Cache / Lifestyle

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My good friend Judy put me on to this recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent from Despite Judy’s insistence that it worked just as well as commercially-made detergents, I was a little skeptical. We’re constantly washing white jeans with boot polish stains on them, along with very smelly gym clothes. Judy assured me that this detergent worked amazingly well on the puppy-towels she was washing daily (ahh the joys of training a puppy) and on her husband’s farm clothes, but I still had to try it for myself (Judy hasn’t smelled my husband’s gym clothes). Well, it works! It’s quick to make, it’s cheap, and you only use a tablespoon of the stuff!

Chemicals in my environment concern me and having chemicals on my clothing, laying next to my skin for most of the day concerns me too. I used to buy “unscented” or “all natural” laundry detergent, but a quick search on the Environmental Working Group ( was pretty disheartening. One of the leading (and very pricey) laundry detergents touted to be safe for babies, actually scored an ‘F’ on the website. You can search for all sorts of products (household, personal care, food) on their website and they’re currently working on an app to make healthy shopping easier (it’s constructed as donations are made). I’m glad to know SOMEONE is looking out for me and my fellow consumers.
It’s an easy thing to ignore and put on your ‘to-do’ list. I know I get fed up from time to time, thinking what’s the point of having all these modern conveniences if I can’t take advantage of them. So maybe just pick one thing and start there, like making this detergent.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap
2 cups of Borax (see photos if you’ve never bought this before)
2 cups of Arm & Hammer washing soda

There are two ways to do this:

Food Processor: Cut the bar of soap into 1-inch cubes and pulse everything in the food processor until the soap is grated down finely, resembling coarse meal.

By Hand: Grate the bar of soap over a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand.
That’s it. Judy and I both made the mistake of first grating, then using the food processor as well, which isn’t necessary, but you will end up with an exceptionally clean food processor! This recipe is pretty easy and in my opinion, will go a long way towards cleaning up your environment.

If you’d like to read all about the cost breakdown, savings and recipe variations, please visit


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