Why DIY Laundry Detergent Trumps Conventional Soap

Has your laundry detergent ever given you pause? Maybe it’s the amount you spend in any given year on Tide. If cost isn’t a concern, perhaps the chemical content has you freaked out. Most store-bought laundry detergent is chock full of harmful materials like sulfates, fragrances and phenols. It gets worse: Certain brands even contain petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Frankly, it’s just not worth the risk.

Some of the environmentally-friendly options seem okay; but on the other hand, they don’t strike us as getting everything terribly clean. So what about whipping up a batch of detergent yourself?

Lest you shrink back from the idea because of the false belief that it involves more drudgery than doing the laundry itself, let us be the first to tell you how easy it is.

While many of the DIY instructions we found overlap in ingredients and how-to, we’re recommending the information provided by the blog Wellness Mama, who swears that making your own soap is a fast and simple process. She’s not wrong.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Washing soda (Arm and Hammer is the recommended brand)

2. Borax (Wellness Mama recommends 20 Mule Team Borax)

3. Bar soap (any unscented bar soap will do, but Ivory or Dr. Bronner’s are suggested brands)

Katie provides a recipes for powdered soap and liquid detergent. Check them both out here and decide which all-natural formula will best suit your family.

Bear in mind that washing soda is not the same thing as baking soda. You might find washing soda also called sodium carbonate or soda ash, and Katie, aka Wellness Mama, describes them as being made from “common salt and limestone or found as natural deposits.”

Borax is all-natural as well. It’s made from minerals sodium, boron, oxygen and water and forms the basis for natural soaps available on the market. Making it yourself, however, is far more inexpensive.

Now, if you’re committing to making your own detergent, you might as well take on the task full throttle and stop buying fabric softener, too. All you need for soft, sweet smelling clothes and fabrics, again according to Wellness Mama, is baking soda (one part), vinegar (one part) and water (two parts).

Once you’ve got the homemade stuff on hand, you can tackle that laundry like never before. Follow these tips for a successful load of laundry each and every time.