I’m sure you had a similar experience which may have brought you here today, or maybe not, but here’s a little bit about why I’ve been searching for the best homemade laundry detergent.
I had already swapped us from a more typical detergent to a Free & Clear detergent, prior to baby’s arrival, because my skin was so sensitive during pregnancy. I began evaluating all the products that we use, seeking cleaner, less toxic, less chemically enhanced products. A you may know, I’ve been using essential oils for quite sometime. Since furthering my education about what essential oils can do for us, I’ve been on a DIY path that keeps me looking for the next product to make at home.
Last year, I made our first homemade laundry detergent. It was basic & clean. It worked sufficiently for my laundry and that of #MyBoy. (Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda combined with Castile Soap… that’s it.) However, it left my husband’s work clothes smelling a little dirty (like when you can’t wash the smell of motor oil out of a rag or your mechanic husband’s clothes… ever!). One batch lasted me 10 months, proof of big cost savings as my previous detergents had to be replaced every month. That, I liked, even though the savings was a bonus. However, if I was going to continue investing the time into my own batch, it needed to work on my husband’s stinky work clothes too.
After some research about what products are clean, but actually do a good job cleaning, I heard about the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Amazing. I was able to confirm the first three products I was using all received a rating of A (best). So, I was left to find an additional product with a good rating that I could add to my recipe which would also help clean my husband’s clothes. Hot dang, I found it. Who’s heard of Oxiclean? Well, don’t be mistaken. Regular Oxiclean is rated at an F (worst). However, OxiClean Baby or OxiClean Free got rated with an A. So, I took the gamble that one of these A rated products would do the job for me, and it withstood my test.
*This detergent is naturally low foaming, which means it can be used in both standard and HE machines. WIN!!!
**Know your environment. Protect your health. Check the rating of your products at EWG.org.
***Grab washing soda like I used here. Get baking soda in bulk here. Get your Kirk's Original Coco Castile Soap like I use here. OxiClean Baby is quite hard to find; order in advance here. I rarely add epsom salt to my recipe anymore, but when I do I buy it in bulk from Sam's Club. However, for quick access, follow this link.
Now that I’ve shared my list of ingredients, and sampled it for several weeks to prove it provides the results that I want, who wants to know how to put it together? Well, here are the directions:
Shred / Grate Castile Soap into very small bits. (I used the grater attachment for my food processor. After grating, I added 1/2-1 cup of baking soda to the food processor and pulsed it with the blade. This process helped take it down to a powder form.) NOTE: I did not have any remaining scent in my food processor after washing.
Mix the remaining ingredients into a large container, stirring well.
Optional: Add up to 28 oz. of Epsom Salt soaked in essential oils for a natural softener and laundry scent.
Add 1 tbsp (no more than 2 tbsp) of detergent per load of laundry. It takes less than a commercial grade detergent because there are no fillers.
Purchase Wool Dryer Balls for static removal, and add essential oils for an added scent boost.
Stain Remover Tips: I also have a bleach replacement system without scary chemicals. It’s called Thieves Household Cleaner.
Put Thieves Household Cleaner (undiluted) directly on the stain.
Add to Washing Machine and run through a Soak Cycle with like colors using 2 tbsp of homemade laundry detergent (mentioned above) + 1 cap of Thieves Household Cleaner.
Without running the load through a Rinse Cycle, run it through a Regular Cycle.
Wallah! Clothes are clean again!
Have questions or feedback, please respond in the comments below.