Homemade laundry detergent is simple to make and can cost much less than store-bought brands. Adding baking soda to laundry detergent can help lift stains from fabric, as baking soda is a natural stain remover. Make laundry soap at home by combining baking soda with bar soap, the mineral borax or vinegar, then add a few drops of scented essential oils to make it smell nice.
To make homemade laundry detergent using baking soda, you will also need hot water and bar soap, such as Ivory soap. Use unscented or lightly-scented soap, especially if you add essential oils. Grate soap into a saucepan and add water until it covers the flakes of soap. Heat the soap over medium-high heat, stirring frequently as the soap melts. Pour the melted soap into a tub of hot water and add baking soda. Stir it well until the liquid is mixed thoroughly. Pour the detergent into an old, clean detergent bottle with a cap. Shake it well before each use, and add ½ to 1 cup of detergent per each full load.
This laundry soap is actually in powdered form. Borax is a natural-occurring mineral that is used as a cleaning agent. Borax can usually be found at the grocery store in the aisle where laundry detergents and cleaning products are sold. Borax can be mixed with baking soda to make laundry detergent. To do this, combine borax, baking soda, washing soda and grated pieces of bar soap. Mix all of the ingredients well in a large tub and seal it completely. Before use, shake or stir the mixture well, then use 1/8 cup of powder for each load.
Though adding vinegar to laundry detergent may sound odd, vinegar is actually an effective cleaning agent. To make this powdered laundry soap, combine vinegar, baking soda, washing soda and liquid soap. Pour the liquid soap into a bowl, then stir in the washing soda and the baking soda. Add the vinegar in small batches as you stir. The mixture will foam and then turn into a paste. Continue stirring until it is completely mixed. Break up any lumps that remain as you stir. Use ½ cup for each load of laundry.
If you have hard water or well water, and your clothes come out looking dingy, tweak the recipe slightly by adding more soap or baking soda. Also, because many of the recipes call for hot water, contact a nearby restaurant and see if they have some empty oil barrels. If you wash them out well, they work great as storage containers.