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Homemade Natural Laundry Products

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Homemade natural laundry products are better for your family, your pocketbook and for the environment.

In an effort to reduce the chemicals we are exposed to, as well as save a bit of money and help the environment, I decided to stop using commercial laundry products and instead start making my own.

I tried a variety of 'recipes' and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they all were to make and how well they worked.

Our laundry room recently got a new coat of paint and a cute French black & white toile motif.

This inspired me to take my 'makeover' one step further and start making my own natural laundry products.

Homemade Natural Laundry Products 

I am going to share how to make your own homemade detergent (powder and gel), stain remover, fabric softener and bleach alternative using common, natural household ingredients readily available in your grocery store or online.

So let's get started!

Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent Powder

Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

What you Need |

1/2 bar Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (or other natural bar soap of your choice, such as Dr. Bronners)
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

What you Do |

  • Grate soap bar into a large bowl. 
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.

Use 1/4 Cup powder per load.

Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent Gel

Makes about 1 1/2 gallons

What you Need | 

1/4 bar Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (or other natural bar soap of your choice, such as Dr. Bronners)
1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/4 Cup Borax
.5 oz Lavender Essential Oil

What you Do |

  • Grate soap into a saucepan. 
  • Add 2 cups water and simmer until melted.  
  • Add washing soda and Borax and stir until dissolved. 
  • Pour 2 cups warm water into a large bowl. 
  • Add soap mixture and whisk. 
  • Slowly add another 10 cups warm water and the essential oil, stirring until mixed.  
  • The mixture will turn to a gel.
  • Let sit for 24 hours and then transfer into a large glass or non-reactive jug. 
 Use 1/2 Cup per load.  

(Note to self: pick up an old saucepan at Goodwill to use for this concoction!) 

(Note: Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap is also a great natural laundry detergent if you don't want to make your own. The Citrus Scent is especially nice.  And their bar soap can be substituted for the Fels-Naptha. The lavender smells wonderful!)

Homemade Natural Fabric Softener

Makes 3 1/2 cups

What you Need |

2 Cups Hot Water
1/3 Cup Hair Conditioner (I used Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange)
1 Cup White Vinegar
10 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil

What you Do |

  • Stir the conditioner into the water and mix well. 
  • Add the vinegar and essential oil. 
Use 1-2 Tablespoons as you would regular fabric softener.

Homemade Natural Bleach Alternative

Makes about a gallon

What you Need |
1-1/2 Cups 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
One Gallon water
.5 oz Lemon Essential Oil

What you Do |

  • Mix and store in a large glass container.  
  • Use as you would regular bleach.

Homemade Natural All Purpose Stain Remover

Makes 2 cups

What you Need |

1 Cup Water
1 Cup White Vinegar

What you Do |

  • Mix the water vinegar and essential oil in a spray bottle
  • Shake the Borax onto the stain
  • Spray with vinegar/water mixture
  • Let sit 10-20 minutes
  • Brush with an old toothbrush
  • Launder

Homemade Natural Stain Removers for Specific Stains

Berry stains | soak in lemon juice
Chocolate | soak in club soda
Coffee or sweat | soak in white vinegar
Grease or rust | apply baking soda/water paste - let sit for 3 hours
Lipstick or ink | soak in milk 
Red wine | apply salt/water paste - let sit for 1-2 hours

I did two loads of laundry, using both the liquid and powder laundry detergents as well as the fabric softener. I also tried the bleach alternative and all-purpose stain remover.

Our clothes are clean! Everything smells so fresh and natural. I am hooked!

I didn't price the ingredients and figure cost per load, but you can see from the prices below that everything I bought barely cost what one jug of each commercial detergent, bleach and fabric softener costs and I only used a fraction to mix up a batch of each product.

I still have enough to make many, many more batches, so the savings will be substantial.

Also by making your own laundry products, all those ugly plastic jugs and containers that commercial products are packaged in aren't going to landfills.  

The ingredients I used mostly come in cardboard boxes, so the burden on the environment is greatly reduced. And making your own gives you an excuse to find pretty reusable jars and canisters to store them in.

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