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Laundry detergent is one of the few things I haven’t tried making myself. I had been using a store bought “natural” brand that is supposed to be better for those with sensitive skin; however, the ingredient list is long and I rather use something that is 100% natural. I’ve been reading that castile soap can be used for laundry detergent and since it is one of my favorite cleaning solutions, I really wanted to give it a try! This is why I made a homemade laundry soap recipe using castile soap and a few other natural ingredients.
Avoid Toxins by Making Homemade Laundry Soap
Did you know that, according to Dr. Mercola, the typical family washes about 80 pounds of laundry a week and this means we are doing 35 billion loads of laundry per year? No wonder why I feel like I’m always doing laundry! But the worst part is that when you are doing your laundry, you not only come into contact with toxic chemicals, but you can breathe them when they get released in the air!
Most laundry soap contains toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through your skin or leave a toxic smell. What are these chemicals? Sometimes you may not even be able to find out what’s lurking in your detergent because manufacturers don’t have to list them all! A few of the worst chemicals you may see listed are: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), 1,4-dioxane, NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate) and phospates. Not only are these chemicals bad to breathe, but many many people have allergic reactions to laundry soap, such as skin rashes, hives or itchy skin.
Dry cleaning is one of the worst alternatives because when you first bring the clothes home, they emit toxic chemicals. The clothes emit toxins into your home environment for days! The chemical used by 85% of dry cleaners is PERC, perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene, and this has been classified by the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency as a “likely carcinogen”. This means that there is evidence that the chemical causes cancer in animals. Also, an expert panel working for the National Academy of Sciences agreed that a serious effect of PERC is nerve and brain damage. Next time you buy clothes that say “dry clean only” you might want to stop and think about how you are going to safely clean them.
Many homemade laundry soap recipes contain borax, a naturally occurring mineral, however there is debate on whether or not it safe to use. The Dr. Weston Price Foundation noted that people have died from overexposure to it. The foundation advises that you should never get exposed to it repeatedly or for extended periods of time. Additionally, it is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant and it is not safe to use around food. Some people even have reported allergic reactions from it. This is why making your own homemade laundry soap without borax may be best for you.
According to an EPA study, even though borax is a naturally occurring mineral, it is still considered to be of moderate acute toxicity. It has been listed in toxicity Category III due to oral and dermal effects, and skin/eye irritations.
This Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe is Easy!
Every time I see someone’s post for homemade laundry soap, I get excited thinking I can’t wait to try it, but unfortunately I’m never comfortable with the ingredients. Every recipe that I have found contains ingredients that I don’t want to use, such as borax. Plus, who has borax or a bar of Ivory soap laying around, I don’t! I want to use ingredients that are already in my kitchen and ones that I know are safe!
Can I use this Homemade Laundry Soap in my High Efficiency Washer?
According to Dr. Bronner’s daughter’s website, you can use this recipe in this type of washer, but cut the amount of castile soap in half. I have a few family members who have used this homemade laundry soap recipe in their HE washer and have never had a problem.
By using this homemade laundry soap recipe you can definitely save money! Store bought natural laundry soap can be pretty pricey and castile soap can be purchased in bulk, which is great! The other ingredients, vinegar and baking soda, are also inexpensive.
Ready to ditch the toxic laundry detergent and make your own homemade laundry soap? Here’s the recipe:
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe:
- 1/4 cup castile liquid soap (see it here)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil or any other essential oil that has anti-bacterial properties (see it here)
*This recipe is for 1 load of laundry, you can double or increase the recipe to last longer.
This recipe is very simple!
1. Combine ingredients and pour in a dish or container and stir. I store mine in a glass jar.
Have you tried a homemade laundry soap before?