I’ve finally done it! I’ve finally tried a homemade liquid laundry detergent.
For years, I have used my homemade versions of powdered laundry detergent. We love them and have been completely satisfied with our homemade powdered detergents. I have been making the powdered detergents for so long that they have been tried and tested in both an old used regular upright washing machine and new HE front loading washer. In both machines as they work well! They are cheap and I can make it in 10 minutes. We have also heard from many of you that you like these powdered detergents as well.
- Here’s the recipe for the homemade natural powdered detergent like Tide with scent
- Here’s the recipe for the homemade natural powdered detergent for sensitive skin like Dreft or Ivory Snow
But we have had several of you that have raved about homemade liquid detergents. I haven’t had a desire to make laundry detergent this way as nearly every recipe has required a pretty decent amount of time and labor. I HATE grating soap. I also don’t want to spend 24 hours making laundry detergent. Yes, I know, hands-on wise, it’s not that long. But in all honesty, when I run out of detergent, I usually need more ASAP. So, I just haven’t felt the need to try liquid if my powder one works great and takes 10 minutes to make.
Well, a couple of months ago, we had a family that stayed with us overnight (we are part of a Christian Hospitality Network for Christian families all over the world to have a place to stay, and if we go on the road, we have hundreds of places to stay too! It’s GREAT!…..Now back on topic ;)) and the mom in this family also liked making her own cleaning products as well. She also agreed that homemade liquid laundry detergents take too much time and this has stopped her from making it. She’s like me…. if she runs out, she needs more right away, not a day later.
She shared that she found an instant liquid laundry detergent recipe. I was intrigued and thought I would give it a whirl myself. She sent me the recipe a few days later when she got home from Everyday Cheapskate.
So I gave it a whirl and added my own modifications with essential oils.
Here’s the recipe and then I will talk about the pros and cons at the bottom.
What you need:
- 3/4 cup of Borax
- 3/4 cup of Washing Soda (or Soda Ash)
- 3/4 cup of Original Blue Dawn Dish soap
- Lavender essential oil (get them HERE)
- Hottest tap water
- 1-gallon container with a tight lid (I also used the Arrowhead water container, you can grab them for $1-$1.50 filled, drink the water and you have an affordable heavy duty container with a tight fitting lid and a comfy hand grip to make it easy to use).
Okay – are you ready for this……. it’s quite complicated!
- Dump the 34/ cup of Borax and Washing Soda in the bottom of a gallon jug with a tight lid – I used a funnel to not lose any.
- Then, with the hottest tap water you can muster, fill your bottle with water to the bottom of the label.
- Put the lid on tight and shake vigorously (BONUS: you will work on your underarm wings at the same time!)
- Then add you 3/4 cup of Original Blue Dawn Dish Soap.
- Muster up the hottest tap water again and fill up your bottle until the bubbles reach the top (liquid line will be several inches down still). I actually filled the 3/4 cup scoop and poured it into the funnel to fill it to wash out any remaining down and washing down into the bottle.
- Then put the lid on again and shake vigorously, switching the hard working side to the other side to get an equal underarm wing workout (no one wants just one wing ya know ;)).
- Finally, let it set on the counter for a bit for the bubbles to settle.
- Then top it off with lavender essential oil (about 10-12 drops) if you like (I LOVE lavender in my laundry) and a slow flow of hot water to fill it up (slow flow to not create a lot of bubbles again).
- Simply add 1/4 cup of this liquid detergent to a full wash load (this is enough!) and less for smaller loads. The amount is the same in both a top loader and an HE machine. I have an HE machine now and I have been using this with no problems. It doesn’t create a lot of suds and so it’s great for HE machines.
- This detergent is super easy to make and I can make it in half the time of my powder and a lot less equipment.
- It seems to be quite effective in our laundry! Dawn is also used often as a stain remover, so it makes sense to include it in a detergent!
- The laundry smells great!
- The laundry seems to be nice and clean!
- The mixture does separate. The blue Dawn will settle at the top. So every time I need to use it, I just shake it vigorously for about 5 seconds before adding to the washer. But I look at this as a pro as it forces me (again) to work on my underarms. The housework workout is quite an effective one, but there aren’t many things that work on the underarms – so now you will be lifting a several pound weight and shaking it = underarm workout bonus for no additional cost!
- Your clothes can become a little starchy according to others, I have not noticed this at all – perhaps it’s because I also use vinegar in every load – which I highly recommend. This will do many things additional to your laundry, but also help the Dawn wash out completely to prevent starching.
- It is not technically natural. My powdered versions are totally natural. But because of the Blue Dawn, it cannot be labeled natural. However, original Blue Dawn is one of the mildest commercial products. Again, not the Dawn’s with a bunch of added stuff and scents, just the good ol’ classic. The good news is that this is the cheapest dawn and it get’s cheaper the bigger bottle you buy.
This was the biggest bottle at Walmart (56 oz.) as it was the best value at the time, but after buying this, I saw it at Costco and Sam’s Club that was about twice the size and even cheaper per ounce.
After this first batch, this is how much I have left. So this will last me for quite a while!
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