How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Sep 02, 2021

Laundry detergent and basket of laundry.

The average American household today hosts about 62 toxic chemicals. From cleaning products to skincare essentials, our homes are a chemical warzone for carcinogens, allergens, and more.


Unfortunately, some of the worst chemicals of all are slipping by right under our noses. That's right, we're talking about your laundry detergent.


Believe it or not, the powders and creams you use to cleanse your clothing could be responsible for respiratory problems, sensitive skin, and other rashes and irritants. Fortunately, you don't have to put up with these chemicals hugging your skin all day long.


With your own homemade laundry detergent, you can ensure both you and your family are protected and safe at all times. Ready to ditch chemicals for good? Follow along to discover the secret to doing laundry without unwanted toxins today.


The Problem with Laundry Products


Many people believe that chemicals are necessary to truly get your home clean. This is largely due to cleaning companies doing a pretty impressive job of marketing. Of course, this myth is anything but true. In fact, there are a number of all-natural, plant-based products that can clean your home just as well, if not better, than their chemical counterparts. 


Unfortunately, even when you think you are purchasing 'green' laundry products, you're likely doing laundry with the wool pulled over your eyes. 


These days, companies have gotten even more clever with their marketing, leading us to believe their products are all-natural when in fact, they are packed with harmful ingredients. This is called greenwashing and due to the lack of regulations around 'natural' products. It's completely legal. 


We already know the devastating effects using chemicals can have, but the stakes are much higher when it comes to your laundry. This is because these chemicals are directly in contact with your skin. And of course, your skin is the easiest way for toxins to absorb into your body and flood your bloodstream. 


What to Watch For



Between the close contact with your skin and the sneaky marketing tricks, it's now more important than ever to be on top of laundry product labels and ingredient lists. 


Here are the top offenders to watch for:


  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Petroleum distillates (aka naphthas)
  • Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonates (LAS)
  • Chlorinated Bleach
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs)
  • Optical Brighteners


All of these ingredients are believed to turn out cleaner laundry and whiter whites, however, they are completely unnecessary. Every ingredient on this list falls into the highly dangerous chemicals category and should never be trusted in your laundry products - especially the ones you use for your littles. 


How to Avoid Chemicals and Still Get Clean Laundry


After a quick browse through the laundry detergent section, we're willing to bet you weren't able to find a single detergent without these harmful chemicals. So, what's the solution? To make your own, of course!


To make your own homemade laundry detergent you'll need:


  • Bar soap
  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • A cheese or hand grater
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A large jar/container for storage



Step One: Soap


First things first, you'll need to choose a soap that is also free from all of the toxins listed above. Fortunately, this isn't quite as difficult as you may think. Our favorite way to find natural, synthetic-free, fragrance-free soaps is to pay a visit to your local health food store. 


If you are after a little bit of fresh scent in your laundry detergent, choose a soap that uses essential oils instead of perfumes. 


Once you've chosen your soap, you'll need to grate it up! You want the soap flakes to be small enough to easily dissolve in your laundry without getting caught up in the machine. The fine side of your regular cheese grater is usually enough to achieve this. 


Step Two: Mix It Up


In your mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of Borax, and your grated bar soap. If you're doing laundry for a family or you produce a lot of washing yourself, create more per mix by increasing the ratio evenly. 


You'll be able to find washing soda and Borax in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores. 


The best part about these products is that they only contain one ingredient. You'll never have to worry about fillers or preservatives sneakily stuffed into your laundry products. How's that for the best laundry detergent?!


Step Three: Store


Once your dry ingredients are good and mixed, all that's left to do is transfer your homemade laundry detergent into a jar or other reusable container for storage. 


You'll want to be sure whatever container you choose has no moisture in it and can be sealed to keep your washing powder fresh. 


When it's time to clean laundry, simply use 2 tablespoons for a small to medium-sized wash or 1/4 cup for those extra tough loads!


Laundry Tips for Success


Since your laundry detergent doesn't contain any preservatives or chemicals, there are a few tips and tricks you may need to keep it fresh and effective. 


If your soap isn't dissolving properly, it's likely because your flakes are too large. For a quick fix, add a bit of your washing powder to water and give it a good stir before adding it to your washing machine. This will ensure no bits of soap are stuck on your clothing at the end of the cycle. 


If you're washing extra stinky garments or find the soap isn't getting rid of those body odors quite enough, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash. This will banish bad smells without the use of masking fragrances.


Missing your bleach products? Instead of using this harmful chemical to whiten your whites, consider using 'sun bleaching' to keep your fabrics bright. Simply let them dry in the sun - this will help them last longer too!


Homemade Laundry Detergent for the Win


Now that you know how to make this simple and effective homemade laundry detergent, you too can enjoy the benefits of chemical-free laundry products. At the end of the day, the best way to know exactly what goes into your family's laundry soap is to make it yourself!


Ready to kick chemicals to the curb for good? Contact us today for a whole house clean without the use of harmful toxins and chemical cleaning products!

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