Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Both my girls have eczema on their arms and I have tried literally everything to get rid of it. From over the counter creams to prescription cortisone and steroids and nothing seems to help.

Recently I began thinking about other causes and decided a simpler more natural laundry soap might help.

The following is my recipe for homemade detergent. It's incredibly frugal, making enough for 160 loads and working out at less than three cent a load. Beat that Proctor and Gamble!!! You can customise it to suit your water and sense of smell. I like lavender and find it relaxes the small people, so I went with that.  You could also add a few drops of tea tree oil for it's disinfectant properties.

Borax can be bought at most chemists and if they don't have it in stock, they will order it for you. I got the soda crystals at Tesco and the soap at Dunnes. This is very effective and gets stains out easily. Use a little extra soda if you have hard water and continue to use whatever softening technique you already use, like Calgon.

  • 3oz laundry/castile soap, approx half a bar (i.e. Ivory, Fels Naptha, Fairy, Dr. Bronners)
  • 3/4 cup borax
  • 3/4 cup washing soda
  • 9L hot water
  • 10-15 drops essential oil
Grate the soap into a metal bowl.

Bring one litre of the water to a boil on the stove and add the grated soap, stirring until dissolved.  Add essential oil to scent.  Remove from heat and add the soda and borax.

Stir until combined, it will thicken.  Pour into a ten litre container* and add the remaining eight litres of hot water.  Stir vigorously until well mixed.

Allow the mixture to sit overnight and it will thicken slightly.  

Use 2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) per load of laundry, more for extra soiling.  

* I asked at the local shop for one of those big mayonnaise buckets they use at the deli!


  1. Great!!! An American living in Ireland...question for you...Borax????? It seems to be on every DIY cleaning product on the net!!
    p.s. Loving the blog! : )

  2. Thanks Aine! :)

    I went around on this one, but tried detergents without borax and they didn't work very well. Here's the link that converted me: http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

  3. Had seen something like that before Deb...but...what is Borax & where can I get it?? I've never heard anyone in Ireland mentioning it before!!


    1. It's a white powder, most chemists have it behind the counter and if not they can order it for you!

  4. Aha! I never even thought of a chemist!! Thanks Deb : ) Spotted you today but didn't make it over to you. Hope you enjoyed the conference & hope to meet you sometime in the near future!
    Áine xx

  5. Borax can be bought online in Ireland from here:
    It's not cheap, but if you buy 5kg it will last for years, as that recipe only uses a small amount to make up to two gallons.
    I'm sure it was available from farmers' co-ops until recently, as it was used in a fungicide mix along with copper sulphate, but EU regs have changed on this.

  6. washing soda or washing soda crystals? seem to only find crystals here in west cork?


Wen's Chow Mein - Slimified!

So my cousin married the most amazing woman, Wen. She has become a good friend and a couple of years ago they came down to visit so she co...