This great post is in thanks to a great reader!
I started making my own detergent when I was getting my certificate in Herbal Medicine at the Herb School. My instructor, Beth, made this herself, and showed us how easy and economical that it is to make. I have changed it up some for my own use (and to use up odds and ends) and it comes out perfect each time!
Homemade Laundry Detergent for Your Regular Washing Machine (not HE)
What you’ll need :
1 gallon+ container
1 bar of soap (no moisturizers or creams added)
1 cup of 20 Mule Team borax
1. Start with a container big enough to hold a little over a gallon of detergent. I use an old pickle bucket that has a tight fitting lid. This is VERY important, as you don’t want your children or animals to get into the soap. You are also going to need a large kettle to melt the soap mixture in.
2. Grate one bar of soap into the kettle. I started with Ivory, and since then I have used many different soaps, and all have cleaned just as well. If all you have is soap bits (from your bars you bathe with daily), make sure the amount equals 1 cup of soap. I DO NOT recommend using any soap with moisturizers or creams added to them, as that may hinder the cleaning process.
3. To the grated soap, add two (2) quarts of water and start heating. While this is heating, pour 1 c. of Twenty Mule Team borax into your bucket, and add (4) quarts of tap water, and stir VERY well to mix up (even then, the borax may still be in the bottom of the bucket-that’s ok, as when you add the hot soap mix, it will mix up then). When the soap is completely melted on the stove, pour it into your bucket, and add (2) more quarts of water and stir very well. It is now ready to use, or you can add essential oils to make the soap smell nice. I used to add essential oils, but you will never smell it on the clothes, so to me it was a waste.
As your soap sits and cools, it will take on a gel consistency. You can stir again to mix everything up, but I just always stir it as I am measuring it out to go into the washing machine. I use a cup measure, and use about ½ c. per load, for regular loads of laundry. If what I am washing is especially dirty, I use about ¾ c. of detergent.
This soap cleans so well, and is so easy to make, you will wonder why more folks don’t make their own detergent. It’s a great way to make the most of the soap bits you have left when the bar is almost gone and breaks into a million pieces, or surplus bars that you score dirt cheap at the store.
This Post Contains Affiliate Links - Disclosure Policy