diy laundry detergent


Above is my tutorial on how to make your own homemade laundry detergent. For a few bucks you can have a huge bucket of homemade laundry detergent. It does save money – also takes time to make it – but the real reason I do it is the utter satisfaction in helping to save the planet in a small way – also it really does clean your clothes well and by adding your own essential oils you can make your clothes smell the way you want – lemon fresh – eucalyptus clean – lavender lovely – oh the possibilities.

Nathan left a comment here the other day – and when I visited his blog this morning I found a great tutorial on how to make this exact laundry detergent recipe – so head over there for a more pictorial tutorial.

When I first found this recipe – (on youtube I think) – I had heard of borax, but never used it as a regular household ingredient – what is it though? It is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral called ‘sodium borate’ and has been used for over 4000 years in various capacities. It has many household uses: a natural laundry booster (add spoonful to your wash to help whiten whites), multipurpose cleaner (dissolve in water and add a drop of lemon essence for a great spray cleaner and excellent for deodorising and cleaning the fridge), stain remover (make a paste with warm water for a pre-wash stain remover), soaker (used as a pre-wash soaker for nappies/diapers – removes odors and makes washing easier), deodoriser (sprinkle in your garbage bin, on smelly carpet or use a paste on urine soaked mattresses) – or pour a little down smelly sink drains – leave for a bit before vacuuming or rinsing to remove odors), fungicide, preservative, insecticide, herbicide and disinfectant.

The great thing about borax is that although quite refined now – it is still a natural compound with no toxic fumes and is safe for the environment (although too much is never a good thing – and is a good insecticide too), however it should not be ingested and can irritate the skin – so use with common sense.

The other main ingredient in this laundry detergent is Washing soda – this is different from Bi-carb/baking soda – although baking soda is also an excellent natural cleanser. Washing soda sodium carbonate sometimes also known as soda ash – it has a high alkaline chemical component and while it is relatively harmless to the environment – it can cause skin irritation and should not be ingested – wear gloves while using.

The high alkalinity helps it act as a solvent to remove stains – it is also used as a water softener, use it remove mineral deposits from your bathroom tiles and coffee machine, a paste or liquid concentrate can be used for scrubbing the stove and removing tough stains from clothing.

Category: household

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8 Responses

  1. eeloh says:

    Interesting…. I made up a recipe similar to this but it didn’t specify cooking it. Maybe that’s the key. The stuff I made wasn’t very effective at all.

  2. Leah says:

    Your tutorial doesn’t have as much water as Nathan’s does (10 ltrs??) is that still OK?


  3. Kathreen says:

    my recipe is much more concentrated and will be more of a paste – but adding more water is absolutely ok – you just use less of it – if you decide to add more water and make it more of a slurry – then you use a little more.

  4. Abbington says:

    My container of borax has a laundry powder ‘recipe’ on the side, using similar ingredients, but excluding the water – they leave it to use in dry form – though I imagine that means the soap flakes don’t dissolve as well in the machine.

    Does it clean well??

    If you are looking for more great uses for borax, then check out the ‘Super Slime’ recipe on the Powerhouse Museum website! Gave my kid hrs of fun!

  5. lekkercraft says:

    Looks great! Thanks a million. Do you have to dedicate a pot / blender attachment for this? Or is it ok to cook with them again after?

  6. Alisa says:

    Hey, I really want to try this. Do you know if it works in HE, front load washers? Does is foam up a lot or a little? Thanks.

  7. Alta says:

    I love this! It looks like it would really be a fun family project. Thank you for sharing.

  8. kath_red says:

    Hi all
    It hardly foams up at all – but still washes really really well.
    I have seen recipes for making dry – powder and imagine it works just like washing powder works – having it wet though means it dissolves more easily and gets to work straight away.
    I have not used it in a front loader – but have read of others and it works fine.
    I do have a dedicated pot for this – however I just use my ordinary blender attachment and wash it well afterwards.

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