A simple DIY natural powdered laundry detergent recipe that’s totally nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and most importantly, effective.
Why Make Your Own DIY Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe?
It Saves Money
When you buy a cleaning product, especially laundry detergent, you’re mostly paying for WATER. $18 for a gallon of mostly water if you buy Tide. Here’s a way to save those dollars and make it yourself at home in just five minutes!
You’ll Know that It’s Truly Nontoxic
Also, you can know for sure what ingredients are in your detergent when you make it at home. Many companies make products that they claim are natural and nontoxic, but actually aren’t when you go look up the product on the EWG.org. This is called “greenwashing” and it’s very common in cleaning and laundry products. Why? Because there are very few regulations in the United States on those products so companies can make all kinds of claims without backing them up. You really have to do your research to know if something is actually safe!
Toxins Found in Most Laundry Detergents
Specifically – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate/ Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLS/ SLES). Sulfates are harsh detergents that are also toxic to aquatic life. The water that is drained from our homes is eventually cleaned in sewage processing facilities, but on its way to the facilities it comes in contact with our environment and can harm wildlife and pollute our water.
Phosphates help to balance the pH of the detergents and chelate minerals found in hard water like lime and magnesium. They do make laundry detergents more effective, BUT they are very harmful to both humans and wildlife. Exposure to phosphates in humans is linked to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and even death!
In the 1970’s, the US government recognized the problem with phosphorous pollution. It was found that residues from fertilizers and cleaners were causing excessive growth of algae in fresh water lakes and streams. This nutritional enrichment is referred to as eutrophication. Phosphates have the ability to enter back into the environment unchanged through sewage from both detergents and human waste and could cause oxygen depletion in waterways. When growth of aquatic plants is over stimulated they seasonally die and rot, using up the oxygen dissolved in the water. Fish die of oxygen deficiency and are for a time replaced by scavengers. (source)
The same preservative used to preserve dead bodies is found in SO many cleaning, laundry, bath, body and beauty products. It’s everywhere because it’s cheap to make and effective. However, it is quite toxic for us. Exposures to it even in small amounts can lead to cancer, yes, cancer, and that’s according to the CDC. The EPA has labeled it a Class B1 probable carcinogen and can cause acute toxicity when exposed to the skin.
- 1, 4 Dioxane/Dioxane – carcinogen, causes skin, eye and lung inflammation
- Optical Brighteners/ UV Brighteners – eye, skin and lung irritant and extremely toxic to aquatic life
- Ammonium Quaternary Sanitizers (Quats/ Synthesized Cationic Surfactants) – eye, skin and lung irritation and prolonged exposure can even cause death
- Artificial Fragrances – contain phthalates and formaldehyde and cause endocrine disruption and irritate the respiratory system
- Dyes – endocrine disruption, skin irritant
- Dichlorobenzene (P-Dichlorobenzene/ Benzene) – carcinogen and fatal for aquatic life
DIY Natural Powdered Laundry Detergent
A super simple DIY natural powdered laundry detergent that’s easy to make, totally nontoxic, and effective!
- Yield: 8 1/2 cups or 2 liters 1x
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a large, dry container. If using cool or warm water during the wash cycle, dissolve the powder in a cup of hot water first. If using hot water, there is no need to dissolve.
For HE washers, use 1 tbsp. per load and pour directly over the clothes. Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load for top loaders. Dissolve 2 cups in hot water if washing in warm or cold water. Add the essential oils in tbsp. itself for each load.