Chemical Free Laundry Soap Formulas, an Essential Guide

Only use 100% Pure Essential Oils!
Only use 100% Pure Essential Oils! | Source

An Argument For Doing Your Laundry the Essential Green Way

Manufacturers of laundry products spend a great deal of their time and money to advertise the products they produce. These companies attempt to convince consumers that their detergents, softeners, whiteners, and stain removers have magical powers that will annihilate laundry problems better than their competitors. In reality, not one of them does. The big laundry product companies get their cleaning power from some pretty caustic stuff like bleach, EDTA, and optical brighteners (that are generally very irritating allergens), proving that magic has nothing to do with their effectiveness. The honest truth (and fact) remains this, almost every commercial laundry soap contains close to 70% regular old washing soda. Where the differences fall into play is in the fragrance, color, and the percentage of additives in their formulas.

Detergent vs Homemade Essential Oil Laundry Soap

Laundry Detergent

Whether you realize it or not, you are more than likely using a lot more store bought laundry detergent per laundry load than you really need to. Do you know how much is really needed? Don't be fooled, the recommended amount on the box is almost twice as much as is needed for an average load. And get this; using too much detergent actually traps the dirt you just washed out of your clothes because it causes a residue to linger within the clothes fibers to grab hold of the dirt as it floats around in the washing machine cycle. So, if not for the sake of being environmentally friendly, think about the residue that WON"T get caught in your clothes, and the relief your budget will get from using less detergent in the first place!

Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips

  1. White Vinegar - Softens Blankets, dissolves uric acid (urine), reduces soap residue, breaks up grease and oil, is a natural bleach, helps prevent static cling in the dryer.
  2. Laundry Soap and Hard Water - Laundry soap won't clean as well in hard water, adding zeolite powder, orrisroot, baking soda, or borax to the wash corrects this problem.
  3. Where to Get Natural Soap Flakes - England exports Dri-Pak Soap Flakes, that are sold in 1-pound or 2-pound boxes. These are imported by MSO Distributing. Or you can click on the Soap Flakes above (in this section) to order now.
  4. Washing in Cold Water - Prevents shrinking, dyes won't release, great for bright colors, lightly soiled items, dedicates, and it saves energy too!
  5. Warm Water and Wrinkles - Reduces wrinkling, reduces bleeding of colors, best for washable wool, permanent press, dark colors, and synthetic fabrics.
  6. Hot Water Magic - Best for heavy soiled items, towels, whites, pastels, and light-colored prints. Never use on 100% cotton or wool or they will shrink. Wash 100% cotton in cold water and hand wash 100% wool.

NATURAL LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPES

If you would rather simply purchase a natural laundry soap, Dr. Bonner's is said to be the most popular liquid castile soap around, and is offered in a variety of scents. You can pick some up (at right) if you don't wish to make your own essential oil recipe.

Basic Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

  • 2¼ cups liquid castile soap
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon glycerin
  • ¾ cup water
  • 11 - 16 drops of your favorite essential oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic or glass container, or a squirt bottle. Give it a couple of shakes before adding to the wash. ¼ cup for the average load, ½ cup for large or really dirty loads.

Basic Powder Laundry Soap Recipe

You will get about six average loads of laundry out of this formula, but go ahead and double it to save yourself time later!

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup cup scented baking soda (check the essential oil chart for your desired selection)
  • 1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure soap bar.

Add ingredients together, mix well, and store in strong plastic container. Use ½ cup for the average load.

Hard Water Laundry Soap Recipe

  • 1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure soap bar
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • ½ cup borax
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 12 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix together only the soap, washing soda, and borax in a sturdy plastic container. Blend the vinegar and essential oils in a different container that has a pouring spout. Use ½ cup of dry soap mix for the wash cycle, and ½ cup of the vinegar blend during the rinse cycle.

Baby's Laundry Soap Recipe

  • 3 drops essential oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • ¼ cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup borax
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

Mix the essential oil with the castile soap if you decide to include it. Then, add this blend to the washing machine along with the washing soda, baking soda, borax and vinegar. Wash as usual! Looking for a natural way to get those cloth nappy's white?

Diaper Whitening Recipe

  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 7 - 9 drops of essential oil
  • Bucket of hot water

Mix all ingredients together in the bucket using the hot water. Soak diapers for 30 -40 minutes (or more) and then launder as usual.

No More Harsh Chemicals in My Washing Machine!

No More harsh laundry detergent chemicals and products! Use Essential Oils Laundry Soap instead!
No More harsh laundry detergent chemicals and products! Use Essential Oils Laundry Soap instead! | Source

About Essential Oils and the Chart Below

Herbal essential oils can be added into your laundry formulas (liquid or powdered) or even put right into the softener dispenser of your washing machine. Essential oils not only boost cleaning power but they bring with them a clean, fresh scent.

Essential oils also bring some very therapeutic qualities. Such as, add tea tree oil to your laundry if you suffer with frequent yeast infections. Eucalyptus essential oil is great to use when a loved one in the household is suffering from a cold. Jasmine, rose, or ylang-ylang essential oil get those romantic thoughts going when used on your evening wear. I encourage you to experiment with each! Even try new and unique blends from the essential oil chart below!

A Fun Essential Oil Laundry Tip

Try adding essential oils to regular baking soda for a herbal-scented laundry booster. Baking soda adds whitening power and naturally softens hard water troubles. Using a 16-ounce box, add 15 - 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. You mix it right inside the box! You just add the oils to the container and shake the heck out of it. Or you can add 4 - 5 drops of essential oil to one (1) cup of white vinegar; the oil increases the cleaning power and also assist in the removal of bad odors that may be lingering in the fabric.

Each of the essential oils listed in the chart below help to clean and freshen laundry. They also offer a few extra benefits, as you will see.

ESSENTIAL OIL CHART FOR LAUNDRY

(click column header to sort results)
HERB  
PROPERTIES  
Cedar
Adds a clean, woodsy scent, great for those macho men (and women)
Chamomile
Soothing, brings a sense of calm
Eucalyptus
Excellent for cold and sinus troubles, best when used in colder months
Lavender
Very relaxing, releases tense muscles
Lemon
Stimulating, great for boosting the whites in the laundry
Peppermint
Great for colds and sinus trouble, invigorates energy levels
Rose geranium
For a more romantic scent
Rosemary*
Calming (but can be stimulating on its own)
Tangerine and Sweet orange
Helps remove stains and whiten laundry, very uplifting
Tea tree
Antibacterial and antifungal, great for laundering socks and athletic wear
*DO NOT USE ON SILK, WOOL, OR SATIN.

This article and all of its content is copyright protected ©2011 K9keystrokes

More by this Author


Comments for "Green Cleaning Your Laundry, an Essential Guide" 12 comments

Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Thanks for all of your information! Wow, I'm almost overwhelmed with the possibilities. I can't decide which to start with :-). I admit I have very little experience with essential oils (limited to use as room fragrance), so this is an exciting new application for some of my favorite scents and the chance to "meet" some new ones. I think I'll have to try your favorite peppermint early in my exploration... Cheers!


RJS7 profile image

RJS7 5 years ago

Awesome hub great tips!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

randomcreative~ Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you sharing your comments.

Cheers~

K9


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

So many great tips here. Thanks!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Simone~ How very cool that you were considering making your own green cleaning laundry soap! I just discovered the wide variety of fragrances and the way they can make us feel. I think the cedar scent would be quite alluring as an underlying scent at a holiday party! Good luck with your laundry soap making! It is a great feeling to know you are doing good things for your own, as well as the environments well being!

Super HubHugs~

K9


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

OMG! Homemade cedar-scented laundry soap? That sounds positively divine!! I think I'll just make a big batch so I'll have it on hand for all of my future loads. I'm so excited to get started!

Also, this Hub is particularly pleasing to me, since just the other weekend, I was peering at my sticky laundry soap and wondering... "Can I *make* my own???"

I'm so glad I can!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

cherylone~ How cool! Thank you for such nice comments. I hope you get many successful years of green cleaning out of the hub!

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Denise~ I must admit lavender is a very beautiful color, and essential oil! :)


cherylone profile image

cherylone 5 years ago from Connecticut

Oh, I love this hub. I am going to keep it around for a very long time. Thanks for all the great information.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I think mine would have to be lavender...I love the smell and the soothing quality (and the color) :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Denise~ I really like lemon (anything) myself, but if I had to pick my favorite essential oil, it would have to be peppermint. I could bathe in the stuff, and often do! Thank you for your support here.

HubHugs~

K9


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Cedar and Lemon are my two favorites. Thanks for such thorough info. :)

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.
Click to Rate This Article
working