Hello & welcome to a very special blog post!
I have ranted and raved about making my own laundry detergent for quite some time now. One of my best friends who is equally as creative and loves saving money just as much as I do introduced me to this recipe years back. I am forever thankful for taking the leap into making my own products for my household. I get a lot of questions about my do-it-yourself laundry detergent. One being; Does it really clean your clothes? My answer…Absolutely! I have never had any issues of dirt or grime not coming off and I’d like to think that I don’t walk around smelling like an old trash can -lol- don’t worry, I smell just fine!
For a while, I just asked my friend how to make the homemade laundry detergent and did not realize she was using a source from the internet. For the first year, I followed her recipe to the tee. Soon after, I became vegan and realized the soap from the original recipe was not vegan at all. I decided to tweak the recipe and form one of my own. This is the current recipe I use today and the one that will be posted down below.
I am forever grateful for the original recipe, which you can find here: Mom’s Super Laundry Sauce Laundry Soap Recipe
Budget101 is a wonderful website, not just for introducing me to this recipe but for so many other reasons such as; diy creations, frugal living, gardening, gift ideas, etc. This site is great for mothers, minimalist, or anyone looking to save some money and put more thought into what you use around/in your home. Some of the diy projects are not vegan, but I find that with a little bit of research you can turn almost anything vegan.
Let’s get started!
Before I get into this recipe I’d like to touch on something that was brought to my attention from someone in a vegan group that I follow. Unfortunately, Arm & Hammer washing soda is not cruelty-free. I was mistaken by this when I read some information from PETA’S website that was not entirely clear. They had an article on making homemade detergent and said to use washing soda which can be found in the laundry aisle at the grocery store, the only washing soda I’ve ever seen in my local grocery store is Arm & Hammer. I take full responsibility for not doing more intense research over this product. However, I am human and make mistakes just like everyone else on this planet. I actually view this mistake as something positive. It shows that even after four years of being a dedicated vegan, I too can mess up. The lesson learned is to not beat yourself up over the mistake; take it and learn from it (whether it be something like using a product that is not cruelty-free OR accidentally eating something you thought was vegan and it turned out not to be). I am thankful that I have wonderful followers that speak up when something is not correct, that way I can fix the mistake, learn from it, and hopefully help others with the new knowledge I have gained.
With this new-found knowledge I thought I would take the opportunity to find a washing soda that was vegan and cruelty free. This turned out to be WAY more difficult then I imagined it being. However, I did find some awesome videos on how to turn baking soda into washing soda. I will provide you with the simple directions on how to do that. In the future I will do this myself and create a blog post about it! I might even experiment on a new laundry detergent and redo this entire post. I have decided to keep this post up and modify it to be a cruelty free version.
Before you get started here is how to make washing soda from baking soda.
1.) Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
2.) Sprinkle Baking Soda (this recipe calls for 1 cup feel free to make extra to store for future uses) on a oven safe pan, bake it for about a half hour. Stir it up occasionally for it to bake more easily.
3.) You will know that it has turned from baking soda to washing soda when the texture becomes more dull, grainy and does not clump as easily.
4.) Let it cool and it’ll be ready for use or storing.
Please, if anyone does know of a company that sells cruelty free washing soda, leave a comment. I would love to check them out and show support!
1 bar of “Dr. Bronner’s, pure-castile bar soap” (I use lavender but this bar does come in other scents)
1 cup washing soda (see above directions to make your own)
1 cup borax
4 cups of water
The first thing you need to do is chop the soap into small little pieces. In the past, I have grated the soap finely by putting it into a food processor. I find that Dr. Bronner’s soap melts rather quickly and is a lot easier to melt so it’s not as important to get it into the smallest pieces possible but it certainly wouldn’t do harm if you wanted to grate it into soap dust.
In a medium size bowl, mix both the borax and washing soda together. Combine them well and set aside.
Fill a large cooking pot with 4 cups of water. Heat on the stove and bring the water to a rapid boil. Once the water is boiling, add the chopped soap. Stir frequently. Honestly, do not go very far from the pot. You do not want a soapy mess to clean up. Just keep stirring until the soap has dissolved. This should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
Once the soap has melted, turn the stove off and remove the pot from the heated burner. Slowly add in the borax/washing soda and stir very well. I tend to stir this for about 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be fully melted and there not to be any grain at the bottom of the pan.
In two quart mason jars, pour the liquid into each one equally. There will be space left in the jars. With this extra space, fill with water up until it reaches the “shoulders” of the mason jars.
Note: In this photo it looks as if it is filled above the shoulders. It is not, I poured the water into them faster then I should have and the top layer is just extra foam that eventually settled down.
Put the lids on the mason jars. I highly recommend tightening them as tight as you can. Turn the jars upside down and let them sit for four hours. After four hours you will immediately whip the mixture into a fluffy cream.
Note: I apologize for the messy jar photos, it does get messy if you are not careful.
If you unscrew the base from your blender pitcher, you will see that the blade fits perfectly onto a regular mason jar (not wide mouth jars). I am not sure about every blender but I believe most, if not all Oster blenders have this capability. If yours does fit directly onto the jar then you can use this method for whipping up your laundry detergent. Just screw the lid on and blend anywhere from one to five minutes until a light and fluffy consistency is created.
If you do not have a blender that fits directly onto your mason jar, then you will want to scoop out the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the ingredients until it is light and fluffy. Than, scoop the contents back into the mason jars for storing.
If you’d like, you can create a cuter label then mine. This detergent works well in any washing machine. You only need about 1 tbsp. per load of laundry. When washing your laundry, scoop detergent directly into the machine under running water and let it fall off of the spoon and onto your clothes, towels, linens, etc. From there do your laundry as you normally would.
I hope that this recipe inspires you to start making your own laundry detergent. Not only will you save tons of money, you will also know exactly what kind of ingredients you are ultimately putting on your skin.