For years I’ve been unable to use what most consider regular laundry detergent due to the fragrances, chemicals, etc.. I was so thankful when All came out with their unscented Free and Clear brand which I used for several years and then switched to Seventh Generation Unscented when it became available for purchase locally. However, a couple of years ago it just seemed that we are paying too much for something that should be simple to make. Inspired by Down to Earth and with a quick search on the internet, I was up to my ears in laundry detergent recipes. After extensive reading, this is what I do.
Mix 2 parts of grated soap with 1 part each of Borax and Washing Soda. Use 1 tablespoon per laundry load or 2 T for heavily soiled loads.
It looks like this. This one is a little chunky because I used a very soft bar soap. I particularly like the white bar soaps and have been trying different local makers purchased at Dwelling Spaces and Natural Farms. For my next batch I’m going to try some of the soap by Hilltop Honey. We love her lip balm, so smooth and soothing.
I usually mix 4 cups of grated soap with 2 cups each of Borax and Washing Soda. This usually lasts us 6 months. Be mindful that there will be little to no suds, so stick to the one tablespoon. If you use fabric softener, distilled white vinegar makes a great alternative, just use as you would a store-bought softener. If you really don’t want to grate the soap and have an extra food processor handy, you could cut the bar into smallish chunks and process it along with the washing soda and borax, just be sure to work in small batches.
Image from Mountain Rose Herbs
Have fun and try different scents by adding essential oils. One of my favorites for laundry was a coconut and lavender blend I stumbled upon sometime last year. A sampler kit like the one above would be a great way to get started.
If you’d like a little more instruction and some different ideas, try visiting DIY Natural for their post on the subject.