Homemade Laundry Detergent Myths

I knew about homemade laundry detergent for several years before I considered making it myself.  I had a few concerns that I did not properly investigate for years.  Have you bought into any of these homemade
laundry detergent myths?
  1. Homemade laundry detergent won't clean as well as my favorite brand.  Actually, in my opinion, this removes smells better than the brands I use the most.  Sometimes the scent lingers in certain exercise clothing after washing using store-bought detergent.  A fresh scent remains when we use homemade detergent. Stains seem to come as clean as they would with store-bought detergent.  I have continued to use my regular stain treatment, so I don't have a good grasp of stains.
  2. Homemade laundry detergent is complicated to make.  My powdered laundry detergent recipe is made in less than five minutes, even when I make an extra large batch.  Boiling is not required.
  3. Homemade laundry detergent smells strongly.  A major ingredient in many DIY detergents is Fels Naptha soap.  Even I will admit that when you first open a bar of this soap it smells strongly.  However, once the Fels Naptha mixes with the borax and washing soda, the scent is mild.  More importantly, laundered clothing has a very light scent.
  4. Homemade laundry detergent requires hard-to-find and expensive ingredients.  Borax, super washing soda, and Fels Naptha are all found in my Walmart's laundry aisle.  (FYI, Amazon's prices are much higher than what I pay locally.)  Boxes of borax and washing soda weigh three and four pounds and you only need a half cup at a time.  These will last a long time and cost less than $4 per box.  A bar of Fels Naptha costs less than a dollar.
  5. Homemade laundry detergent is not safe for septic tanks or HE washing machines.  With no fillers or phosphates, homemade laundry detergent is safe for septic tanks.  HE washing machines require low suds.  Homemade produces significantly less bubbles than standard detergents.  See here and here.
  6. Homemade laundry detergent requires a large container for storage.  You can make as little as two cups of detergent at a time.  A plastic peanut container (as pictured) provides ideal storage for our family.  It holds about a quadruple batch and easily stores on our dryer.
  7. Homemade laundry detergent contains toxic ingredients.  Just as you should not consume baking soda, soap, or salt, you should not eat borax, super washing soda, or the soap required for homemade detergents.  Don't confuse borax with boric acid which is used in insecticides and pesticides.  As with all laundry detergents, keep it away from your eyes and children.
Have I convinced you to check out my simple homemade laundry detergent recipe?

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
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  1. Very interesting information! I've pinned this for later. :)

  2. Interesting, I never thought about this.

  3. I'm glad you both found it interesting. :)


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