The Tides Have Turned

For laundry detergent, that is. There’s a movement underway among bloggers and their readers—and in our city of Chattanooga—to save money and make our lives less chemical-laden.

That movement is homemade laundry detergent. It is surprisingly cheap to gather the ingredients and supplies, and only takes a half hour or so to throw together. What’s all the buzz about and why should you join in? We’re here to find out.

Why Make My Own Laundry Detergent?

Whether you’re attached to your washer’s agitator or the ease of a front loader, homemade laundry detergent is easy for everyone. It’s funny—you think at first that making your own version of what can easily be purchased at the store must be a long and expensive process, since laundry detergent costs a bit, after all. But the opposite is true.

So why make your own detergent? It’s pretty straightforward—you save money. It’s easy. And it works—you’d be surprised how clean your clothes still get even without tons of suds, heavy perfumes, unnamed chemicals, and strangely colored liquid. Not to mention that it’s environmentally friendly, a creative opportunity (there’s freedom to add things like essential oils), and a host of other reasons . To give you more perspective, this blog by a Chattanooga-based mom shows her journey to making her own detergent.

The Health Benefits

Making your own laundry detergent is all the things we mention above. But did you know it can help your body out too? For example, have you ever started itching or breaking out in a mysterious rash just after switching to a new laundry detergent? The cause can usually be easily pinpointed in your commercial laundry detergent. According to blog Small Footprint Family , these laundry detergents contain sulfates, ammonia, phosphates, phenol, and many other chemicals. Laundry detergents also release toxic pollutants. Switching to homemade laundry detergent isn’t just cheap—it can keep your family’s skin safe from irritants and the air around your home safe from pollutants. If you’re starting to get intrigued, this Chattanooga blogger offers some insight into the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent over store bought.

How to Make It

You’re convinced of the benefits but don’t know where to start? It’s really quite simple. Tons of home health bloggers have invented recipes for both powdered and liquid gel detergents. Lots of people have posted their detergent process on Youtube . The basic ingredients include:

  • Borax
  • Washing soda (not baking soda! This is important.)
  • An unscented bar of soap or laundry bar soap (like Fels-Naptha)
  • Water

That’s it! You can of course add essential oils for a subtle scent, but this is not necessary. Some people add regular baking soda to the load for a natural fabric softener—and it really works! You can find a comparison of the most popular recipes in this HouseLogic post . Amazingly, some people are starting to market homemade laundry soap, like at this Chattanooga bath shop called Smelley Shelley’s . For a guide on where to find ingredients in Chattanooga, check out this Chattanooga blogger’s experience .

Do you make your own laundry soap?

Whether you’re a Chattanooga shopper looking for local detergent ingredients or living in another city altogether, homemade laundry detergent is looking more and more like the way to go. We encourage you to stay cheap and natural using the recipes mentioned above—find the one that works for your family.

Have you ever made your own laundry detergent? We want to know. This kind of topic is perfect for sharing experiences because every time you discover something about a laundry detergent recipe, another reader will learn from you. And we help make each other’s lives better. Leave a comment now!