For a lot of us, switching to a zero waste lifestyle means making quite a few things from scratch. Finding everything you need package free and in bulk is extremely hard. It wasn’t until recently that I came across the one and only store in Kansas City that sells bulk all-natural laundry soap. Of course, driving 45 minutes to get there seems counterproductive when trying to lessen my environmental impact. I do still fill up my bottles when I’m in the area – but to hold me over until then, I have resorted to making my own Zero Waste Laundry Detergent.
At first, I was annoyed when it came down to having to make my own soap but quickly changed my perspective after the first time I made it. It was actually really easy! I can whip up a batch that will last me a month in less time than it would take me to run to the store and purchase a bottle. It also helps that this recipe is only 3 ingredients: washing soda, baking soda, and pure castile soap. I’ve read mixed opinions on the safety of borax so I just opted to try making powder without it. It’s funny how we always think homemade means “will take forever to make.” This would also be a fun project for your little ones to help out with. Put them to work. Grating that soap wears you out! Of course, I have noodle arms so it’s probably just me.
In addition to how easy it is to make laundry powder, you will also save quite a bit of money. Store bought is not cheap, unless you buy the cheapest bottle there is which I can guarantee you will not clean your clothes. Been there, done that. I used to spend about $15 a month on laundry detergent since the name brand jugs would last me about 2 months. Now, a month of soap costs me around $6 if I don’t get anything on sale. It’s just my husband and me, so we don’t produce that much laundry. I can imagine if you have kids it would cost you more
I was skeptical that this homemade soap would actually “clean” my clothes, so I started using it in addition to my store-bought stuff to compare. I was actually very surprised that the homemade powder did just as good of a job or better. My husband’s socks were definitely whiter, thank you baking soda. The real test was washing my dogs’ beds. Normally I have to wash them about 2-3 times to get the smell out. With the laundry powder, it worked the first time.
So all in all, I am very pleased with my zero waste laundry powder. No more plastic bottles for me!
Zero Waste Laundry Detergent
Author: Megean Weldon
Recipe Type: Cleaning
Yield: Almost a quart
1 cup Baking Soda (bulk bins/paper)
1 cup Washing Soda (bulk bins/paper)
1 bar Pure Castile Soap (paper)
Several drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)