Tag Archives: borax free

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe Without Borax

The other morning hit me with a tough challenge –  do you remember your chemistry, Courtney?  Nope I answered quickly, I’ll go get Robert.  Robert and I sat next to each other on the couch and hammered out some math problems.  We were trying to work out some concentration questions for my laundry soap.  I was using chemistry equations and he was using logic.  We both came up with the same answers but I had to cheat and google the equations because alas I had forgotten them.

So why was I bothering with chemistry equations, well I had another soap disaster but I won’t bore you with the details this time.  Let’s just say that I trusted another EHow recipe.  I had to rework the recipe a bit and here is what I have come up with.

Laundry Detergent without Borax: 

Amount Needed Per Load:

1 1/2 teaspoons liquid castile soap

2 teaspoons of Dry Mix

Dry Mix Recipe:

1/3 cup salt

1 cup washing soda

1/3 cup baking soda *update 8/2012 I just started adding this to the recipe, can’t tell if it makes a difference but I feel good about adding another odor absorbing safe cleaner to the mix.

You might be wondering why not mix the two together and add them at one time. I found out that the washing soda doesn’t dissolve well in small amounts of liquid.  In your large load of laundry it will dissolve just fine.  So I eliminated the water in the recipe.  Really why do I need to be lugging around a big jug of water I would rather use small amounts of concentrated soap.

                  This is after the Dry Mix was heated in water.  Not dissolved at all.

Another method:  I used my old Charlie’s Soap bottle because it has a measured pump on it.  I calculated how much castile soap and water I would need for the 1 gallon bottle I had.  If you are in the same situation, Charlies’s Soap dispenses 30 ml per load so fill the bottle with 4 cups castile soap and the rest with water.  This is really only worth the effort if your bottle has a measured pump otherwise use the concentrated method above.

I washed my first load of diapers yesterday (a true test of washing ability) so I will let you know how well it worked.  Check out my homemade dishwasher detergent without borax too.

Thanks, Courtney

Update 8/2012 – I’ve been using this for over a year now and really love it.  Heavily soiled items I do use one or two more pumps.  And I have found that it doesn’t clean fruit stains very well – that’s what the enzyme detergents do good at I guess.  Stain treating is the only way to go.  My cloth diapers are on their 2 year of heavy daily usage and are still clean.

Borax Free Homemade Laundry and Dishwasher Soap

Well I just had a revelation this weekend (although Robert is claiming the idea as his own).  Why not make my own laundry soap and while I am at it make my own dishwasher soap too.  I remember seeing a recipe on Homestead Revival and so I hunted it down.  It looks super easy and at least half the cost of store bought products.

Here’s the basic recipe from the Homestead Revival.  Her recipe calls for Borax, Washing Soda and Zote soap.  I can’t stand perfumes so I started looking up other soaps to use.  While on that thread of research I can across some not so settling news about borax.  I read on EWG that borax is banned in cosmetic use for infant’s skin due to carcinogenic concerns.   Yikes.  While laundry and dishwasher soaps aren’t exactly cosmetics they do come in close contact with our skin and residue on dishes may even be ingested.  This didn’t sit very well with me so I started researching borax free recipes.

To my surprise there are plenty of recipes out there. EHow is the website I found that has several recipes for dishwasher detergent and laundry detergentUpdate:  Neither of these recipes work so please don’t try them at home.  Check out the disaster in my other post on dishwasher detergent.  I want to come up with my own recipe that replaces lemon with citric acid because I have heard that lemon juice or lemon scented detergents can be damaging to your dishes and glassware.  But these versions seem to be great alternatives to borax.  I think effectiveness will vary depending on water type and temperature of the water used.  So it may be up to the individual to find what recipe works best for their conditions.

I was curious if my current laundry soap, Charlie’s Soap has borax in it.  I even checked on my bottle of Charlie’s soap to see if they use borax and I emailed the company.  They say they use coconut based surfactants (Castile soap, I assume) and washing soda, no borax.  Hmmm.  That settles it for me.  No borax for us.

Please remember that this is research that I have collected on my own from a variety of sources.  I am not making any safety claims or endorsing any recipes, products or methods.  I am just trying to journal my thought process as I decide what I will use for my family.

Update:  Here is a link to the recipe for borax free dishwasher soap that I have been using.

And here’s the link to the recipe for borax free laundry soap too