We have recently started making our own laundry detergent. I did some research and learned of the potential dangers of commercially produced detergents. I also learned its sooooo much cheaper to make it ourselves!! To me, the scariest part of commercially made detergents is that they are not required to disclose the ingredients (no cleaning products are) because the formula is considered proprietary information. There are several articles that discuss the potential damage they can do to your health. Risks range from being carcinogenic to having hormone disruptors in them, not to mention respiratory issues and cancer. The news the other night talked about how the CDC has been getting at least three times more calls about children being poisoned after using the pods, this is up from the usual 10% of calls they receive about cleaning products poisoning. I don’t know about you but I am not real keen on wearing clothes that are essentially soaked in the stuff. If you don’t want to make your own, the Environmental Working Group has a great website that you can input the name of any product you use to see where it rates on toxicity. They not only have it for cleaning supplies but makeup and food too! They have really good articles to read to about different products and how to make your home safer.
We choose to make our own. It really is a lot cheaper for us. One batch usually lasts us two months and only costs about $6.50 to make two gallons of detergent. I can find all the ingredients in my local HEB (grocery store) but they can also be bought on Amazon and Vitacost. The ingredients used last for several batches, the only one I have had to stock up on in the last 8 months is castile soap! This soap won’t suds up like the regular detergent but it works fantastic regardless! Hope you enjoy our recipe!
1 c Washing soda
1 c borax
2-4 c HOT water
2 to 3 c liquid Dr. Bronner’s Soap or any liquid castile soap (I use unscented but if you would like to use scented go for it)
20 to 30 drops Essential Oil (I use Lavender because I LOVE that smell, but my sister uses the citrus flavors and loves them and lemon is a great disinfectant)
2 gallon bucket
2 gallon container to keep it in
Add the washing soda and borax to the dry two gallon bucket, stir together. Put 2 to 4 cups of HOT (almost boiling) water into the bucket. Stir until the dry ingredients are COMPLETELY dissolved. This is very important!! If you don’t let it dissolve completely, it binds to the Castile soap and solidifies. After the dry ingredients are completely dissolved, the water should be murky. Now add the two to three cups of castile soap. I usually add three because my husband works in the oil and gas industry and it takes a little more to get his clothes completely clean plus we have really hard water. Mix it all together and fill the bucket up the rest of the way (so that it makes two gallons) with water. Stir to combine and put it in the container you will store it in. After it is in the “home” container is when I mix in the essential oils. I do this so I don’t leave any of the good smelling stuff in the two gallon bucket. Then you just put a lid on it and use it as you would the commercially bought detergent. I usually put in 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup depending on what I am washing! You will need to stir this every so often because it will separate, but no biggie!