Homemade Laundry Detergent: List of Recipes and FAQ (Video)

Making your own homemade laundry detergent means that not only are you having a bunch of fun and earning bragging rights with your friends, but you are also saving money while being eco-conscious at the same time! Here is a list of all the homemade laundry detergent recipes that I shared with you this week. And watch the video below to see me talk about my experience with making my own detergents, and my thoughts on some commonly asked questions. I wasn’t able to get to all the questions in the video, but I’ve done my best to cover them all in the list of FAQ below.

Click through to watch the video on homemade laundry detergents, if you are having trouble viewing the video in your reader.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes

Make Your Own Laundry Soap with Soap Nuts

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent: Powder Detergent Recipe

Homemade Laundry Soap: Liquid Detergent Recipe 

Best Laundry Stain Removers – including a recipe for homemade “oxiclean” and an all-purpose stain remover.

Homemade Laundry Detergent FAQ

Does this work as well as name brands? I’ve noticed that it works just as well if not better!

Can I use this in my HE machine? I do, and it works just fine.

Are these ingredients really eco-friendly and non-toxic? Yes they are. However, just because something is natural does not mean it shouldn’t be handled with care.  I recommend handling with care, do not consume, and keep out of reach of children.

Is this okay for sensitive skin? These are all natural ingredients, however, not all things that are all natural are okay for all people. Just be careful and test it out.

Will this damage my skin if I touch it? I’ve touched it several times and not had any issues. However, everyone one is different and some people can have reactions to things while others do not. Always handle with care and avoid touching if possible. If soap comes in contact with your skin, rinse off with water.

Will there be residue build-up in my machine or on my clothes? This detergent shouldn’t act any differently than what you buy in the store (except that it is more natural). But if you are concerned about residue build up, I recommend using one cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle (put it in the fabric softener slot). Vinegar in the rinse cycle keeps build-up down in your washing machine, and leaves clothes cleaner and softer. Whether you use homemade detergent or not, I always recommend vinegar in the rinse cycle as a natural cleaner and fabric softener.

Will this detergent damage my clothes? I’ve not had any issues. My clothes seem to be just fine. If you are concerned, test a small hidden spot on your clothing with the detergent before washing. I’ve also not noticed any added fading.

Do I need to use the same kind of soap bar that you used? You can use various other types of soaps, but I chose to go more natural with a Dr. Bronners Castile soap (unscented baby bar). Depending on the soap that you use for the liquid version, your consistency will turn out differently. This one makes it a slightly runny gobbly goop, which makes it easy to handle and pour. Other soaps may make it more runny or more goopy.

Can I use a liquid castile soap instead of a bar? Try it and let me know how it turns out! I’m sure it will work just as well. Keep in mind that the liquid version probably has water in it, so you’ll be using less water in your detergent recipe.

What if I have a Coconut Oil allergy? Make sure your soap doesn’t contain coconut oil. Most Dr. Bronners Castile soaps do, so find another brand if you can’t find one that doesn’t contain coconut oil.

What other essential oils do you recommend besides Tea Tree Oil? Lavender would probably be a really good one to use, but keep in mind that some children and babies can have sensitives to strong fragrances like lavender. The possibilities really are endless. The only essential oils I might possibly stay away from are citrus oils, because those can sometimes cause skin irritation.

Love essential oils? I’m a self-proclaimed oil-junkie! Read up on the brand of essential oils I absolutely love and currently use for everything from warding off strep, to eliminating my daughter’s asthma.

What is Washing Soda and where can I find it? Washing Soda is basically Baking Soda that has been heated up and gone through a chemical reaction. Arm & Hammer has this in a yellow box. I’ve found it at Target, Publix and Kroger.

If Your Liquid Mixture is too Thick: Add more hot water.

If Your Liquid Mixture is too Runny: Add more equal parts of Borax and Washing soda. Dissolve both in a little bit of boiling water and add into your mix. Stir well, and let sit overnight again.

If Your Liquid Mixture smells really bad and just doesn’t seem right: You may have ended up with a bad batch. Throw it out and try again. More than likely the soap choice was the culprit. Your ingredients are really inexpensive, so don’t stress if you have to throw out a batch.

Cost Comparison*

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar soap = $3.49
  • 1 box Washing Soda (55oz) $3.19 – Cost Per Cup = 46 cents
  • 1 box Borax (76oz) $4.49 – Cost Per Cup = 47 cents
  • Optional Essential Oil: Tea Tree Oil (1oz) $8.99 – Cost for 15 Drops = 27 cents
  • Total Cost: $4.69
  • Cost Per Load: Approximately 14 cents

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

  • 1 bar soap = $3.49
  • 1 box Washing Soda (55oz) $3.19 – Cost Per Cup = 46 cents
  • 1 box Borax (76oz) $4.49 – Cost Per Cup = 47 cents
  • Optional Essential Oil: Tea Tree Oil (1oz) $8.99 – Cost for 40 Drops = 72 cents
  • Total Cost for 5 Gallons or 80+ loads of Laundry Detergent = $5.17
  • Total Cost Per Load: Approximately 6 cents

Soap Nuts

National Brand of  Laundry Detergent

  • $12.99 for 100 fl. oz. for 64 loads
  • Total Cost Per Load: 21 cents per load

National Natural Brand of Laundry Detergent (eco-friendly comparison)

  • $13.99 for 50 fl. oz. for 66 loads
  • Total Cost Per Load: 21 cents per load

*Note that all prices are common retail. You can definitely find better deals to make this even cheaper, but I wanted to show you how much cheaper it is just based on retail prices. 

If you have more questions or comments about making your own laundry detergent at home, please share in the comment section. I’m happy to help!

By |2014-11-18T13:55:26-04:00August 31st, 2012|Frugal Living, Organic and Green Living|1 Comment

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!

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