Today was my first day off in a while, so I walked down to my local health food store and bought washing soda. Since getting our washing machine fixed we had sooooo much laundry to do. I figured it was time to ditch the store bought stuff and make my own! I love this recipe because it makes a HUGE amount of powder detergent and all in all, each load is approximately 0.06/cents a load. and you get around 100 loads. You only need 2-3 tablespoons. Yes, you read that all correctly. Rather then the $6.00 for maybe what, like 40 loads? Amazing right?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax – $12
- 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Washing Soda – $9
- 1 (3 lb) Container of OxiClean – $7
- 2 Bars of Laundry Soap – $4
- 1 Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $2
- 10 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil from dōTERRA (preferably, I unfortunately had to quickly settle for my local health food store brand)
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil from dōTERRA (preferably)
You’ll also need:
- 2 gallon bucket for mixing
- a food processor or blender
- a large mixing bowl
- a whisk
- a fine cheese grater
- LARGE storage container (glass preferably)
Take the cheese grater and grate the laundry soaps bars (This is the most time consuming and annoying part of the process)
After its finely ground put it in a food processor or blender and blend into a powder.
Mix all the ingredients (except the essential oils) in the 2 gallon bucket.
To add the essential oils, take half of the powder mixture and put it in a mixing bowl, add the essential oils and fold them into the powder. The amount of oils you add determine how strong the smell and a little goes A LONG way so go slow. Mix it all back together and pour it into a glass, air tight storage container. I am having some difficulty finding such a large glass container so I had to opt for a 2 gallon plastic container until I can find one.
TIP: Save the scoop you get in the OxiClean container and use that to measure your detergent. 2 tablespoons go to line A and 3 tablespoons go to line B. How convenient is that? If you look hard the powder with the oil mixture makes little orange swirls in the detergent.
If you want to make this even more natural, you can eliminate the borax, and strictly use baking soda, washing soda, and epsom salts. You can also opt to use fragrance free laundry soap bars AS WELL as opting to use OxiClean “Baby” or “Free” instead of the original.
When its time to use (for top load washers) allow it to fill part way then add the powder.
Use Cold Water
For front load washers, mix 2 tablespoons of the powder to two tablespoons of hot water, then add to the load.
So why did we use all those ingredients? I did a lot of research on different detergent recipes before actually making it. I’ll keep it short and simple. The Borax is a laundry booster and the washing soda acts as a solvent to remove stains, but doesn’t stain like bleach. Baking soda also removes stains, whitens, and removes odors from clothing. Baking soda also acts as a natural fabric softener. OxiClean and the laundry soap bars also act as a stain remove and detergent booster. Finally the essential oils, for a natural alternative to smelly perfumes and chemicals.
The entire thing was a process, but I really had a good sense of accomplishment along with finishing it. I also did my first “test batch” with a load of towels and they actually turned out great! The were for sure clean but didn’t have an over-powerful smell. The lavender-orange smell was definitely noticeable. This huge container is going to last me FOREVER and its a natural way to clean your clothes, that’s cheaper in the end too!