Would it surprise you to learn that quite a few people create their own homemade laundry detergent? Moms often choose to make homemade laundry soap to save money, while others simply want to reduce the number of chemicals they use around the house.
Smell can also be a factor. Some people who have sensitive skin or conditions like allergies or asthma cannot handle using commercial laundry detergent. “Certain people who have asthma cannot tolerate the fumes and fragrances from any strong cleaning products,” says Karel Sleis, a respiratory therapist. The same holds true for sensitive skin, which can be irritated by certain chemicals found in products.
Making homemade laundry detergent decreases exposure to unwanted chemicals while still allowing you to effectively clean your family’s clothing.
When making homemade laundry detergent, consider involving your children whenever possible. “Making homemade laundry soap is a fun and important activity to do with the kids so they can see how the ingredients come together to create detergent,” says MaryAnn F. Kohl, an art activities expert and author of the children’s book “Scribble Art.”
Not only will your children learn how to create their own detergent using natural ingredients, but they can also learn about following recipes, measuring ingredients and saving money at the same time. Plus, making homemade laundry soap encourages kids to do chores in an exciting way.
If you feel ready to make a batch of soap, try out these four fabulous homemade laundry detergent recipes.
- The Powerful Homemade Laundry Detergent
When you need laundry detergent that really packs a punch, try out this recipe from How Does She. By combining Zote soap with borax and a few other ingredients, you end up with a laundry detergent that will get out even the toughest stains. Take a tip from the blog and combine your homemade laundry detergent with crystallized fabric softener to make your clothes both clean and soft — all the better for your family’s delicate skin.
- The Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent
Green living blog My Merry Messy Life suggests using liquid Castile soap, borax and washing soda to create a natural laundry detergent that will not irritate the skin. Simply measure out the ingredients, add some water and blend it all together with a hand mixer to create your homemade detergent. The blog provides an alternate recipe that omits borax in case that aggravates your skin, and you can also add different essential oils to either formula for fragrance.
- The Laundry Detergent Bombs
If you love tossing one of those pre-formed laundry bombs into your washing machine, make your own with natural, homemade laundry soap. Culture blog PopSugar recommends combining washing soda, Fels-Naptha soap, Epsom salt, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to create the initial detergent. Then you can scoop the soap into balls or other shapes before allowing them to set on parchment paper.
The end result is easy-to-use laundry bombs that work just like their expensive store-bought counterparts but without the chemicals. To make things easier, try forming laundry bombs using a cookie scoop or soap molds.
- Borax-Free Laundry Detergent
Some people do not want to use borax in their laundry detergent, potentially because of concerns about how it interacts with the skin or other body parts. If this sounds like you, try making a borax-free laundry detergent like the one featured on the DIY blog Practically Functional. This recipe uses Castile soap, washing soda, baking soda, citric acid and sea salt to cut through stains. By adding sea salt into the homemade laundry mixture, you can get the same great results as a detergent containing borax.
And try these 20 Homemade Lotion Recipes for Sensitive Skin.
Kelly Sundstrom is an award-winning journalist, author, artist and national special needs spokesperson. As the mother of twice-exceptional children, Sundstrom has been a guest speaker on Grassroots TV in Aspen, Colorado, and offers her support and advocacy to special needs families all over the country.