Over the years since I first posted my homemade laundry detergent recipe, I’ve gotten a number of questions about the formula. The most frequent one being: is it HE compliant? And since I don’t have an HE washer (yet!), I couldn’t answer! So thank goodness for Jen and Ken, two awesome Bonzai readers and all-around amazing people who you may remember from this mini MMM many months back. They did the research and the experimentation, and here they present the recipe: modified for HE washer maximum performance. Thanks so much guys!
This is reprinted with permission. You can read the original blog post here.
Since we started working as Innkeepers at Foothills Lodge and Cabins last October, we purchased our initial investment of supplies and haven’t had to buy any additional ingredients since. Running to the store because we’ve run out of laundry soap is a thing of the past around here. And we live 47 miles away from the nearest big box store or large grocery store so if we can find all the ingredients, I know you can too. Okay, let’s get started!
One Large Stock Pot
A Long Spoon
A 5 Gallon Bucket
2 Cups of Washing Soda (Soda Ash)
2 Cups of Borax
1/4 Cup Dr Bronners Liquid Castille Soap
15-20 drops Essential Oil
Some recipes call for vinegar to be added into the detergent, but Ken found it works better when he adds it to our fabric softener slot in the washer. When we do this it rinses through after the soap has, and for whatever reason when we do this we don’t need to use dryer sheets. Even living at 8200 feet where it is VERY dry, we don’t get shocked anymore.
Fill the stock pot about 2/3 full of hot water and put it over medium heat. Pour the Borax and Washing Soda in – give it a stir. It’s not boiling but it’s getting pretty hot so be careful! Add the 1/4 cup of Dr Bronners and the 15-20 drops of oil. Give it another quick stir.
Right before your lovely smelling concoction comes to a boil, remove it from the burner and pour the contents into an empty 5 gallon bucket. Then fill up the stock pot again with HOT water and pour that into the bucket. It will just about fill the bucket, and that’s what you want.
See how it’s almost full? The size of your stock pot might make this a little different, so just remember that the recipe makes 5 gallons, so if you have to add a little more or a little less, that’s okay, just as long as you end up with 5 gallons.
We put our finished product in recycled bleach bottles.
And that’s it! Wasn’t that simple?? Cover the bucket and let it stand over night. In the morning when you take the lid off it will be ready to use. Don’t worry if there are little clumps of stuff in it. That is perfectly normal and those dissolve easily when you start the load. It might look kinda funky compared to that thick, pretty stuff you’re probably used to, but it’s not about how it looks, it’s about how your clothes look, and they will look (and smell) FANTASTIC!
Thanks so much again to Jen and Ken for cracking this code for all the BA readers out there!