A few months ago I began a personal mission to replace the commercial cleaning products in our home with natural alternatives that are both gentler on the environment and easier on the ol’ wallet. After a couple months of cleaning exclusively with my homebrew, I’m happy to report that I haven’t missed the store-bought stuff at all. In fact, now I actually enjoy the process of making my own natural cleaners. (Notice I did not say that I enjoy the process of cleaning – please let me know if you discover a magic potion for that!)
Anyway, one of my most successful experiments has been the recipe I found for homemade powdered laundry detergent. It’s simple to make, cleans really well, and smells absolutely AMAZING! Since this particular recipe doesn’t produce suds, it is also safe to use in front-loading machines.
Powdered Laundry Detergent
- 1 cup Fels Naptha Soap, grated
- 1/2 cup Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Borax
- A few drops of Essential Oil (optional)
Wal-Mart and many grocery stores carry Fels Naptha Soap, Washing Soda, and Borax (usually found on the laundry aisle). I bought the Essential Oil locally at Akin’s Natural Foods and it can be ordered online, too.
To make homemade detergent, first grate the soap using a fine grater or food processor. It will look like shredded cheese when you’re done, but try to resist the temptation to make nachos.
Combine all ingredients and store in a sealed container. For a light load, use 1 tablespoon of detergent. Use 2 tablespoons for a full or heavily soiled load. A little bit of this detergent goes a LONG way! I haven’t crunched the numbers myself, but Savvy Chic estimates that this homemade detergent only costs around 3¢ per load. That’s a bargain, especially compared to other commercial eco-friendly detergents that, on average, cost about five times more per load!
Well, I just wanted to throw that out there because I’m keepin’ it real here (and also so the Laundry Fairy will know where to find it in the event that she makes a surprise visit to my house).