I consider my new formula to be cloth-safe because I have tested it out on my son’s overnight diapers and don’t have any bad odors. Note that I am a commercial detergent user so if you’re not, I’d give the link below for The Eco-Friendly Family’s recipe a try to see if it works for you.
Most homemade laundry detergent recipes are pretty similar and then I stumbled on to this one. I have made this recipe twice now and not only does it work really well, it lasts forever. One batch lasted our family of four about eight months, if not more. You can even make it cloth safe.
Since this is a large recipe, you will want to find a bucket with a lid. I like the Home Depot all-purpose 5-gallon buckets, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- 1 (4 lb 12 oz) box of Borax
- 1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 2 (5 oz) bars of Castile soap
- 1 (5 lb) bag of Baking Soda
- 1 (3 lb) container of oxygen bleach
- Citrus essential oil or tea tree oil (optional)
- Grate the soap with a cheese grater or grater attachment on your food processor. Once it’s grated, put it in a food processor to grind it down to a powder if you want though this isn’t necessary. OR you can microwave it and save your wrists. To microwave. cut the soap into quarters and put it in the microwave for about a minute or so depending on your microwave. It will puff up and look a bit like spray foam insulation. Let it cool and then it will easily crumble apart.
- Put all of the powdered ingredients in the bucket then add the castile soap. Mix well to combine.
- Add the essential oil if using it. It will clump a bit so mix it up again really well to break it up and distribute evenly.
Depending on your load size, washer type, and water hardness, use between 2-3 tbsp of detergent per load. If you have hard water you will want to use a little more and a little less for soft water; I use 1/4 cup in my hard water.
Cloth diaper formula
Some people claim to have good results with a “cloth diaper detergent” and others do not. If you want to give it a try, leave out the soap, baking soda, and the essential oil. Baking soda and essential oils like tea tree oil are fine to use on occasion, but I am not sure that I would use it in every wash. The Eco-Friendly Family also has a cloth diaper detergent recipe.
*I claim no responsibility for the status of your diaper warranty. Please do your research to decide if this is a route you should choose to take for washing your cloth diapers.
Have you ever made your own homemade laundry detergent? How did it work for you?
Laundry images courtesy of Keerati, Carlos Porto, & Natara at FreeDigitalPhotos.net