How to Make: Homemade Laundry Soap
Like lots of yoga people, I care deeply about our environment. I try to live in as eco-friendly manner as possible. Over the years, I have learned a lot about what eco-lifestyle ways work for me and my family, and what things don’t. One thing I’ve learned that definitely works for me is homemade house cleaners! I was using health store brand cleaners and laundry detergents prior to making the switch to homemade, and I have to say that the homemade versions work better than most health store brands and are much, much cheaper. Today I will share with you the recipe for a liquid laundry soap that I’ve been using for the last 3 years now.
This stuff works really well. I use it on almost everything; baby clothes, towels, bedding, clothes, etc. The recipe is from David Suzuki’s Queen of Green. I use all of her cleaning recipes, and they all are amazing. You just need to invest in a few main ingredients in the beginning, but they all last forever and you really end up saving a lot of money and packaging in the end.
So here it is! Queen of Green‘s Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap!
What you’ll need:
7 litre water
1 cup soap granules
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
20 drops (or more) essential oil **optional**
*NOTE: I doubled the recipe in the photos
STEP 1: FILL POT WITH 1 LITRE OF WATER
STEP 2: ADD SOAP GRANULES TO WATER AND HEAT ON STOVE ON LOW HEAT. WHISK TO COMBINE.
You can buy soap flakes at most health stores.
STEP 3: WHILE THE SOAP GRANULES ARE MELTING, FILL A LARGE CONTAINER (WITH LID) WITH 6 LITRES OF HOT WATER.
I use this bad boy from the dollar store. It’s also good for babies to practice their standing with.
STEP 4: POUR 1/2C BORAX AND 1/2 C WASHING SODA INTO THE 6L OF WATER. ADD SOAP GRANULE MIXTURE. WHISK EVERYTHING TOGETHER.
It will look a little something like this!
STEP 5: ADD ESSENTIAL OIL! (FUN PART!!)
I just throw a bunch of stuff in and hope it works out. I’m quite fond of citrus scents, so there’s always some or grapefruit essential oils involved, and some lavender…… It’s very scientific. 🙂
STEP 6: SOAP WILL GEL AS IT COOLS. I REUSE AN OLD LAUNDRY DETERGENT BOTTLE AND TRANSFER IT INTO THERE FROM THE BIG CONTAINER FOR EASY USE. SHAKE BEFORE EACH USE.
And that’s it! It takes less than 10 minutes, costs very little, isn’t as hard on our water system as most conventional laundry detergents. I double up on the recipe whenever I make it and it lasts many, many, many months. (I would tell you a more specific number of months if I had any concept of time.)
But how well does it REALLY work? Better than any health store brand I’ve used, but not as well as a mainstream detergent like Tide, for example. But this stuff does do the job pretty damn well. The other night my 3 year old had a bad nose bleed; blood all over his white sheets. Apart from the faintest outline of the blood, this laundry soap got the blood completely out. Full disclosure: I’ve found that it’s not the best on synthetic workout gear that has sweat odours deep within them (we’re gettin’ really real here!). I’ve read that a soak overnight in a vinegar solution would eliminate deep odours from synthetic fabrics, but have yet to try that. So for now, I’ve been using a non-eco brand sports detergent mixed half and half with this homemade stuff and it does get workout gear nice and fresh smelling.
I should also note that this formula does contain Borax. There has been some controversy surrounding the use of Borax and it’s safety on the skin. If you’d prefer to skip the Borax, the “Queen of Green” does have some Borax-free options in her recipes. But from personal experience, neither of my two babies have had skin reactions to it, so it seems to be ok.
I also use plain white vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of my washer, which helps strip off any soap residue and keeps my fabrics nice and soft.
And there you have it! My lil’ homemade laundry recipe. Keeping my clothes and mama earth happy. 🙂