Saturday, March 15, 2014

How to Make Borax Free Laundry Detergent

Hear ye! Hear ye! I have heard the cry of the people!! No more BORAX!!
#DIY Borax Free Laundry Detergent #laundry #clean
I set off on a mission to find a good alternative to the original laundry detergent recipe using greener ingredients!! {superman pose} I did a bunch of research as to what can be substituted in place of borax and there were many, many, many suggestions. I ended up trying out a few different recipes, but settled on what I call…. {drum roll}

DIY Laundry Soap without Borax Ingredients #laundryThe Borax Free Laundry Detergent Mosh Posh
Safe for all washers
The process is exactly like how you would make the original laundry recipe so it'll be super easy if you're making the transition to this non-borax based detergent. But new DIY laundry converts should not fear! This isn't exactly rocket science. In fact, there are exactly 4 steps: chop, blend, blend again, and store. Whew! {wipes sweat from brow}

Just cut the soap bar into slivers (like you would do with chocolate) and then toss the slivers into a food processor. Pulse until there are no large crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, then you'll be using a solid soap bar and a grater. Lucky you.
DIY Laundry Soap NO borax #detergent
Measure out the rest of the ingredients and add them to the food processor, pulse a few times to mix, then put it into a storage jar. If you don't have a food processor, then shake shake shake! Shake shake shake!! Shake that Laundry! Shake that Laundry! {Dances} Shake shake shake….

Now you're all done, you Easy-Breezy Beautiful Laundry Girl! I use ½ TBSP of detergent for smaller loads and up to 2 TBSP of detergent for larger, heavily soiled loads.  This lasts The Man and I for about 4-5 months and costs around $5 to make.

Soap Bar Rules
You can pretty much use any kind of soap you want such as Ivory, Young Living's Thieves Soap, Tom's, Castile or Fels Naptha, but if you are trying to be particularly eco-friendly and uber green you can use the EWG guide to see how safe your soap is on a scale of 0-10. Also, I recommend not using animal based soaps.

If you are using an HE washer, you need to make sure the soap is non-sudsing (Tom's of Maine, Young Living's Thieves Bar and Fels Naptha are non-sudsing).

Does It Work?
Yes!!! We found no difference between how this performs compared to the Borax based version. However, this clumps together easier than the borax based detergent. It does NOT change anything about how it performs {trust me I checked}. Just stab it with a knife a few times when you're feeling particularly frustrated over something. It's like built in therapy. OR add some rice in a muslin pouch and toss it in the container to prevent hardening.

You. Are. Welcome.

Got Questions? Please read the comments below. If you still have questions please join my Natural Living Support Group. Thank you!

Wanna Go All Natural For Your Laundry?  

Laundry Spot Remover
Dryer Balls
Soap Nuts
Fabric Softener 

And a bonus read: 7 Dangerous Chemicals Lurking In Your Laundry

Happy Cleaning!

If you're have trouble finding Citric AcidCitric Acid (non-GMO)
These are affiliate links-- your cost stays the same, but amazon pays me a commission for recommending them

24 comments:

  1. What is the purpose of the citric acid? That is the only thing I am missing to get started on the 'recipe'. Thanks!

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    1. Hi! The citric acid acts as a softener and also chelates the metals in hard water, letting the cleaners produce foam and work better. :)

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  2. Are these DIY Laundry recipe's safe for an HE front loader? I really want to try them but we were told that if we used anything other than HE products the washing machine would be ruined. We are on a very tight budget and this would save us so much money :)

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    1. Aimee, I was told that you only need to have detergents that are low or no suds. This DIY recipe is a no suds recipe and I've been using DIY detergents in my HE front loader for years with no problems. And yes, it saves soooooo much money! Making my own DIY products has ended up saving us about $1000/year so it really adds up :)

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  3. Acid citric vs washing soda. They cancel each other, don't they???

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    1. Sort of. It really depends on proportions. There has to be a balance to neutralize so using a small amount of citric acid and a larger amount of washing soda doesn't create neutrality. You will get more bang for your buck by making a rinse aid with citric acid, but this still works. If you get sediments, you can always increase the washing soda %.

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  4. Replies
    1. I base most of my decisions on the EWG's website where they rate things like Borax based on it's toxicity. I believe Borax is a 5 out of 10 which is moderately toxic even thought it's considered a natural substance. But what concerns me the most is that in animal studies, it is a reproductive hazard. No studies have been done on humans, so I would much rather be safe than sorry especially since my baby making years aren't quite over yet.

      I really like Crunchy Betty's view so you can read more about it here: http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

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  5. Hi Sherri! I made this laundry soap yesterday, didn't have a nifty canister big enough so I put it in a baggie. Since last night I have had to let the air out of the bag multiple times, is that normal?

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    1. I've never stored it in a plastic bag, but I have stored it in a sealed container. I've never had any pressure issues with it before. Interesting-- I might have to experiment.

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  6. Hi there. Do you know what kind of soap United Kingdom readers can use?

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    1. I am sorry, but I do not know what's available in the UK, but any natural kind of soap without animal by-products would work.

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  7. (Sorry if this posts twice...) I decided to use the Toms soap based off of it's toxicity level and what the store offered. It only had one option but when I got home I realized Toms has a few soap varieties. Do you know if any Toms of Maine soap is okay to use? I got the Daily Moisture one (again, only option) but the box also says beauty bar which I didn't see while shopping. I couldn't find any answers online. I already shredded it by hand so I hope it's okay to use. I have a front loading HE washer. Any thoughts?

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    Replies
    1. Leah, I always go to the Skin Deep Database by the EWG to look for toxicity ratings for products. It's ah-maz-ing! Any soap should work in this recipe, but since you have an HE machine it should be a non-sudsing soap. I used the unscented Tom's soap in mine-- not too sure about the moisture one because it probably has some sort of lotion in it.

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  8. Can I use Kirk's Coco Castile Soap Bar or Dr. Bonner's Castile Bar?

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  9. When I add citric acid to the mix, it fizzes slightly and my mix remains 'wet', it doesn't dry out. I'm using the powdered form (before anyone asks!) and only a 1/4 of the proportion of washing soda crystals. Anyone else have this problem? Or suggestions?

    I'm in UK too (previous poster) and use Falcon household soap, I get 2 bars for £1 in Poundland! You could also use Dr Bonners Castile soap but that's quite pricey here. Maybe Knights Castile soap would work too? You get 5 bar pack for £1 in Poundland too!

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    1. Your mixture remains wet? Hmm... I am not quite sure what is happening. 5-10 drop of essential oils in this mix shouldn't make it wet at all-- mine incorporates quite nicely once I mix it together.

      Thank you for the UK suggests as well! I really appreciate it :)

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  10. Do you know if this is safe for cloth diapers?

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  11. I know that this post is not about borax. But do you know how to make sodium borate from scratch? without ordering boric acid?

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    Replies
    1. You can't make Borax or Sodium Borate. It's a natural occurring substance that is mined from the ground and the grounded into a powder. ;)

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  12. Could I make without the citric acid?

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    1. You could, but you will reduce the cleaning power of the recipe.

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