This homemade laundry detergent really works! Simple ingredients, frugal, and washes better than store-bought detergent! Our clothes are brighter and more colorful, no stains, and whites aren’t dingy anymore. Try my recipe for natural fabric softener, DIY Epsom salt laundry booster and how to make an indoor clothesline.
Goat milk soap and I have just a short, 8-month-long history together, but let me tell you – my experience with goat milk soap has been life-changing.
- It’s cleared up my acne-prone skin, both facial and on the rest of my body. (The full story.)
- It’s actually improved the texture of my skin, making it softer and smoother.
- It’s moisturized my skin all over, removing the need to use additional lotion on a daily basis (which means fewer chemicals!).
Ever since realizing the impact that something as simple as soap can have, I’ve begun to look at health problems from a different perspective.
Let’s talk about homemade laundry detergent!
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Several years ago, my first response to complaints of itchy skin would be that your skin is dry, and you need lotion.
Now, my concern would be the soap you’re using… And when you think of your soap, you have to consider ALL the soaps that touch your skin on a daily basis:
- face wash
- body wash
- hand soap
- dish soap
- laundry soap
Our first instinct would likely be to blame the hand soap or body wash. But when you’ve switched to something healthier, whether it’s goat milk soap or something else, and you’re still itchy, you’ve got to go back to the drawing board.
What’s the common denominator? What could be causing itchy legs, itchy arms, AND an itchy belly?
Your laundry soap.
Yes, the one thing you thought wouldn’t really affect your skin – because it doesn’t actually touch your skin – could be the cause of your skin irritations.
If your skin is sensitive to certain ingredients, it doesn’t take much to cause a flare-up. Think of it in terms of an allergy. If you’re allergic to cats, you don’t have to be around a lot of cats to sneeze. All it takes is the one. Or in my case, all it takes is hanging my jacket on the back of a chair at a cat owner’s house.
I don’t even have to go INTO the house, in order for my allergies to react. The practically invisible cat hairs on my jacket are just enough to trigger the reaction.
The same goes for laundry detergent.
You don’t have to physically touch laundry detergent in order for you to have a reaction to the ingredients inside. You can wash, rinse, rinse again and dry and STILL have skin irritations thanks to the tiny remnants left behind.
The only way to know for sure if you’re sensitive to commercial laundry detergent is to switch to a different kind for a short period of time and see if you notice a difference. Preferably a homemade laundry detergent.
Here’s the catch though: sometimes it’s not the dyes that cause irritation. It might not even be the fragrances.
- What if you’re washing baby clothes for the first time and you just want to take precautions against the baby’s delicate skin?
- What if you’re fighting eczema through dietary changes, but aren’t noticing any changes?
Often times the real cause of irritation from laundry soap is the SOAP, which means using typical “free and clear” laundry detergents won’t solve the problem.
Fortunately, making homemade laundry detergent for sensitive skin or hypoallergenic laundry detergent is very easy, and very affordable. With a few basic supplies and a bar of incredibly gentle goat milk soap (I recommend Bend Soap Company), you can make a batch in less than 15 minutes. You can save even more money by skipping the dryer and hang-drying your clothes, even indoors!
Want a Cleaner Laundry Soap?
Making your own laundry detergent is a great option for non-toxic laundry. But I get that DIY isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
There are a few brands of laundry detergent out there that have non-toxic ingredients. One that I like is Truly Free. They have a variety of household cleaners, laundry soap, kitchen cleansers, and related products. All are made in America, free from toxins, and sold in reusable packaging!
You can use the coupon code CRUMBS30 to get 30% off anything in their shop. This is a HUGE discount! No subscription is required. Simply order through this link.
Here’s What You Need
Here is a list of ingredients that you need for this homemade laundry detergent recipe:
- 1 bar goat milk soap (I recommend Bend Soap Company)
- baking soda
- super washing soda
- essential oils (optional, but recommended if you like your clothes to have a certain scent other than clean)
Note: Plant Therapy is my favorite company for essential oils. You can find their shop here.
How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent
Step 1. Using a grater, grate your goat milk soap until you have 1 cup of soap shreds. To save time, grate the entire bar and store excess shreds in a container with a lid.
Note: For those who are REALLY short on time or who don’t want to mess with shredding soap, Bend Soap Company now offers pre-shredded goat milk soap HERE. This also comes in handy if you’re making homemade facial cleansers too.
Optional: In a food processor or blender, combine grated goat milk soap and baking soda. Pulse until the soap is in very small pieces, only slightly bigger than the baking sodas. Add essential oils (if using) and pulse a few more times.
Step 2. In an airtight container, combine all ingredients. Seal well and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are well combined. Be careful when opening the container as small dust-like particles of the ingredients will become airborne.
For this homemade detergent, use one tablespoon for light loads, and two tablespoons for heavy loads. This recipe makes enough for 40 tablespoons, which lasts my family approximately one month.
Safety Precautions When Making Homemade Laundry Detergent
Although safe for external use, Borax should not be inhaled. Therefore it is best to use either a mask or some sort of protective barrier over your mouth and nose when handling it and opening the container for the first time.
I pull my shirt up and over my mouth and nose when measuring. Parents, if your children are helping you make laundry detergent, it’s best to handle the borax yourself. Also, as a precaution, use protective gloves if you have cuts or open wounds on your hands.
Does homemade laundry detergent really clean clothes?
Absolutely! Since I started using this homemade laundry detergent my clothes have been cleaner and brighter!
How many loads does this make?
I haven’t counted how many loads of laundry but this homemade laundry detergent lasts my family (family of 4) approximately one month. For one load, use 2-4 Tbsp.
Additional Recipe Notes for Homemade Laundry Detergent
I prefer to add essential oils to my homemade laundry detergent because I like my clothes to have an actual scent after washing. The 20 drops called for in the recipe will leave a very, very light scent. So light, that you might not notice it unless you knew it was there. Feel free to add up to 40 drops of essential oil for a stronger scent.
One fun factor of homemade laundry detergent is that you can create any scent you want. I’ve been using lavender shreds with lavender essential oil, but any of these scent combinations would be lovely as well:
- tea tree + lemon
- lemon/orange/grapefruit + peppermint/wintergreen/spearmint/eucalyptus
- tea tree + peppermint
- orange + thieves/cloves/cinnamon bard
- tea tree + rosemary
Note: Plant Therapy is my favorite company for essential oils. You can find their shop here.
I’m using a lovely glass jar that I received as a Christmas gift for my homemade laundry detergent mixture right now, but you can use any container that has a lid like this gallon jar.
I’m also re-purposing an old coffee scoop for measuring. In case you didn’t know, coffee scoops are equivalent to 1 tablespoon, and they tend to be made a bit stronger than most measuring spoons.
More DIY Recipes
- How to Get the Smell Out of Towels
- Get Rid of Mold and Mildew Using Essential Oils
- How to Make an Indoor Clothesline
- DIY Linen Spray with Essential Oils
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Homemade Laundry Detergent (for sensitive skin): DIY
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 40 Tbs 1x
- Category: DIY Household
- Method: No Cook
1. Using a grater, grate your goat milk soap until you have 1 cup of soap shreds. To save time, grate the entire bar and store excess shreds in a container with a lid.
2. In a container with a lid, combine all ingredients. Seal well and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are well combined. Be careful when opening the container as small dust-like particles of the ingredients will become airborne.
- Safety Precaution: Although safe for external use, Borax should not be inhaled. Therefore it is best to use either a mask or some sort of protective barrier over your mouth and nose when handling it and opening the container for the first time.
- Also, as a precaution, use protective gloves if you have cuts or open wounds on your hands.
- Use one tablespoon for light loads, and two tablespoons for heavy loads. This recipe makes enough for 40 tablespoons, which lasts my family approximately one month.
- For essential oils, my favorite company is Plant Therapy. You can find their shop here.
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