To continue on the laundry theme from my last post, I decided to share the recipe for my all-time favorite homemade laundry detergent. I have been making my own detergent for a couple of years now, and after trying some recipes that were really only so-so, I found this one on another blog and tweaked it a little to make it the absolute best! In fact, I ran out of laundry detergent last night and in a moment of laziness, I took a stroll through the laundry aisle at our local natural foods store. Luckily, the shock of those price tags reminded me why I love my current recipe so much. I went home and made another batch.
Not only is this recipe super thrifty, it also takes less than ten minutes to make a giant batch, and it cleans even the stinkiest cloth diapers beautifully (and does a great job of removing stains from regular clothes). It is formulated for HE washing machines, but I have been using it in my non-HE washing machine while my HE machine is in storage, and it works just fine. I do have to add a little extra to each load, though. Also, it is hypoallergenic for those of us who cannot tolerate conventional scented laundry detergents — and it actually has a really nice scent! So, without further ado, here you go:
Nontoxic lavender laundry detergent* 4 cups of super washing soda * 4 cups of Borax * 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronner’s lavender-scented liquid castile soap (or whatever scent you prefer) * hot water * utensils needed: two large (1.5 gal) stock pots, a wooden spoon dedicated to making laundry detergent, a funnel, and 3 gallon-sized containers (I just re-use milk jugs)
Fill both stock pots with hot water, put on high heat on your stovetop, and stir 2 cups each of Borax and super washing soda into each stock pot. Add 1/8 cup of the Dr. Bronner’s to each stock pot and stir again. Bring almost to a boil, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and transfer to your gallon containers. Let cool overnight, and voila! Easy-peasy! Just shake it up before you use it, and add 1/4 cup to each load in your HE machine. (Use 1/2 a cup or more in a non-HE machine.)
Follow with white distilled vinegar in your machine’s fabric softener spot for extra softness and static control.
*** This is nontoxic in the sense that it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals that could potentially transfer from your clothing to your skin and cause undesirable reactions. It is definitely toxic if eaten, so keep it away from children and pets.