DIY Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent (No Grating!)

"Woman Hands" by africa
I kept seeing those posts for homemade laundry detergent and to be honest, I just had little interest. They looked like a lot of work to me, all that grating and mixing in water until the grated soap liquefied. I mean, its just myself, my husband, and two dogs so I don't go through a lot anyway. But then I started paying more attention, and actually I do a fairly good amount of laundry a week. I especially do a lot for the dogs! Blankets, beds, and as they have gotten older there is the occasional "accident" on a scatter rug. Scatter that term still used? They are those little rugs you "scatter" around the house. lol You know, like in front of the sink, or by the back door, or maybe next to your bed.

Anyway...I saw this "no grate" version on One Good Thing and decided to give it a go. It was super easy to make and more important, did a good job getting the laundry clean. It's made with just three ingredients, Borax, Washing Soda, and Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. As I understand, you can use pretty much any dishwashing liquid but the original Dawn does a better job on oil and grease. BTW, Borax and Washing Soda can be found on the laundry detergent isle in your grocery store. (Don't get the Washing Soda mixed up with Baking Soda.)

It may look thin but its super concentrated.
Now this detergent is wonderful to use just like it is but I wanted to step it up a notch with essential oils. I wanted to add some fragrance without adding chemicals and I wanted to add antibacterial properties, which essential oils are highly valued for. According to Experience Essential Oils you can add essential oils three different ways.
  • Add 3-5 drops directly to the rinse cycle
  • Add 1 Tablespoon to the wash cycle (in an organic unscented laundry detergent)
  • Add directly to the bottle of detergent (you'll have to figure out how much)
  • Note: you should only need half these amounts for an HE machine as they use less water
There are advantages to each. You will need less if you add to the rinse cycle. If you add directly to the wash or rinse cycle you can easily change which oil you use with each wash. Or, adding directly to the detergent bottle is much easier, except for the initial figuring out how much to use. Here's some help, if you use 1/4 cup of detergent per load you will get 45 loads from a 90 ounce bottle of detergent. So you would need 45 tablespoons or 2.8 cups of essential oil. That's a lot of essential oil! Yikes!! Did I figure that right?

Anyway,  I just add directly to the wash as that just seems to work best for me. In flu season I can add Shield Blend, for my sheets or towels I add lavender, for the doggy items I like lemon.Other oils to consider would be Eucalyptus, Wild Orange, Respire Blend, Bergamot, Zen, White Fir, or Ylang Ylang. BTW, for the best results use a high quality essential oil. I get mine from Spark Naturals. You can get a 10% discount on your order with them by using code ENJOY. ♥

You'll also need a container that is about 11 cups or 90 ounces. I just used an empty detergent bottle.

You will need:
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
  • 4 cups hot water
  1. Add the Borax, Washing Soda, and Dishwashing Liquid to the hot water and stir till dissolved.
  2. Pour into your container.
  3. Finish filling container with cold water.
To Use:
  • You will only need about 1/4 cup for a large load of laundry or 2 Tablespoons for HE machines.
  • Give the bottle a good shake before using as some ingredients will settle
And, in case your wondering...I have a front loader machine which requires a HE detergent and so far this formula has worked great for me.

This formula, not including the essential oils, cost me $1.15 per bottle.

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