Looking for a non-toxic laundry alternative? Learn how to make homemade laundry detergent with just two ingredients!
Who doesn’t love the clean and fresh smell of just laundered clothes? There is just something so simple and pure about clean clothes. However, if you wash your clothes with conventional commercial laundry detergent, chances are they are not simply pure.
Sadly, most laundry detergent sold today contains ingredients that are harming your health and the health of the planet. However, there is a solution. Making your own homemade laundry detergent is the way to go if your desire is to have simple and pure, fresh laundry.
Conventional Laundry Detergent Is Nothing Short Of Toxic
As mentioned above, conventional laundry detergent is not pure.
Here is a short list of some of the nasty things that may be lurking in your detergent. Suffice it to say that if you can’t pronounce something it is probably not good for you!
- Fragrances – We all love that “just laundered” aroma we get when we pull clothes out of the wash. Unfortunately, that fragrance is often coming from something not so great. Many chemicals used to make fragrances can cause irritation on the skin and even in the respiratory tract. If your detergent merely says “fragrance” you have no idea what that fragrance is and it could be very toxic.
- Surfactants – Surfactants are chemicals that give cleaning agents a boost. There is a number that may be contained in your laundry detergent including, quaternion-15, which releases formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates, which is toxic to nerves and can cause skin rashes, asthma, and respiratory problems, and linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) which can cause irritation to eyes and skin and are also toxic to aquatic life. In addition, petroleum distillates, often found in laundry detergent have been linked to cancer and lung damage.
- UV/Optical Brighteners – Just like their name says, these chemicals are meant to absorb UV light to make your clothes look brighter and whiter. A number of these chemicals, which remain on clothing after washing, can cause allergic reactions, and some have been found to be hormone disruptors and carcinogenic.
- Phosphates and EDTA – You may have heard of how phosphates cause damage to waterways. They cause algae blooms and disrupt the ecosystem. Added to detergent in order to make it effective in hard water, phosphates have been eliminated from some detergents and replaced with EDTA ( ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) which has been found to be toxic.
Making Your Own Detergent Saves Money
Added to the fact that laundry detergent is full of dangerous chemicals, it can also be costly. Making your own will not only save your health but also your pocketbook. On average, Americans spend between $180- $600 per year on laundry detergent. If you make your own you will experience considerable savings. The average load cost using conventional detergent is anywhere between.11 cents per load to .23 cents per load. Homemade laundry detergent is generally around .01 cent per load. You don’t even have to do the math to see what an incredible saving this is!
Making Your Own Detergent Is Not Difficult
Making homemade laundry detergent is not difficult or expensive. It takes just a few supplies and provides great peace of mind that you are doing something awesome for your health and the health of the planet.
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Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
Looking for a non-toxic laundry alternative? Learn how to make homemade laundry detergent with just two ingredients! This recipe makes 8 cups of laundry detergent, which is approximately 45 loads.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- 3 bars Dr. Bronner’s Coconut Oil Soap
- 6 1/2 cups washing soda
- Grate the soap bars into small pieces using a cheese grater or food processor.
- Use a food processor to mix the grated soap and washing soda together.
- Pour into a storage container.
How to use:
Use 3 tablespoons of detergent for each load. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle as a natural laundry softener. When drying, use wool dryer balls with 1-2 drops of essential oils on each ball. This will shorten the drying time and leave your clothes smelling amazing.
This article was originally published May 25th, 2019 and was updated on May 19th, 2021.As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.