Love Your Laundry: Homemade Laundry Detergents

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Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
Make your own laundry detergent to keep harsh chemicals out of your clothes.

For fresh, clean laundry without chemicals, make your own powders and sprays.

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups baking soda
12 cups washing soda
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine baking soda, washing soda and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load. Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

*Try Sun Feather Natural Soap Company, or buy bars of castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s) and grate with a kitchen grater.

Pre-Wash Stain Spray

1⁄2 cup white vinegar
1⁄4 cup baking soda
3 cups water

Stir together and fill a labeled spray bottle. Spray on soiled spots just before washing. Always test a hidden spot first.

Bleach/Brightener Substitute

1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1⁄4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice
12 cups water

Store in a labeled plastic jug. Add 2 cups per load along with detergent.

Extra tips:
For extra-clean clothes, follow your detergent with 1/2 cup of washing soda, an all-natural laundry booster. Add baking soda to wash water at the same time as detergent to soften and freshen clothes and linens.

Buy It Instead

phosphate- and chlorine-free bleach, detergent and stain fighter

Clorox Green Works
naturally derived detergent and stain remover

Green Virgin Products Soap Nuts
100 percent natural hypoallergenic laundry soap

Planet Inc.
100 percent biodegradable detergent

Seventh Generation
nontoxic, biodegradable bleach, detergent, softener