Homemade Detergent

I’m not quite sure if this applies, but I was recently inspired to start making my own laundry detergent. It all started when I was taking an old newspaper to the recycling bin. I happened to see a story on the one of the pages about a mother who had replaced commercial laundry detergent with homemade. I ended reading the whole thing, and learning about how homemade laundry detergent is generally a cheap alternative to the commercial stuff, and it is also less taxing on the environment. I learned that normal laundry detergent is filled all kinds of harsh petrochemicals, carcinogens, and brighteners that can cling to clothes can cause all kinds of skin irritations. A bit more research revealed that Tide alone has over twenty-five separate ingredients including “fragrance,” which could be made of an assortment of harsh chemical compounds.

So, it was basically decided for me at that point. I remembered that I had some friends who had taken a workshop on making laundry detergent and asked for their help in my project. We started by collecting the necessary ingredients. First, we needed washing soda which is slightly different from baking soda. Next, we required borax. I should mention that if you are hesitant about using borax it is acceptable to just double up on the washing soda. Finally, we just needed a bar of natural soap. We started the process by grating the bar of soap into flakes. This actually took a little effort. Lastly, we mixed 250ml of borax and washing soda with our new soap flakes until perfectly combined. You just need to one or two tablespoons of the stuff per load of laundry. So far, it works decently well, and if you want to add your own fragrances, you can do so adding certain oils to your recipes. There are a lot of recipes out there if you want a more detailed process.

3 thoughts on “Homemade Detergent

  1. Interesting post. I have super bad allergies that includes general house hold cleaning supplies; detergents, soap, and cleaning products. I want to start making my own products without such harsh chemicals. By doing this I will be helping myself, and the environment in the long run. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I have also had allergies due to detergents and soaps and it is definitely due to all of the unnatural substances found in those items. I just told all of my roommates about us all going in on making homemade detergent and were really excited about it. Hopefully our clothes smell good!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Dylan! I think it’s a great way or people to help make themselves and their environment more healthy.
    FYI, the EPA has a great resource for healthy cleaning, which includes environmental ratings for many of the top commercial cleaners: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners

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