I have been using homemade laundry detergent ever since my friend, Tisha, first told me that she made hers. Prior to hearing her personal experience, it never occurred to me that I was capable of making my own soap. I don’t know what I thought people used prior to Tide, but I apparently didn’t think it was anything I was able to remotely re-create.
Tisha shared her recipe with me, and I used it for a number of years with good results. The only thing that took me a while to get used to was the lack of fragrance in my newly-washed clothes. I mean, they smelled clean, but they didn’t smell like store-bought detergents. Not only did I get used to it, but I now find that perfumey detergent fragrances give me a headache.
I no longer use Tisha’s recipe just because I got tired of cooking it to make the liquid variety. I decided to save myself a step and just use the powder. Here’s my current recipe, of which I use one tablespoon per large load of laundry. It’s low-suds, so you can even use this recipe in high-efficiency washers. The ingredients can be found in most grocery stores with other laundry detergents, and they can also be found in some farm/rural living-type stores.
This makes a nice gift for someone who has never tried it. The ingredients are safe, and the financial savings are significant.
2 c. Borax
2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
Mix together well and use one tablespoon for each large load.
NOTE: You can also add a drop or two of essential oils if you would like to increase your clothes’ fragrance.