I've been making laundry soap for a decade. It's cheaper than store-bought eco-friendly options and works just as well. I make this recipe once a month:
Borax-free liquid laundry soap recipe
Preparation time: 10 minutes or less
Yield: seven litres
Shelf life: six months
7 L (28 cups) hot water
250 ml (1 cup) baking soda
250 ml (1 cup) liquid castile soap
80 ml (1/3 cup) salt
Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest
Add dry ingredients to hot water (I reuse a pail). Stir to dissolve. Add liquid castile soap last. (Choose unscented. Or try those scented with essential oils.) Stir. Add 125 to 250 ml (½ to 1 cup) per load.
Note: This mixture will separate. Stir batch before adding to a load of laundry.
Bring costs and waste down: Buy ingredients in bulk!
Does this recipe work in HE machines?
Yes, so I've heard. (I don't have an HE machine myself...yet.) This recipe's mostly water with a low-sudsing soap. You can also try my other laundry soap recipes, one liquid and one dry.
Does this recipe work, even on stains?
Yes. But its effectiveness will vary due to:
- Water hardness
- How soiled your laundry is
- Your machine
I use a stain stick for tough stains. Find eco-friendly ones at organic grocers and health food stores. (I'm working on my own recipe. It's a mashup of green cleaning know how and cold-process soap making skills!) Or, try these DIY stain solutions.
What's the difference between soap and detergent?
Soaps are water-soluble fatty acids salts treated with a strong alkali, lye.
Detergents contain one or more surfactants. They're less finicky to water hardness than soap and often don't form a film. Most are petrochemicals (made from petroleum) and/or oleochemicals (from fats and oils).
What's water hardness?
It's mineral salts in your water: calcium, magnesium and sometimes iron and manganese. They react with soap to form film or scum.
If you have hard water (view map), add more soap. Some of the soap or detergent binds with the minerals. Instead of cleaning your clothes, it gets washed down the drain.
What about static cling?
What's the most effective "green" laundry tip you've tried?
I'll compile your tips and post them in a future blog. And I'll mail you a sheet of stickers to label your homemade products!
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green