I started making my own detergent over a year ago because we use cloth diapers and the only detergents available here in Asia are highly perfumed and seem to add a strong smell to my laundry but not actually clean very well. Plus, cloth diapers can get buildup if washed with detergent containing a bunch of fragrances and other chemicals. So, I looked up some recipes and found the ingredients and have been making my own detergent ever since.
The recipe only calls for 3 ingredients: washing soda, castile soap, and borax. However, when I opened up the trunk containing my supplies, I realized the borax had run out. I certainly haven’t seen any here in our tiny town in Northern Laos, so I thought I’d just try it without. That’s how my two ingredient laundry detergent was born.
At the time, we didn’t have internet hooked up in our house yet, so I guessed on the amounts.
I grated the bar of soap.
Added 2 cups of washing soda (one in place of the borax).
And mixed it up.I also guessed on the amount used to wash a load of laundry. I used 1 tablespoon. So, how does it work? It seems to work fine. I have to heat a small amount of water to dissolve the soap before pouring into the freezing cold load of laundry. The next batch I think I’ll blend into a fine powder in the blender. But, the clothes come out smelling… well… like nothing! They seem to be getting clean, so I’ll stick with my formula for now.We’ve done what we can to improve our laundry system. Ryan rigged up some shelves to hang up in the laundry room to keep my laundry stuff off the dirty wet floor. All the bathrooms in the house drain onto the floor of the laundry room and down the squatty toilet in the floor. I’m thinking my laundry room once served as the only bathroom for the house. By the way, I’m scrubbing window screens in the photo, not using the toilet! And that’s as good as it’s going to get… for now.
Here are a couple links with more info and detailed recipes:
homemade natural laundry detergent made easy – Apparently not every recipe calls for borax. Maybe I’m fine without it!
homemade laundry detergent – the price breakdown comes out to $0.05 per load!
What do you use to wash your clothes? Have you ever made your own detergent?