Today I am sharing a simple, healthier, and cost effective liquid laundry detergent DIY. Be sure to also grab a free printable label!
After having a baby, I had this desire to start switching all of my conventional products over to healthier and more natural products. I started with cleaning products but when I saw the price tag on some of those “better” products I just could not believe it. This led me to making my own, which actually turned out to also actually be healthier and to be easier on me. This laundry detergent DIY was one of the first.
I needed something that would simplify all of the cleaning I already have plus the addition of a baby. They had to now be fit in during naps and if someone else was holding the baby, or easy and safe to do with a baby strapped to me.
Cue homemade cleaning products.
Not only did I feel better about having these near my new baby but they also have saved us a lot of money and time. I no longer wonder the grocery store aisles looking at hundreds of products and wondering which are best and I certainly do not pay anywhere from $3-$10 for each product individually. It is a little more difficult for me to gauge the cost since I use these ingredients for multiple things but I did the math and it costs about $2.18 for a gallon of this detergent alone. Give or take some if I add my own essential oils.
And something interesting that I found was that when I started making my own products, I would buy just a few ingredients and I could make basically every cleaning product I needed. This simplifies my home immensely! I regularly keep liquid and bar castile soap, baking soda (also used for cooking in my kitchen so not sure this really counts), washing soda, borax, vinegar and essential oils on hand at all times. These products make up pretty much every cleaning product I use. And some are kept for other purposes like medicinal and cooking so I am already buying and storing them.
I never have to stress about if I have run out of something. I keep these items in bulk and if I run out of laundry detergent I can easily whip some up.
Another thing to consider is that since most products are made with the same ingredients, I have fewer bottles and cleaners because they are all multi-purpose. My dish soap is also used as hand soap and surface cleaner. I use laundry detergent in my mop water if I am not using my steam mop.
I am not a stickler on a perfectly clean home and I find that I do not have to be with these items on hand. With regular habits and keeping these on hand, I can easily keep things tidy and clean.
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This is where you can find the free printable label for this laundry soap. I love using labels like this for my cleaning supplies since I make them myself and store them in different glass containers. Grab yours today!
Do DIY Laundry Detergents Work?
Now this is kind of a controversial topic but I believe that they really do. I think the modern world has led us to believe that we need every germ and bit of dirt to be removed before anything is “clean”. Now don’t get me wrong- I like a clean environment. But having everything perfectly sanitized and disinfected is just a way to make you go insane and there is not a product that can actually achieve that. So yes, they do work but you will read conflicting information online. Give up reading online reviews and just try it for yourself before you decide.
Now I know that the type of water you have can play a role and the whole soap versus detergent is a argument people use. So my advice is to try it if you want and if not, just leave it. This may not work for everyone. But I like to share what works for my family in the hopes it will help someone else and this DOES work for my family. Our clothes come out clean, soft and free of stains. If there is a really stubborn stain, I will treat it but that is done with any conventional laundry detergent as well. I love that it is a cheaper alternative and is free (or at least a cleaner version) of the chemicals and junk found in store bought.
How Long Is Homemade Laundry Detergent Good For?
I have seen people use similar detergents for 12 months or more. I do not like to do this because there is nothing to preserve the detergent. Short term this is fine and this is how things were designed to be.
I like to make a gallon at a time and use it within 6 months or less. You can make more and try it out for longer periods and see how it does in your environment.
Is Castile Soap Good For Laundry?
Castile soap is one of my favorite things to keep in the house. I mentioned that many of my cleaning product ingredients are used elsewhere and this is why I love castile soap so much.
Dr. Bronner’s claims you can even brush your teeth with theirs and while I have not tried some of the more adventurous, if you will, uses for castile soap, I do use it for natural body care as well. I have used it as a baby soap, hand soap and face wash. It is also great for laundry. I find that it cleans really well without build up but I have also heard Sal Suds is good if you end up with build up from castile soap due to hard water.
Another great thing about it is if you want a scented detergent but do not want synthetic fragrance and do not have essential oils, you can buy scented castile soap that is pre-scented with pure essential oils. The lavender and peppermint are my favorites!
What You Need
Gallon Sized Glass Jar or Old Detergent Bottle
Pot (to melt the soap)
1/4 cup Borax
1/8 cup Baking Soda
1/8 cup Washing Soda
1/2 Bar of Castile Soap
How To Make Laundry Detergent DIY
First shred your soap bar with a cheese grater.
Add the soap and 1/2 cup of water to a small pot and melt on medium heat.
While this melts, add the washing soda, baking soda and borax to your jar and mix to combine.
Last you will pour the soap mixture into the dry mixture and mix. I like to do this while the liquid is warm but not burning hot to help the dry ingredients to dissolve better.
Fill the remainder of the jar with water and mix or shake to combine.
Allow the jar of detergent to sit for 24 hours. This will allow it to thicken and gel up like a conventional laundry detergent.
Use 1/4-1/2 cup of detergent depending on load size.