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Create Your Own Laundry Detergent Save Money & Be Green

Laundry detergent can be expensive and with the economic downfall we are all looking for ways to save, not only this creating your own will keep you and your family away from the toxins which ordinary detergents are full of, this is why it is important to go green. Do not worry, it is not hard and is incredibly easy to make.


So why make our own?

Normal shop bought products are loaded with very harmful chemicals such as sulfates, phenols and many more. A lot of brands also contain petroleum distillates which are linked to cancer and also lung disease.

Though they seem harmless sat in their little plastic bottles, this cannot be further from the truth. Popular detergents (I will not name them) contain dozens of harmful chemicals including carcinogens, petrochemicals and other optical brighteners, these tend to linger on clothes and cause skin irritation, this is why it is especially bad for small children.

Do you use dryer sheets in your dryer for extra fragrance? Well this is all bad news as well, since the dryer sheets hold more than 25 volatile organic compounds alone, which vent into the home whilst your washing is drying.


Making liquid or powdered detergent is easy!

Thankfully the process of making your own natural detergents is easy and only requires three main ingredients. You will need the following;

  • Washing Soda – Arm and hammer brand which is available at most stores.
  • Borax – 20 Mule team brand, again available at most stores.
  • Soap bar – Any unscented brand will be good such as Dr. Bronner’s.

These three main ingredients will be available on the washing aisle in most supermarkets, you could even add a tablespoon of baking soda to keep your clothes extra fresh.


So what makes these natural?

create your own laundry detergent

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Borax is a natural mineral which is made up of boron (hence the name), oxygen, water and sodium. This is the reason why it is 100% natural, though there have been some concerns, I do feel very comfortable using it. This is used in many natural soap bars available now.

create your own laundry detergent

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Arm & Hammer washing soda (Sometimes call sodium carbonate) is made up of common salts and limestone. If you cannot find some locally you can create your own here.


Here is the natural laundry soap recipe….

  1. Grate up the bar of soap, you can even use a food blender for this part. You want to achieve a fine powdery grate on it. Dr. Bronner’s soap bar is the best as it has exceptional quality, they also come in many different natural scents.
  1. Next we take a large mixing bowl, mix two parts washing soda, 2 parts of the borax and then 1 part of the grated up soap bar, this is also where you can add in the baking soda if you want nice fresh clothes.
  1. Store the ingredients in a sealed storage container, some people use mason jars, I personally just use a bog standard plastic container. Though if you are using a big enough container it is possible to skip step two and just throw it all into your container and shake it!
  1. Finally use a quarter of a cup full per wash, you could make loads of this as it will keep for a very long time.


How about liquid washing detergent?

  1. Grate up the bar of soap again with either a cheese grater or food processor like before.
  1. Throw all of the grated up soap into a pan with 2 quarts of water and gradually heat it up, stir it continuously until the soap has completely dissolved into the water.
  1. Put 4.5 gallons of hot kettle water or really hot tap water into a 5-gallon bucket, stir in one cup of borax and also one cup of washing soda until it has all dissolved into the water.
  1. Pour in the soap mixture from the pan into the bucket and stir well.
  1. Cover it with a lid or cling film and leave overnight.
  1. Shake or stir the mix until smooth and then pour into jugs or other containers.
  1. It is then ready to use and you can use half a cup or 1 full cup depending on the load.


Finally, the savings!

By my own personal calculations I was able to save over half of my usual laundry bill, here are the costs I got so far;

  • 1 55 ounce box of washing soda is $3.50
  • 1 76 ounce box of borax is $5.00
  • 1 Bar of dr. bronner’s was $3.00


This is a grand total of $11.50, not only are the ingredients cheap but I also found I got a load more loads out of than if I was to buy ordinary detergent, the best part about it is, I am a green eco-friendly dry cleaner.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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