use borax too! Most DIY laundry soap calls for borax. This is a great alternative. Glad you found the article useful Stephanie! 🙂

      Post a Reply
  6. This looks like a simple and easy recipe to follow. My kids have a sensitive skin and I am always looking for easy to make homemade products. I had a different recipe for homemade laundry detergent but it didn’t clean well. I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks so much Katrin! It really is an easy recipe. Let me know how it works! 🙂

      Post a Reply

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