Check out my recipe for liquid laundry “detergent”.
It’s borax free and can be made with items found in your home. It doesn’t gel up or thicken like a liquid soap. It’s very thin and watery but it gets the job done! I find that it gets our clothes cleaner and softer than commercial detergent. You can always follow up with a white vinegar rinse if you want even more softening or if you have very hard water. I find that our laundry drier balls work just fine to ease the static, no vinegar rinse necessary. This works fine in a high efficiency washer- however because HE washers use less water, you may want to use less detergent.
I can’t tell you if this works on highly soiled items. The most soiled laundry we have are the cleaning rags. For very soiled items, you may want to rinse them off first and let them soak in this soap for a bit before throwing it in the wash. I can’t tell you how it works out on mud or grease…
To disinfect cleaning rags and cloth tissues/handkerchiefs, I soak them in boiling water with some white vinegar and some of this laundry soap. Then I wash them in a separate load in hot water, dry on hot.
Before people comment- yes, handkerchiefs are not sanitary; that’s why you shouldn’t use the same one over and over again. I use old cut up t-shirts. Use once then wash your hands. We also operate under stay home if you’re sick. If your unwell enough to have to constantly blow your nose then you need to stay home because your probably contagious. It’s about respecting the health and well being of others… I’ll make a whole post on reusable tissues/handkerchiefs!
Liquid Laundry Detergent
- 1/4 teaspoon washing soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Castile soap
- 2-3 drops of tea tree oil (disinfectant)
- 5+ drops of essential oil for scent (optional. I don’t notice much smell on my clothes after they are washed. They just smell clean. I like to use some lavender oil). If you want a stronger scent add essential oil to your dryer ball.
- 8 ounces of boiling water.
Mix ingredients together then add water. Stir to dissolve. Let cool before adding to your container. Use 2 tablespoons per load (less for HE washer). One batch is enough for about 10 loads and fills an 8oz container.
I can fit 3 and 1/2 batches into my container so I adjust the recipe accordingly. I’m writing the small batch version in this blog so that you can easily adjust it to your container.
I repurposed this old mead bottle for the laundry soap; It’s easy to pour from. I don’t find that a funnel is necessary. The mouth is wide enough that I can pour directly into the bottle from my Pyrex measuring cup.
I marked it off in 2 tablespoon increments. Not that I get an exact pour, but this helps me know that I’m in the ball park. It also helps determine how many loads I have left. I marked the bottle by adding two tablespoons of water at a time, then adding a mark. I did this a few times until the bottle hit a point where the glass was the same size/shape. Then I just eyeballed it until the glass started to change. I wine back to adding two tablespoons at a time for each mark. It took a small bit of time, but it’s helpful in the long run to make sure you are wasting soap. Sharpie does rub off glass after a while, so you’ll have to remark it from time to time. Just catch it before they wear away completely to avoid the measuring process again.
As always, if the glass is not for canning be very careful about sudden changes in temperature or adding boiling water as the glass can shatter. If you aren’t sure if it’s heat resistant like a canning jar, let your liquid cool to at least room temperature. Or, sit the bottle in the sink and don’t hold onto it as you pour. This way, if it does break it’s less of a mess to clean and you won’t cut your hand.
If you find that this recipe works for you, don’t forget to write the recipe directly into the bottle- no need to dig through recipes to find it. Of course, the sharpie will come off over time so don’t forget to save this blog!