One of the first changes I made in our home, in order to create a more natural lifestyle, was in the laundry room. First, my love for Tide was replaced with a homemade soap that was simple and effective. Next, my dryer sheets were replaced with wool balls. Slowly, over time, I discovered natural (and super easy!) solutions for nearly every laundry product I needed.
With just a few basic ingredients, natural laundry products can be made at home. Since you can use the same “ingredients” to make multiple products, homemade laundry solutions can even save money.
Now, I get it. The whole process of making the switch to homemade products can be a bit overwhelming. The process doesn’t need to be complicated or exhausting. Simply start with the products you most often use in your laundry room and start making one small change. Small, practical changes are the building blocks to a doable long-term natural lifestyle. Let’s take our lesson from the tortoise…slow and steady always wins the race.
6 Laundry Products to Stop Buying and Start Making
Laundry Soap: The task of making your own laundry soap sounds daunting, but it couldn’t be easier. Simply mix a few ingredients together. That’s it.
Homemade Stain Remover: Ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and an early morning beet juice; talk about a recipe for disaster. This homemade stain remover is made with just a few basic ingredients and boasts a major stain-busting punch. POW!
Homemade Oxi-Clean Like Powder: When clothes need a little extra boost, Homemade Oxi-Clean Like Powder is the perfect natural solution. This powder is made with just two ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and washing soda.
Homemade Bleach Alternative: When clothes get a little dingy it’s time to call upon the power of lemons, washing soda, and hydrogen peroxide!
Salt Fabric Softener and Scent Booster: Salt is the secret ingredient to fresh smelling clothes with extra softness in my laundry room. To make a homemade fabric softener and scent booster, simply combine 5 cups of sea salt or kosher salt (I purchase $2 large boxes from Costco) and add 1-2 teaspoons of a cleaning essential oil (lemon or lavender are my favorite). As the washing machine fills up, add 1/3 cup of the salts. The salt softens hard water and naturally adds cleaning power needed for a fresh scent.
Homemade Wool Dry Balls: If you’d like to add something to the dryer to soften laundry, ditch the dryer sheets and purchase or make dryer balls. You can also purchase these handy dryer balls on Amazon or some stores (HomeGoods, etc).
Having trouble finding castille soap locally. Also couldn’t find your “where to buy” link. What am i missing? LOVE YOUR site. I’ve made homemade laundry detergent and now wondering what else I can make. My family has sensitive skin so love your ideas. Thanks!!
Hey Allison, Are you in the US? If so, Amazon may be your best bet: http://amzn.to/2ncKqG6. Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and other health food stores also sell castile soap. The “were to buy” links are the blue words in recipes. I used to write “where to buy” next to ingredients, and we just upgraded to links. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the products.
I have a front loading machine with a dispenser for liquid detergent. It also takes detergent marked for High Efficiency machines. Would this detergent be safe to use with an HE machine? Does it work well if you put it in the dispenser? I currently use a natural brand, but am interested in trying this. Also, I do currently use a little oxi-clean for badly stained items, but I have to put a small amount of the powder at the bottom of the barrel before putting the clothes in. If I put too much, it will leave powder remnants in the machine and on the wet clothes. Would the oxi-clean alternative work about the same? Can I also use the fabric softener salt in the same manner (to soften the clothes). I know we also have some hard water issues in our area, but I don’t use fabric softener otherwise, and my towels still seem ok.
Hey Jill, The laundry soap is safe to use in a front-loader. I recommend using 1-2 TB, and then adjusting the amount if needed. I know many readers use the soap in the dispenser. I’m not sure about the oxi-clean, since I haven’t been able to test this recipe in a front-loader. There are a few “better” oxi-clean products on the market, so I would stick with this for now in the front-loader. If you want to give the homemade version a try, you could try mixing the two ingredients together (to create a paste-like substance) and then put it in the dispenser. For the salt, this recipe is based on Mrs. Meyer’s scent booster. Here’s what the site recommends, “Q. Can I use Laundry Scent boosters in my HE Laundry Machine?
A. Yes, Mrs. Meyer’s Scent Boosters can be added into your machine right on top of your clothes before starting your wash. Do not put it in any of the dispenser trays.” I would use the salt in the same way.
Thanks for the great post!
Great ideas, I’m definitely going to try dryer balls.
DIY cleaning is much smarter option. You save money, its easy to do, and most importantly it doesn’t harm our health or the environment.
My website has a few more tips on green cleaning, I hope you will visit it!
Awesome, Demi! Enjoy the dryer balls. I look forward to checking out your site.
I love your laundry detergent recipe. I was hesitant about Borax at first, but borax free detergent recipes just don’t seem to work as well. I agree with you, that it’s still better than Tide!
Hey Aileen, I’ve found the same issue with Borax-free soap recipes. The Borax really does a great job at cleaning :).
Also I love your site!
Does the salt dissolve quickly as the fabric softener? And in cold water? I have noticed some of my clothes feeling a bit crunchy. Do you think that is a sign of hard water?
Hey Sharon, Thank you! It’s great to hear you’re loving Live Simply. I haven’t had an issue with the salt not dissolving in cold water, yet. I just add the salt before the clothes. I’m not sure if the crunchy feeling is a sign of hard water, but it could be. We have very hard water and noticed our towels weren’t ever soft until I added salt to the washing machine.
The website EWG.org says not to use Borax because it’s not a safe ingredient. What is your opinion on their information.
Hey Barbara, I feel like Borax is safe enough to use in my home. Here’s a great article from Wellness Mama: http://wellnessmama.com/26407/borax-safe/.
Hello! Love your posts and thank you for sharing. Do you offer a recipe for a fabric spray (febreeze alternative)? Also, do you offer a disinfectant spray that’s safe on couches etc? Thanks!
Hey Patricia, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. A disinfectant spray and fabric spray can be made with equal parts vodka and water. I usually add tea tree or lavender essential oil to the spray. You could add other oils according to your scent preference.