Make your own homemade laundry soap with our natural laundry soap recipe that actually cleans!
I’m not a crunchy granola mom. Yes, we homeschool. Yes, we use essential oils. But I’m not crunchy at all. Please don’t take that the wrong way, sometimes I actually wish I was. I’m sure it’s much healthier. Alas, I like my hair dye, my makeup and my leather jacket. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a little on the crunchy side sometimes, right? At least that’s what I tell myself when I make homemade laundry soap with our natural laundry soap recipe!
Why Homemade Laundry Soap?
When I saw everyone else online making their own versions of homemade laundry soap, I didn’t really think much about it. Why would I want to make something like laundry soap that I could buy already made? Why would I want to spend the time perfecting a soap recipe of all things? It just didn’t interest me.
After awhile though, I thought why not? It would help to eliminate the liquid detergent spills that mysteriously appeared every time my kids did their laundry. And it may turn out to be better and cheaper than store-bought laundry soap. Truthfully, I finally decided to make homemade laundry soap because it would look pretty in a glass jar in our newly renovated laundry room. I kid you not. A lot of my home decisions revolve around whether something looks pretty.
Homemade Laundry Soap Elements
I suppose I could have just bought powdered laundry soap and poured it into a glass jar, since my decision was mostly about aesthetics. But that seemed super, um, fake, I guess. So I checked out what elements were needed in a homemade laundry soap and got to work.
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It helps to whiten whites, remove soap residue, and inhibits fungi and bacteria. Keep it out of reach of young children and pets though, as even small amounts can be harmful to them.
Super Washing Soda
Washing Soda is also known as as sodium carbonate, soda ash, and soda crystals. Washing soda is a naturally occurring substance derived from the ash of sodium-rich plants. It can help to soften water, fix dyes to fabrics and remove laundry stains. Keep it in a dry place though as it will absorb moisture and become very hard.
Castile Soap Bar
Castile soap, which originates from the Castile region of Spain, is a type of soap made from plant oils. It is a “true soap” and not simply a chemical detergent. It’s sensitive on skin, it’s biodegradable and Earth-friendly making it a wonderful product to use when making your own household products. (Source)
Essential Oils (optional)
Everyone loves the smell of a fresh clean load of laundry. The problem is that most of the time that smell is just added chemical fragrances. To get a clean fresh laundry scent, we add essential oils if we use the plain castile soap bars to make the laundry soap. We leave them out if we buy the lavender castile soap bars.
OxiClean is made of sodium carbonate (washing soda), sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate (a granular substance made by combining sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide) and ethoxylated alcohol C12-C16 (n alcohol that has been industrially processed to create a surfactant). (Source) Basically the addition of OxiClean isn’t necessary, but if you’d like to boost your laundry cleaning a bit more, you can add it. We only do sometimes and only because we already had OxiClean on hand.
Natural Laundry Soap Recipe
- 2 parts borax
- 2 parts baking soda super washing soda
- 1 part grated Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap bar (use lavender if you’d like!)
- 20 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- OxiClean (optional)
- Food processor
1. Grate soap bars in a food processor.
2. Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl or container and stir well. Use regular unscented Dr. Bronner’s Soap bar or use the Lavender soap bar instead of lavender essential oils.
3. Store in a large glass jar with a scoop.
4. Use approximately 2-4 tablespoons, depending on wash load size and dirt level. Always follow instructions on your washing machine for detergent!
You don’t have to be all one way or another. Some things don’t have to be all or nothing (she says to herself as much as to you). You can be a little crunchy sometimes. You can make your own laundry soap and still use disposable diapers and plastic baggies.
And you may just find that you actually like the homemade laundry soap better than the store bought versions – and keep on making it.