• Daurice Cummings-Bealer

Laundry Alternatives

For many people, they are not able to run to the store and pick up a bottle of detergent, shampoo, cleaning supplies, etc. and be done. Their body becomes irritated or has an allergic reaction to many of the ingredients. They must be very careful of what they purchase or they need to make it themselves.

I have made homemade detergent before and found it to be very easy and works extremely well. Not to mention how inexpensive it was and I enjoy choosing a scent that you can’t buy at the store or having no scent at all.

I was recently asked for a recipe that I have used and trusted. First let me say that when making your own detergent for the first time you need to account for a few things. Such as the type of water you have and washing machine. You may need to make adjustments to the recipe to make it work for you. It took me about a week of adjusting a recipe to make it suitable for me.

If you have an HE washing machine you need to make sure to use a low sudsing formula or you will cause issues with your machine. Since I use an HE machine both recipes will work in any machine. You don’t have to worry about clothes fading and it’s safe for all types of fabrics.

For containers I saved and cleaned old detergent bottles and poured the liquid mixture into them. You can relabel them to your own design. Another idea is to use an old juice container. For powder I like to use the larger mason jars but you may prefer a large pickle jar or a plastic container with a lid instead.

For sensitive skin use goat milk soap instead of Fels Naptha or Zote in the recipes below.

Easy Liquid Detergent for Sensitive Skin


1 ¼ c. Sal Suds

1 c. Baking soda



In a 64 oz. jug, (I use an empty laundry detergent bottle) add 1 ¼ cup of Sal Suds, 1 cup baking soda and fill with water. Then turn upside down a few times to mix and it is ready to go. If you prefer a scent you can add 1-2 drops of essential oil.

Dry Detergent for Sensitive Skin (Borax free)


1 c. Washing soda

1 c. Baking soda

1 c. Grated Castille Soap or Goats milk soap

1 c. Citric Acid or enzyme cleaner

Direction:Mix together in a clean container.

Dry Detergent


1 bar of Fels Naptha or Zote Grated (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda

2 1/2 cups Baking Soda

1 cup Borax

2 cups Oxyclean

4-5 drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)

Direction: Mix together in a clean container.

Liquid Detergent


1 c. Borax

1c. Washing Soda

5.5 oz. Fels Naptha or Zote soap

5 gal. bucket with lid

1-2 drops essential oil or until it’s strong enough scent for you (optional)



Grate the soap and add to pot with 4 c. hot water. Stir together on medium heat until completely melted. Fill 5-gallon bucket halfway with hot water and pour in the melted soap. Stir well and add borax and washing soda. For scent, add your essential oil. Stir well. Now fill up the rest of the bucket with water.

Next, put the lid on and allow it to sit for 24 hours. This will give it time to gel up. Once done, the consistency should be thin like egg noodle soup. You can smooth out the lumps with an immersion blender or just leave it alone. It will mix well in the washer anyway.

You can leave it in the bucket or divide into other containers. I actually add the essential oils after I divide into clean empty laundry bottles so that I can make different scents.

Soap Nuts

One more option that is great for sensitive skin but honestly, I haven’t tried this one yet. A reader advised that she only uses soap nuts. Add 3-6 soap nuts in a muslin bag and add to washer before you put the laundry in. Take out after using and you can reuse a few more times. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Fabric softener: 1 c. distilled white vinegar


Make dryer balls out of wool scraps or cotton/acrylic yarn. Add a few drops of essential oils if you choose. They will also help your clothes dry quicker as well as prevent static cling and soften them.

Psalm51:7 (KJV)

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


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