Doing the laundry can be expensive, especially for families. But laundry soap is not only pricey, it also typically contains toxic chemicals. Next time, instead of buying your soap at your local grocery store, why not try making it yourself with this homemade laundry soap recipe? Homemade laundry soap is not only easy to make, it’s also really cost effective. Try it and experience the benefits today!
Why Make the Switch
Conventional laundry detergents are typically loaded with all kinds of questionable ingredients. You may think it doesn’t matter since you’re only washing your clothes, not your body. But think again, the health hazardous ingredients in laundry detergents can be harmful to very human health as well as to the environment.
One of the top offending ingredients in laundry detergents is “fragrance”. As I’ve talked about before, dangerous synthetic scents like this have been shown to be extremely toxic. Yes, they may leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean, but these fake fragrances can also leave you with some major as well as common health problems (like headaches). A report by the National Academy of Sciences reveals that approximately 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). These chemicals include things like carcinogenic benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene, and a bunch of other toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, and central nervous system disorders. (1)
Another ingredient commonly found in conventional laundry soaps is bleach. While bleach may be excellent at getting whites their whitest, it has also been shown to irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. In fact, a study study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine suggests that even just “passive exposure” to bleach in the home is associated with a greater chance of respiratory illness and other infections in children. (2)
Other problematic ingredients commonly found in laundry detergent include chemical surfactants, stabilizers and brighteners. Another offender is 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that 1,4-dioxane is possibly carcinogenic to humans. (3) There are are just so many ingredients in commercial laundry soaps that are seriously concerning.
Using homemade laundry detergent not only helps you avoid a plethora of health destructive laundry chemicals, it can also help your clothes last longer since they’re not being exposed to such harsh ingredients. Your skin will also thank you because it won’t be irritated by heavy dyes, chemicals and fake fragrances. Your nose, lungs and entire body will also thank you for avoiding the synthetic scents in those store-bought versions.
Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredient Benefits
Let’s break down what exactly is going into this homemade laundry soap and why the ingredients are much better for your health, the health of your loved ones and the environment.
Castile soap: Pure castile soap is an eco-friendly, biodegradable soap made from plant oils. This soap is so gentle that it can be used to wash your skin and hair yet it is strong enough to thoroughly clean clothes. You can also use pure unscented castile soap to rinse fruit, clean dishes and so much more! It’s really a great product to keep around your home.
Washing soda: Washing soda or sodium bicarbonate is a very affordable and highly effective natural cleaning agent. It has an excellent reputation for fighting tough stains when added to laundry detergent. Washing soda also receives an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group for its safety to both humans and the environment. (4)
Baking soda: Baking soda is so inexpensive (you can easily buy a box for one dollar or less) yet it is such an effective non-toxic cleaning agent. What we call baking soda or sodium bicarbonate occurs in its natural form as the mineral nahcolite. It’s so non-toxic that it is commonly added to recipes, taken on its own for all kinds of health benefits, and can even be used to make a homemade face wash, face scrub or shampoo.
Lavender essential oil: Adding essential oils to this recipe is optional so feel free to leave your homemade laundry detergent completely fragrance-free. If you do opt to add lavender essential oil then make sure you’re using a high-quality 100 percent pure oil. Adding lavender oil not only makes this detergent smell delightful, but it also adds proven stress-reducing and mood-lifting aromatherapy benefits. Plus, lavender oil has antimicrobial properties so its a perfect disinfectant for dirty clothes. (5)
Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint essential oil is the perfect complimentary oil to pair with lavender. While lavender is sweet, floral and calming, peppermint oil adds a bright, herbal and energizing scent to this recipe. Peppermint oil also has natural antimicrobial properties. Again, just make sure you are using a pure essential oil.
How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap
Making laundry soap at home really isn’t time consuming, costly or labor intensive. As long as you have all of the ingredients on hand, all you have to do to create this recipe is combine the ingredients in an airtight container and mix. Doesn’t get much simpler than that! For a large load of wash, use about a fourth of a cup of soap.
Homemade Laundry Soap
- 1 bar grated Castille soap
- 2 cups washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
- Use 1/4 cup per large load (adjust accordingly, especially for high-efficiency washers, for which you may want to wait until the water runs through soap dispenser).