Saturday, June 4, 2011

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

I've been making homemade laundry soap for the past year or so & I'm not looking back.  It's so cheap & environmentally friendly that I'm relatively certain I will be making it for the rest of my days.  The only problem is the liquid version is a tad time consuming to make & it definitely takes up storage space.  As I have neared the end of my liquid supply I figured now was the time to take the plunge to powder.

The recipe is basically the same as the traditional homemade laundry soap, it just eliminates the unnecessary water & the energy needed to melt the soap (yeah to saving water & energy!).  The recipe is simply:
Chop or grate your soap as finely as possible--you want it to blend well with the other ingredients.  Measure your borax & washing soda.  Combine as thoroughly as possible, store in recycled spaghetti sauce jars, & there you have it, you've made laundry soap!  Piece of cake.

For regular washing machines you will use 2 tablespoons per load, while HE washers will use 1 tablespoon.  This detergent is chlorine & phosphate free, so it is eco-friendly, and borax & washing soda can be bought for under $6 combined (depending on your area).  I have no idea how long one batch will last, but the liquid would last our family around 6 months in an HE washer, so it is well worth the minimal effort.

Combine your homemade detergent with a splash of white vinegar for a fabric softener & you've got a cheap & extremely environmentally friendly wash routine.  Just remember to let the sunshine dry those clothes! 


  1. Yay! I only use 1tbls unless it's a heavily soiled batch can last from about 30-60 loads, depending. ;-) Ridiculously easy, isn't it!?! :-)

  2. PS: I'm going to use a natural BABY bar soap to make some 'baby detergent' to give to a few new mommies I know--great (CHEAP) gift!

  3. Fabulous idea about the baby detergent! So would you suggest that HE washers only use a teaspoon or something of the like? I'm all about using less!! And you were sooo right, it is BEYOND easy!

  4. I saw various recommendations for HE washers online...they were contradictory...but I don't have HE so I didn't pay much attention...but I do think they said to use even less? ;-)

  5. Hey Alison! I've been away from reading your blog for awhile - things have been just crazy around here b/c I got put on modified bed rest with this pregnancy. I wanted to ask if you've noticed any fading in your colors? I tried making liquid when I had our first, and I felt like it was making the colors LEAVE our clothes - and FAST! (And most of our clothes are 2nd hand... so, uh, they've been washed before LOL) TY!

  6. Hey Mo! Sorry to hear about the bed rest. I know from first hand experience how un-fun that can be. I hope the remainder of your pregnancy goes smoothly.

    I can't say that I've seen a lot of fading. Usually the only time I notice fading is if I've left the clothes on the line too long & the sun bleaches them. I have had one rug that has bled A TON every time that I've washed it, but I thought it was just the rug. I suppose it could be the detergent though.

    I've also not yet used the powdered detergent, I'm trying to finish the remainder of the liquid, so I'm not sure if that would make a difference.

    What do you use instead? Have you had to go back to store bought?

    Hope you & baby continue to rest well!