Not only is a good fragrance and dye free laundry detergent difficult to find and expensive to buy, it is also hard to find coupons for and not necessarily eco-friendly. Instead of buying expensive name brand detergents, packed with chemicals and fragrances, I save money making homemade, eco-friendly laundry detergent at home. For less than $0.05 cents a load, I can make a safe and cheap laundry detergent that I feel comfortable using to clean even my most delicate pieces. Don’t get me wrong, this detergent will clean your dirtiest duds, it just won’t be loaded with chemicals or dressed up in the fancy packaging you pay the big bucks for at the grocery store.
Here are the 3 simple ingredients you’ll need to buy:
Ivory Bar Soap (you can also use Pure & Natural or Fels-Naptha)
Borax Laundry Booster
Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda
Materials you probably have around the house:
Metal box grater (the same one you use to grate block cheese)
1, clean, dry 5-gallon bucket with a lid
Large Spoon or stirring implement
Step One: Use your metal box grater to grate one bar of Ivory Soap.
Step Two: Heat four cups of tap water over low-medium heat in a saucepan on the stove (water should be hot, not boiling). Mix in the Ivory soap flakes that you grated in step one, and stir until the soap is completely melted into the water.
Step Three: Fill half of a 5-gallon bucket with hot tap water and mix in the melted soap mixture you composed in step two.
Step Four: Add one cup of the Arm & Hammer super washing soda and a half a cup of the Borax Laundry Booster. Stir the mixture really well, cover it, and allow to cool overnight.
Step Five: Stir well again (the mixture will have a gelatinous texture) and fill an empty laundry detergent bottle (reduce, reuse, recycle, right?). That’s it, you’re finished! You just made your own laundry detergent, Congratulations! You’re saving the environment and saving money at the same time!
Shake the bottle well each time before pouring the detergent. You want to make sure all the components are well mixed before adding them to your washing machine. I’d recommend using about a ½ a cup in a top loading washing machine and about a ¼ a cup in a front loader. Depending on your family size and how often you do laundry, this one batch should last about six months. For all the supplies I buy to make a batch I pay about $8.00. For our family that means laundry detergent for less than $0.05 a load!
I’ve found that making my own laundry detergent saves money, saves plastic bottles from entering our landfills, and saves our skin and water sources from chemicals and dyes that I can’t pronounce. It’s a win-win on so many levels. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.