I’ve been making my own laundry soap for years. I gave up store-bought detergent before eco-friendly options were on the market to cut the chemicals and give my sensitive skin a break.
While there are more options these days, I like that I know exactly what goes into my soap and it saves me money to make my own – a lot of money when compared to scent-free, dye-free, biodegradable, harsh-chemical-free detergent.
For the past year or so I mixed up my recipe and started using castile soap bars instead of Fels-Naptha. My clothes are just as clean, and my lungs are so much happier. My laundry soap now has even fewer ingredients and no longer includes things like unsustainably harvested palm products, talc, fragrance, and red 40.
Homemade castile laundry soap ingredients
1 castile soap bar (makes about 2 cups grated soap)
1 cup washing Soda
1 cup borax
You can make as much as you would like at a time. The basic recipe is 1/2 cup each of borax and washing soda per 1 cup of slightly packed grated soap. This isn’t baking, so you don’t have to be exact.
To make the soap, grate the bar with a fine cheese grater until you are left with what looks like a pile of tempting parmesan. (Or if you are awesome like my mom, pop it in your food processor with the grater attachment and be done in a minute.) Once you are done, measure out your soap and add the appropriate amount of borax and washing soda. Mix it together and you’re good to go!
Use 1 tablespoon per load for a front-loading washer and 2-3 tbs. for top-loading. I like to use a medicine cup to quickly measure.
Since the temperature has dropped and I’m unfortunately stuck with a less efficient washer, I have been dissolving my soap in a cup of hot water before adding it to my laundry. If you wash in cold water with a large top-loader, you might want to do the same to make sure that your soap is getting mixed in well.