ICYMI, I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with our 6th babe. ("I" being NSC's assistant manager, Christine). The day is quickly approaching where we will have 3 little boys under 3 years of age (plus those ever-muddy big kids!) all in one little house. Now, more than ever, I am in need of a trustworthy, affordable and baby-safe option for the mountains of laundry we create each week.
Which is why we decided to share with you my tried-and-true, natural, gluten free, affordable, and low-waste homemade laundry soap. This soap is a powder-based soap, and is safe and effective in your High Efficiency (HE) washer. It removes spit up stains, grass and mud stains, and even those "I do NOT want to know what that is" stains that so frequently grace my children's clothing.
Before I share the recipe, I wanted to touch on the ingredients in it. Borax, which has recently been a controversial ingredient, is a naturally found mineral composed of boron, oxygen, sodium and water. It is commonly found in many natural cleaning products that can be found on your local grocer's shelves such as Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyer's laundry soaps. The most important take away is that borax is completely safe to use as a cleaner in your home. Just don't eat large amounts (or any amounts) of it as it would be toxic to do so. There are multiple great links that explain the safety of the use of borax in your home on the web, this is our favorite.
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) is necessary to suds up those clothes. It is naturally composed of salt and limestone and is often referred to as "soda ash". In a pinch, it can be subbed for a fun science experiment with baking soda. Check out this recipe on how to make your own washing soda if you can't find any in your area!
And lastly, I prefer the castile soaps by Dr. Bronner's after much trial and error...for both their ability to clean well and for the results on my sensitive and eczema skinned babies. Our favorite combo of scents for our detergent is the All-One Hemp Rose, Lavender, and Citrus. Dr. Bronner's is organic, gluten free, fair trade certified and their packaging is 100% post consumer recycled AND 100% biodegradable. With all that goodness, we find as many uses as possible in our home for their castile soaps!
This recipe can be easy as 10 minutes, or take a slow afternoon up, depending on how you grate your soap and how much you would like to make. One "serving" allows my family to wash around 450 large loads...with some spare to scrub into stubborn stains by hand before tossing in the wash. The cost is a mere $17 ($4 for the washing soda, $4 for borax and $9 for 3 bar castile soaps). My children help me grate the soap, and mix the ingredients, just use caution when pouring in the powdery boxes of borax and washing soda to avoid unnecessary inhalation.
Natural DIY Soap Recipe
1 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Box Borax
3 bars (choose your own scent combo!) Dr. Bronner's castile bar soaps
Grate the 3 bars of soap into a large container. It is very humid where we live so I like to use a large canning jar with a sealing lid to store the soap in. You can grate by hand, or use a food processor or meat grinder to speed things up! It is easiest to do all of these if you pop the soaps in the freezer for 15-20 minutes first.
With your hands or a large wooden spoon, slowly stir in the boxes of washing soda and borax until mixed throughout with your finely grated soap.
That's it! I have a wooden scoop we like to use for measuring, I wash fairly large loads of laundry and it comes to just shy of 1/4 cup a load, but for a regular-sized load you only need 1-2 tbsp! Sprinkle your soap into the washing drum before adding your clothes and wash normally. We DO add vinegar to soften to our rinse cycle and it is completely safe with this soap recipe! For tough stains I make a little paste out of the laundry soap powder and water and scrub with a scrub brush, I have had great success with this treatment.
Pin us on pinterest and always have this recipe saved for future use!!