For a lot of us, switching to a zero waste lifestyle means making quite a few things from scratch. Finding everything you need package free and in bulk is extremely hard. It wasn't until recently that I came across the one and only store in Kansas City that sells bulk all natural laundry soap. Of course, driving 45 minutes to get there seems counter productive when trying to lessen my environmental impact. I do still fill up my bottles when I'm in the area - but to hold me over until then, I have resorted to making my own.
At first I was annoyed when it came down to having to make my own soap but quickly changed my perspective after the first time I made it. It was actually really easy! I can whip up a batch that will last me a month in less time than it would take me to run to the store and purchase a bottle. It also helps that this recipe is only 3 ingredients: washing soda, baking soda, and pure castile soap. I've read mixed opinions on the safety of borax so I just opted to try making powder without it. It's funny how we always think homemade means "will take forever to make." This would also be a fun project for your little ones to help out with. Put them to work. Grating that soap wears you out! Of course, I have noodle arms so it's probably just me.
In addition to how easy it is to make laundry powder, you will also save quite a bit of money. Store bought is not cheap, unless you buy the cheapest bottle there is which I can guarantee you will not clean your clothes. Been there, done that. I used to spend about $15 a month on laundry detergent since the name brand jugs would last me about 2 months. Now, a month of soap costs me around $6 if I don't get anything on sale. It's just my husband and I, so we don't produce that much laundry. I can imagine if you have kids it would cost you more
I was skeptical that this homemade soap would actually "clean" my clothes, so I started using it in addition to my store bought stuff to compare. I was actually very surprised that the homemade powder did just as good of job or better. My husband's socks were definitely whiter, thank you baking soda. The real test was washing my dogs' beds. Normally I have to wash them about 2-3 times to get the smell out. With the laundry powder, it worked the first time.
So all in all, I am very pleased with my zero waste laundry powder. No more plastic bottles for me!
Homemade Laundry Powder
Author: Megean Weldon
Recipe Type: Cleaning
Yield: Almost a quart
- 1 cup Baking Soda (bulk bins/paper)
- 1 cup Washing Soda (bulk bins/paper)
- 1 bar Pure Castile Soap (paper)
- Several drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
- Finely grate the bar of castile soap.
- Mix baking soda, washing soda, castile soap, and essential oil together.
- Use about 2-3 tablespoons per load depending on size and load soil level.