Friday, March 26, 2010

Zen Cleaning: Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

This Post is a recipe, review and why about Homemade Laundry Soap.  Its something I have been wanting  to try for a long time, for Multiple reasons.  Which I will take the time to list here:

- To Save $$, who honestly doesn't need to do this?
- To learn to be more self-sufficient,  I think we all take way too much advantage of "Modern Conveniences"
- To use natural products, that are tried, tested and true
- To know what I am exposing my family to
- To lessen my/our carbon footprint aka live greener
- To have another skill to pass on to my children
- To ease the stress on our septic system
- To not poison the water of those around me that also have wells
- To restore my "Zen Cleaning" (ie, getting rid of the negatives, and enjoying the mindfulness of cleaning, YES THIS IS POSSIBLE!!) 

I am sure there are more reasons.  So I started researching recipes online, most were basically the same: Bar soap, Borax, and Washing Soda.  I started delving more and more into the homemade laundry detergent I found more recipes for Fabric Softener, cleaners, and even dishwasher detergent!  The best part was most of the ingredients were the same!

I decided to try the powdered laundry soap first, because it seemed easiest and if it failed I wasn't at a major loss.  So here goes:

Grate 1/2 Bar of Fels Naptha Bar Soap ( I didn't use it because I couldn't find it) or Ivory, Sunlight, or whatever you like, I personally chose an Organic Lemongrass Soap that smelled pretty and doesn't irritate my skin
1 cup Of Borax 
1 cup of Washing Soda
1/2 cup of Baking Soda (maybe you want to use a whole cup if you have greasy clothes)

Add all of the above ingredients to your Food Processor and process until combined!  Easy huh?
Now you only need about 2 Tablespoons( if you have a "scoop" from protein powder, these work great) for a full load.

My review:
The soap dissolved easily, we use only cold water to wash our clothes, so this was a major plus!
My socks were definitely whiter.  My Clothes were clean, no grease stains on my shirts, everything looked clean.  My clothes were soft, not coarse or stiff.  I was not itchy, and I have sensitive skin.   This was very cost effective!

Homemade Fabric Softener!!!
I have never been a user of fabric softener, just seemed like a waste of $$ and I always found the scents over-powering.  But on my journey to find more recipes for Laundry Soap I found a great one for Fabric Softener.
Frankly, I fell in love with the idea, immediately.  Only problem was that I don't have a new washing machine with a fancy dispenser, and who ever remembers the rinse cycle?  Not, me!!!  So, I caved in a bought a "Downey ball" for $1.99 at the Grocery Store.

Vinegar 1/3-1/2 cup
Downey ball

Fill your Downey ball with vinegar, pull the top, toss it in the washer and walk away, it does the rest!

My towels were fluffier and softer. No Static cling.  Nothing smelt like vinegar either.  Very Cost effective!!!

Next:  Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.  I will review it and then compare it to the powdered.

Enjoy your "Zen Cleaning"!


  1. This is great Chriss! Thanks for writing it up :) I'm going to try it, well, make my DH try it. He's the one that does the laundry around here! I already use most of those ingredients for my floors and bathroom so it won't be a big stretch.

  2. Wow this is awesome! Thank you!!!

    Let me know if it still continues to not irritate your skin at all! Also let me know where you get your soap that you used for your laundry!

    There is only ONE brand of laundry detergent I can use because the rest really irritates my skin and makes me insanely itchy, which is strange because my cat when I was little would also lose her hair because of the laundry detergent that would bother me as well, so I have been using ERA, the only one that doesn't seem to bug me, but it is expensive and seems hard to find out here in LA.

    I get so lost following blogs so send me an email =) Would appreciate the help!

    Oh yeah, did your lemongrass soap make your clothes smell good? =)


    carzooCritters at gmail dot com

  3. Wow I never thought about vinegar as a fabric softener - and yet mom always used it as a hair rinse when I was wee - so makes perfect sense!

    Guess this a cross between an eureka and d'oh moment here :)