Laundry soap does not get more simple than this, my friends. I have made and used several different homemade laundry soaps over the past five years, some powder and some liquid. When we decided to become Fulltime RVers, I knew that I would need to make a change in order to streamline ingredients to minimize space. Most recipes use Borax and Washing Soda (they work together to soften water and remove stains), and I knew I wanted to continue using both of those; but I wanted to switch the soap I used to Castile soap. Why? Because castile soap is my go to soap. It is sulfate-free and natural. I use it as body wash, diluted for handsoap, and even as dishsoap when I am out. This stuff is so versatile and MUCH more healthy for your body to be in contact with. Using one product for multiple purposes is a big win-win in our tiny household. Thus, the below recipe was born with ease of making in mind.
Simple, Effective Laundry Soap
- 1 C Washing Soda
- 1 C Borax
- 1 C Castile Soap (I buy the unscented-baby mild, but this link shows all the scent options.)
- 1 gallon container ( I use a leftover plastic water jug.)
- Put 8 cups of water on Medium heat. As soon as bubbles begin to rise from the bottom, SLOWLY add in washing soda and borax (Be slow unless you want an overflow situation). Stir until dissolved. The water will turn a creamy color, you just want to stir until there is no more grit on the bottom. It will only take about a minute.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to about room temp (can be warmer).
- Pour this mixture in to the bottom of your empty gallon container.
- Add water to the gallon container until it is about 2/3 full.
- Add castile soap.
- Fill remainder of gallon with water.
- Gently turn upside down and back and forth to mix. (Following these simple steps will keep the detergent from overflowing with suds.)
Use a ¼ cup with each regular load, more for larger loads. I also apply the detergent directly to stains before washing with great success!
Shake before each use.
What to expect? The mixture will begin to jell as it sits, that is perfectly normal, just shake before use. I think the most difficult part of switching to a natural laundry detergent is the smell. We are so accustomed to associating fresh scents with cleanliness, but our minds our just being tricked. I use Unscented Castile Soap, because I use it for so many different applications and don’t always want a smell. I am accustomed to scentless now from body wash to hand soap to laundry, so I am actually now on the reverse side of the spectrum – my nose dislikes artificially scented soaps. Once you are away from them for a long time, they smell more like chemicals and are almost offensive. It does take time for the adjustment to occur, and if you really do want a scent, there is no reason not to have one. Castile soap comes scented. You can also always add your own essential oils to any soap. If you do want to use essential oils, you can add them to the batch when you add the soap, or you can just add a drop or two when you put your soap in the washer’s dispenser to do a load. This laundry detergent is effective, but if you have stains, be sure to apply it directly to the stain before washing.
Need a fabric softener? I use plain white vinegar in place of fabric softener. It won’t give you the exact same effect, but it will work without adding all those chemicals.