Since I have been doing my laundry like a grow-up adult (read here: since I was 22 years old) I have been using liquid commercial detergent and lately the newest “pods” you just drop in your washing machine. Super convenient, easy perfect for lazy people like me. Obviously, I also integrate the fabric softener to my routine!
It has been brought to me that the commercial fabric softener tends to “clog” on the clothes, namely on the towels and they lose their “fluffiness” when you wash them. Also, the well know surfactants tend to stick on the fabric and clothing, therefore, although your clothes look clean, they are full of surfactants and other, meaning that if you purchase a fabric for a specific property (performance, fire resistance…) it might lose this property over time.
In my quest for a greener house, I found an homemade laundry recipe which will work fine for any type of washing machine (HE included) if you follow this easy constraint:
Your soap NEEDS to be “natural” sourced, without or very low sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES)
When you have an HE washing machine, you need to have a soap/detergent that will produce very little foam, therefore you want something with minimal foaming agent. This is why I used the Dr. Bronner’s castille soap bar (I chose the unscented one) it only contains different saponified oils and glycerin. There are alternate recipes for liquid detergent, however, I wouldn’t recommend DIY liquid detergent as I haven’t found a recipe with an effective preservative. The liquid detergent will tend to develop bacteria and mildew, this is why I decided to go for the traditional version.
you will need:
- 1 cup of borax (found mine at Canadian Tire)
- 1 cup of Washing Soda (if you can’t find it, DIY)
- 1 bar of natural sourced soap grated (Dr. Bronners is a good choice, I found mine at Avril)
- Essential oils (optional, I chose Eucalyptus, Lemon and Tea Tree)
Mix all of those in a air tight container and use between 1-3 Table Spoon per load.
This soap might be hard to dissolve if you wash with cold water, I would recommend you pre-dissolve your quantity in a cup of warm water if it’s your case. Since I wash with warm water, I am not overly concerned with this issue, but I just wanted to point it out.
To be honest, the hardest part is to grate the soap!