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Homemade liquid laundry soap (borax-free)

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Aug. 10th, 2013 | 08:17 pm

I am re-entering a new obsession with gentle, nontoxic, green, frugal, diy cleaning products, and I've bookmarked a ton of recipes. My first adventure: homemade laundry soap.


It was sort of hard to find one that didn't have borax. I find borax to be a skin irritant and the whole point of this was to create something that would be friendly with my extremely sensitive skin. I also wanted liquid because I don't know how to load powder into our washer. I got this from Livington Family Adventures and remeasured to scaleable ratios:

3 parts liquid castille soap (we used Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
3 parts baking soda
1 part coarse sea salt
10 parts hot water

Dissolve salt and baking soda in hot water. Stir. Add castille soap and stir.

Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry (in our machine, this filled perfectly up to the thing that says "MAX")

Homemade laundry soap


The clothes look clean. Colors have not faded. There are no visible stains, though, note that I didn't test this on majorly stained things to being with (fyi, I've heard you should pre-treat stains with vinegar!)

If I had to characterize the scent, it would be "nothing! nothing! in fact it smells like nothing at all!" (tm Dr Cox) Which is perfect. I don't like the fakey "fresh" smell of detergent. If you inhale deeply, you detect a faint, not unpleasant baking soda scent. The musty scent of some old attic rescue shirts was totally eradicated. Some traces of body odor were still detectable when inhaling underarms of cotton T-shirts that had been sweated in, but I'm not sure it's any worse than normal - I don't typically subject laundry to this level of scrutiny.

Clothes fresh out of the dryer felt soft and nice. I haven't worn them yet, but I don't anticipate any itch problems considering the ingredients.


Start-up costs were sort of high because we had to buy liquid castille soap. We got 32 fl oz for $13.99. Since we only use 1 oz for every 24 oz of water, this is enough soap for 800 ounces (100 cups) of laundry detergent, or 200 loads of laundry. Doing about a load of a laundry a week, we're set for the next four years. Assuming the baking soda and salt also lasts that long, following this recipe has us spending under $5 a year on laundry detergent. Why wasn't I doing this in college??

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth.

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