DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Simple Life Laundry Clothesline

Hello Calico and Twine friends! Today I'm going to be sharing my nontoxic laundry detergent recipe with you all! This is the laundry detergent I use to wash all of our clothes before selling. Because the clothes we source and sell are secondhand, we wash them first, as well as letting some fresh air and sunshine work their magic, weather permitting. We try our very best to try to get any toxic fragrance from previous owners out of the pieces before sending them to you. Wellness is a priority here at Calico and Twine!

There are a lot of DIY laundry detergent recipes out there on the internet and most of them call for Fels-Naptha soap. I think mainly because it's been around for so long and people just assume it's safe and nontoxic, which actually isn't the case. The reason I don't use Fels-Naptha like most DIY laundry detergent recipes recommend is because it contains synthetic fragrance and animal lard, two things we absolutely do not want in our laundry detergent!

There are many extremely toxic chemicals used in laundry detergents. Take a look at the ingredient list on yours. I bet you can't pronounce any of those words. These chemicals are cancer-causing and linked to so many health issues that are dangerous for adults, kids, pets, and the environment. The synthetic fragrances used are also extremely toxic and dangerous.

Read all about the dangers of synthetic fragrance here. 

This is an alternative to typical laundry detergents that my mom and I have been using for probably close to 10 years now. It's gentle on your body and the environment.

Simple Living Clothesline

What you need:

  • 1 bar of Organic Castile Soap

  • 1 cup of Super Washing Soda (You can purchase this in a cardboard box to avoid plastic packaging or by baking Baking Soda on 400°F for 1 hour stirring a few times)

  • 1 cup of Borax (also can be bought in a cardboard box)

  • 5 gallon bucket

  • Lots of water!

This makes a large batch so you only have to make it once in a great while! 

1. Fill your 5 gallon bucket almost to the top but not quite, with hot water. Add in your Super Washing Soda and and Borax, and stir until dissolved.

2. Grate your Castile soap bars using a cheese grater, and melt in a pan with about 2 quarts of water.

3. Once your soap is melted, add it to your bucket and stir. 

4. Fill the rest of the bucket to the top with more water and cover.

5. Let this sit overnight. It will form into a gel like consistency.

6. Dilute 1:1 with water in a container or glass jar and use about 1/2 cup-1 cup in your wash cycle depending on how big the load is. 

7. Adding a splash of vinegar to your rinse cycle is also recommended when using Castile soap to wash clothes, but definitely not necessary. I skip this sometimes and my laundry still comes out as clean as ever with no residue. 

8. Keep the large bucket of laundry detergent covered in your laundry room and just refill your detergent container when necessary! 

And there you have it! A completely nontoxic and plastic-free laundry detergent that is safe for you, your family, your pets, and this earth! 

Oh and while I have you and we're on the topic of laundry, ditch those fabric softeners and dryer sheets as well! Those are just as toxic and believe it or not, completely unnecessary for a clean load of laundry. Let's get back to the basics and keep our homes free from toxins! 

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Organic Castile Soap
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Kaetlyn Kennedy