Homemade HE Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener

We all have to do laundry and buying detergent and fabric softener every couple of weeks definitely adds up. Making laundry detergent at home saves money and you know you aren’t adding all kinds of extra chemicals and perfumes to the detergent. My grandmother has been using Borax for many years so I trust her choice of using it and I use it. With allergies and skin conditions I feel better knowing the products we’re using on our clothes won’t be irritating us. An added bonus is if enough people made their own detergent, it would cut down on plastics and pollutants to our environment.

This detergent is safe for HE washing machines.

Laundry detergent can be made in liquid form or powder. This “recipe” is the powder form.

Laundry Detergent

  • 150 grams grated laundry bar soap
  • 150 grams Borax
  • 250 grams washing soda
  • 150 grams Oxyclean

Measure these ingredients by weight.

*This recipe calls for washing soda NOT baking soda. This can be found in the laundry section of stores. If you can’t find washing soda, here’s how to make some:
Heat oven at 200 degrees C. Spread 2 – 3 cups baking soda on a baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring 1 – 2 times. You’ll know it’s done when you notice this difference – baking soda is light and fluffy, washing soda is flat and grainy.
Let cool and store in air-tight jar.

Put the ingredients in a food processor and process until it’s a uniform powder. This will insure good dispersion in the wash water.
Use 1 tablespoon per load. Heavily soiled clothes – 2 tablespoons. If you’ve got a huge washing machine 1 tablespoon will probably work, but as all machines are different so you’ll need to experiment with the amount the first few loads. The goal is to use as little as possible and still be effective.

Tip: Recommended soaps are Fels Naptha, Ivory, homemade laundry soaps, natural soap bars available at health stores. Zote soap may clog front loading washer soap trays.

Fabric Softener

  • 3.75 L white vinegar
  • 30 – 40 drops of essential oil – lavender scent is my favorite for fabric softener

Mix together. Shake well before each use. Use ¼ cup for full loads.

*The basic test to check the purity of an essential oil is to put one drop on a piece of white paper and let it dry. Once it dries if there is any oily residue left on the paper, the “essential oil” is not an essential oil it’s a fragrance oil.

Use pure essential oils & it won’t leave oil residue on your clothes.

A benefit of including the essential oils is that many contain antibacterial properties and will help disinfect laundry. Lavender, sweet orange, lemon, and peppermint (and many more!) are all antibacterial. Essential oils like lemon and sweet orange have also been known to brighten laundry and fight stains.

Feel free to leave out essential oils if you wish – vinegar is also antibacterial.

Essential Oils – My Top 10 Favorites

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