Making your own homemade laundry soap is a great way to save money and reduce your environmental impact. This recipe is inexpensive, simple, and incredibly safe for both your body and your clothing according to the Environmental Working Group.
The castile soap will cut grease and clean your clothes of stains. The washing soda softens water while also removing stains and whitening whites. Baking soda eliminates odors and softens fabrics. And the salt acts a natural fabric softener, as well.
This laundry soap recipe also works in both regular and high-efficiency machines because of its low-sudsing properties. It’s important to note that laundry soap is not the same as laundry detergent — soap is not meant to chemically clean clothes like detergent, but rather naturally freshen them. Laundry soap is great for delicates that need basic cleaning. If your clothes aren’t getting clean enough for your liking (i.e., you have a particularly dirty or smelly load to do), then you can add some natural surfactant detergent (like this one HERE) to give your soap a stronger boost.
Ingredients & directions for natural laundry soap
- One 5-ounce bar of pure castile soap
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup coarse salt (you don’t need expensive sea salt for this recipe; coarse table salt is fine)
- 1 cup washing soda
- A few drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
Note: washing soda (a more abrasive cleaning agent) should not be confused with baking soda (a less abrasive cleaning agent), although they’re closely related chemically. Washing soda has more of a stripping action than baking soda, which is used to remove residues of oils, minerals, and fabric softeners. The sodium carbonate in washing soda “softens” water to help other ingredients in the cleaning solution lift soil from the fabrics and suspend the soil in the wash water. The washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard and allows the detergent to be absorbed into fibers to properly clean the clothes.
Chop the soap into small cubes and blitz them in a food processor until finely ground. You can also hand grate the soap like you would a block of cheese if you don’t own a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients into the shredded soap and continue to either blend of hand mix until the mix comes together as a powder. Store in an air-tight container until ready for use.
To use, scoop 2 tablespoons for a regular washing machine with a regular sized load of laundry. For a high-efficiency machine, use just one tablespoon.
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