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Monday, April 30, 2012

My Attempt to Make Homemade Laundry Powder

I am not the crunchy granola type of gal, in fact I love everything luxurious but when my cousin Vickey pinned a recipe to make homemade laundry detergent on Pinterest, it really interest me. You can make your own detergent for the fraction of the price of store bought ones. My brother Josh has eczema and whenever he's home from CA, my mom would prepare hypoallergenic products for him (laundry detergent, soap, etc...). I thought why not give homemade cleaners a try since it supposedly is better for the environment and people with sensitive skin plus it's CHEAP!

I had to go to three different store today to get all the ingredients I need to make homemade cleaners. I got distilled vinegar, distilled water and Borax from Target. Washing Soda from Stop and Shop. Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile bar soap and liquid soap from Trader Joe. I bought the liquid castile soap because it can be diluted for different cleaning needs. Check out Lived Renewed's blog explaining the different usage.

My first project was homemade powder laundry detergent since it's much easier than the liquid method. I'm not really convinced about using homemade detergent for my darks and bright color clothes so for those I'm going to continue using Woolite but for my lights and whites I'm going to use this homemade laundry detergent.

There are countless ways of making homemade laundry detergent, both powder and liquid. Most of the time the recipe calls fro Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and some sort of soap. The most recommended soaps are Dr. Bronner's, Fels-Naptha, Zote or event Ivory. I'm using castile bar soap since I couldn't find Felz-Naptha or Zote and I didn't want to use Ivory. Don't use any beauty bars because the moisturizers in them. The moisturizers in the beauty bars will stain your clothes and not clean them very well.

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent
Found this on

  • 1 cup grated bar soap
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup washing soda

Either hand grate the bar soap or use a food processor. Mix well with Borax and washing soda. Store in an air-tight container. For small load, use 1 tablespoon, medium load use 2 tablespoons and large load use 3 tablespoons. Add extra tablespoon if your laundry is really dirty.  This detergent doesn't sud up like the store bought ones because it doesn't have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is a foaming agent in most detergents (reading detail at

So what is the verdict after my first load of whites/lights using this homemade laundry detergent? It seems to work well. I'm not sure how well it will do on a heavily-soiled load since our clothes/towels weren't very dirty anyways. This detergent doesn't really have any fragrance at all, it reminds me of the natural, fragrance free laundry bar my nanny used to use in Taiwan. I did dry the load with two Bounce sheets which kind of contradicts using homemade detergent because many "green" people argue that drying sheets are toxic but J can't live without that dryer sheet smell so I guess we are stuck with these toxic dryer sheets until J is willing to try the homemade dryer sheet method.
Looks white to me

The collar had light stains on it and now it's gone! 

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