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Guide: How to Make Laundry Detergent for HE Washers

by | Dec 31, 2023 | How To

Making your own homemade laundry detergent for HE washers is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to store-bought detergents. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make your own detergent, using simple ingredients that are safe for high-efficiency washers. By making your laundry detergent at home, you can save money and have greater control over the ingredients that go into your detergent.

Key Takeaways:

  • Making homemade laundry detergent for HE washers is cost-effective and eco-friendly.
  • You can save money and have greater control over the ingredients used.
  • Homemade detergents are safe for high-efficiency washers.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions in this guide to make your own detergent.
  • Enjoy clean and fresh-smelling laundry without the use of harmful chemicals.

The Difference Between Laundry Detergent and Laundry Soap

When it comes to doing laundry, you may have heard the terms “laundry detergent” and “laundry soap” used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle but important distinction between the two. Laundry soap is typically made from a combination of fats or oils and an alkali or base, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. On the other hand, laundry detergent is a synthetic product that is specifically formulated for various purposes, such as dissolving in hard or cold water.

Most homemade laundry detergents, including those suitable for high-efficiency (HE) washers, are actually laundry soaps. These homemade recipes often involve grating a bar of soap, such as Castile soap or Fels-Naptha, and combining it with other ingredients like borax and washing soda. The fats or oils in the soap provide the cleansing action, while the borax acts as a water conditioner and the washing soda helps to remove stains and odors.

The Distinctive Qualities of Laundry Detergent

On the other hand, laundry detergent is typically synthetic and offers distinct benefits that make it suitable for specific laundry needs. For example, certain detergents are designed to work well in hard water, while others are formulated to be effective in cold water. Additionally, laundry detergents often contain enzymes, surfactants, and other ingredients that enhance their cleaning power and remove tough stains.

It’s important to understand the difference between laundry detergent and laundry soap when choosing a recipe for homemade detergent. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach using natural ingredients, laundry soap recipes may be the way to go. However, if you’re seeking specific cleaning properties or prefer a synthetic formulation, you may opt for a store-bought laundry detergent that meets your needs.

laundry detergent vs laundry soap

The Benefits of Homemade Laundry Detergent for HE Washers

Making your own homemade laundry detergent for HE washers offers several benefits. Firstly, it is a cost-effective alternative to store-bought detergents, helping you save money in the long run. By using simple ingredients like borax, washing soda, and grated bar soap, you can create a detergent that is just as effective as commercial options.

Secondly, homemade detergents often use natural and non-toxic ingredients, making them a safer choice for your family and the environment. Many store-bought detergents contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin and contribute to pollution. With homemade detergent, you have greater control over the ingredients, allowing you to prioritize sustainability and reduce your carbon footprint.

Additionally, making your own detergent allows you to customize the scent and strength of the detergent. You can add essential oils or fragrance-free options to create a fresh and clean fragrance that suits your preferences. This way, you can avoid the overpowering artificial scents found in some commercial detergents.

Overall, homemade laundry detergent for HE washers is a practical and eco-friendly choice. It not only saves you money but also gives you peace of mind knowing that you are using a safer and more sustainable option for your laundry needs.

homemade he laundry soap

Table: Comparison of Homemade HE Laundry Detergent with Store-bought Detergent

Homemade HE Laundry Detergent Store-bought Detergent
Cost Significantly cheaper Can be expensive
Ingredients Natural and non-toxic May contain harsh chemicals
Customizability Can customize scent and strength Limited customization options
Eco-friendly Reduces plastic waste and pollution May contribute to pollution
Effectiveness Can be equally effective Varies depending on brand

Ingredients for Homemade Laundry Detergent

When it comes to making your own homemade laundry detergent, there are a few key ingredients that you’ll need. These ingredients are easy to find and are often used in various homemade detergent recipes. Whether you prefer a powdered or liquid detergent, these ingredients form the foundation of your homemade cleaning solution.

1. Borax: Borax is a common ingredient in homemade laundry detergent. It acts as a water conditioner, helping to soften the water and increase the cleaning power of the detergent. However, if you prefer to avoid borax, there are borax-free alternatives available.

2. Washing Soda: Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate, is another important ingredient. It helps to remove stains and odors from clothes, making them cleaner and fresher. If you can’t find washing soda in your local stores, it can be easily made at home by baking baking soda in the oven.

3. Grated Bar Soap: The grated bar soap serves as the base of the detergent, providing the cleaning power to remove dirt and grime from your clothes. You can use a variety of bar soaps, such as castile soap, homemade soap, or even grated laundry soap. Opt for bar soaps that are made with natural ingredients for a more eco-friendly option.

These three ingredients are the essential components of homemade laundry detergent. By combining them in the right proportions, you can create a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to store-bought detergents. Plus, by making your own detergent, you have full control over the ingredients that go into your laundry routine, ensuring a safer and more sustainable choice for you and your family.

Borax-Free Laundry Detergent Alternatives

If you prefer to avoid using borax in your homemade laundry detergent, there are several alternatives you can consider. These alternatives are equally effective and can be used interchangeably with borax in most recipes.

1. Baking Soda: Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cleaning applications. It helps to remove stains and odors from clothes, making it a suitable replacement for borax in homemade laundry detergent.

2. Washing Soda Substitute: If you can’t find washing soda or prefer not to use it, you can make a washing soda substitute using baking soda and salt. Simply mix equal parts of baking soda and salt, and you’ll have a suitable alternative for your detergent recipe.

3. Soap Nuts: Soap nuts are an all-natural alternative to traditional laundry detergent. These berry-like fruits contain saponin, a natural cleaning agent that effectively removes dirt and grime from clothes. Simply place a few soap nuts in a muslin bag and add it to your laundry load for a chemical-free cleaning experience.

By using these borax-free alternatives, you can create a homemade laundry detergent that is safe, effective, and tailored to your specific needs. Experiment with different ingredients and find the combination that works best for you and your laundry routine.

natural detergent ingredients

Making Powdered Homemade Laundry Detergent

If you prefer a powdered laundry detergent, you can easily make your own at home. This recipe requires a few simple ingredients and can be prepared in no time.

Gather Your Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of grated bar soap
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • Optional: 10-20 drops of essential oils for fragrance

To begin, grate the bar soap into fine particles using a box grater or food processor. Make sure the soap is finely grated to ensure proper dissolving in the wash. Combine the grated soap, borax, and washing soda in a large mixing bowl. If desired, add 10-20 drops of essential oils and mix well to distribute the fragrance evenly throughout the detergent.

Transfer the homemade powdered laundry detergent to an airtight glass jar for storage. Use a spoon or scoop to measure out 1-2 tablespoons of detergent per load of laundry. For extra cleaning power, especially for white loads, you can add 1 tablespoon of an oxygen booster to each load.

powdered laundry detergent recipe

Making Liquid Homemade Laundry Detergent

If you prefer a liquid detergent, you can make your own by dissolving the grated bar soap, borax, and washing soda in hot water. This liquid detergent can be used for stain treating and is more effective for front-loading machines that use less water. It can be added directly to the washer drum or to the automatic dispenser, ensuring that it flows smoothly. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, and dissolve the detergent in warm water before adding to the drum if experiencing residue or incomplete dissolution.

liquid laundry detergent recipe

Creating your own liquid laundry detergent is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your clothes clean and fresh. Follow these easy steps to make your own liquid detergent:

  1. Grate a bar of soap, such as castile soap or a natural laundry soap bar.
  2. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the grated soap and stir until dissolved.
  3. In a separate container, dissolve 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda in 4 cups of hot water.
  4. Combine the soap mixture and the borax mixture in a large bucket or container.
  5. Add enough hot water to fill the container, leaving some space at the top for mixing.
  6. Stir the mixture well until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  7. Allow the detergent to cool and thicken for several hours or overnight.
  8. Use a funnel to pour the liquid detergent into bottles or containers for storage.

When using your homemade liquid laundry detergent, remember to shake the bottle before each use, as some separation may occur. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, depending on the size and dirtiness of your laundry. For stain treating, apply a small amount of detergent directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

With this simple recipe, you can enjoy the benefits of homemade liquid laundry detergent while saving money and reducing your environmental impact.

Using Homemade Laundry Detergent in HE Washers

Using homemade laundry detergent in your high-efficiency washer is not only safe but also an effective way to clean your clothes while saving money and reducing your environmental impact. Homemade detergents are typically low-suds, making them suitable for HE machines. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure optimal performance and avoid any issues.

HE Washer Safe Detergent

When making your own laundry detergent for HE washers, it’s important to choose recipes specifically designed for high-efficiency machines. The recipes mentioned in this guide are proven to be safe and effective for HE washers, as they are low-suds and won’t cause excess foaming during the wash cycle. Always follow the recommended usage instructions provided with the recipe to achieve the best results.

Using homemade laundry detergent in HE washers

Proper Usage and Dosage

To ensure proper cleaning and avoid any potential issues, it’s essential to use the correct dosage of homemade detergent. HE washers require less detergent compared to traditional machines. Generally, 1-2 tablespoons of homemade detergent per load is sufficient for most laundry loads. However, for heavily soiled loads or larger wash loads, you may need to adjust the dosage accordingly.

It’s also recommended to dissolve powdered homemade detergent in warm water before adding it to the washer drum. This helps ensure complete dissolution and prevents any residue on your clothes. If you experience any residue or incomplete dissolution, dissolve the detergent in warm water before adding it to the drum.

Additional Guidelines

While homemade laundry detergent is safe for HE washers, it’s always a good idea to check the instructions and guidelines provided with your specific machine. Some HE washers may have additional recommendations or requirements for detergent usage. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines will help you maintain the optimal performance of your washer and ensure long-lasting durability.

Tips for Using Homemade Laundry Detergent

Using homemade laundry detergent has many benefits, but it’s important to follow a few tips to ensure you get the best results. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use the right amount: Homemade detergents are highly concentrated, so you only need 1-2 tablespoons per load. Using more than recommended can leave a residue on your clothes.
  2. Test where to add the detergent: Different washing machines have different recommendations for where to add detergent. Experiment with adding it directly to the drum or using the automatic dispenser to find the best option for your machine.
  3. Dissolve powdered detergent: If using powdered detergent, dissolve it in warm water before adding it to the drum. This ensures complete dissolution and prevents any residue or clumps.
  4. Regularly clean your HE washer: To prevent lint and residue buildup, clean your high-efficiency washer regularly. Wipe down the drum, gasket, and detergent dispenser to keep your machine running smoothly.

By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your homemade laundry detergent and keep your clothes clean and fresh. Enjoy the cost savings and eco-friendly benefits of making your own detergent!

“Using homemade laundry detergent is a great way to save money and reduce your environmental impact. Just remember to use the right amount, test where to add the detergent, dissolve powdered detergent, and keep your machine clean. With these tips, you’ll have clean and fresh laundry every time!”

Table: Comparison of Homemade Detergent Tips

Tips Benefits
Use the right amount Prevents residue on clothes
Test where to add the detergent Finds the best option for your machine
Dissolve powdered detergent Ensures complete dissolution
Regularly clean your HE washer Prevents buildup and maintains machine’s efficiency

Implementing these tips will help you make the most of your homemade laundry detergent. Enjoy the cost savings and environmental benefits while keeping your clothes fresh and clean!

Alternative Options for Homemade Laundry Detergent

While homemade laundry detergent offers many benefits, such as cost savings and eco-friendliness, it may not be feasible for everyone. If you prefer the convenience of pre-made options, there are several natural and eco-friendly laundry detergents available on the market that are safe for HE washers. These brands offer effective cleaning power without the use of harmful chemicals.

Some recommended alternative options for homemade laundry detergent include:

  • My Green Fills: This brand offers refillable laundry detergent and eco-friendly fabric softeners, with a focus on reducing plastic waste.
  • Ecover Zero: Ecover Zero provides plant-based laundry detergents that are free from fragrances and dyes, making them suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  • Emma Eco Me: Emma Eco Me offers natural laundry detergents made with essential oils and plant-based ingredients, ensuring a clean and fresh-smelling laundry.
  • Planet Natural: Planet Natural produces biodegradable laundry detergents that are safe for HE washers, with a commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact.
  • Branch Basics: Branch Basics offers non-toxic laundry detergents that are gentle on fabrics and free from harmful chemicals.

These alternative options provide a convenient and effective solution for those who prefer not to make their own laundry detergent. By choosing natural and eco-friendly brands, you can still enjoy the benefits of a greener and more sustainable laundry routine.

Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent Brands

If you’re interested in exploring more eco-friendly laundry detergent brands, here are a few additional options:

  1. Seventh Generation: Seventh Generation offers a range of plant-based laundry detergents that are free from synthetic fragrances and dyes.
  2. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: Known for their fragrant cleaning products, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day offers laundry detergents made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients.
  3. Attitude: Attitude is a Canadian brand that produces cruelty-free and vegan laundry detergents, made with hypoallergenic and biodegradable ingredients.
  4. Molly’s Suds: Molly’s Suds offers natural laundry detergents that are safe for sensitive skin and free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives.

These eco-friendly brands prioritize sustainability and ingredient transparency, allowing you to make a conscious choice for your laundry needs.

Homemade Fabric Softener for HE Washers

If you’re looking for a safer and more eco-friendly alternative to commercial fabric softeners for your high-efficiency washer, consider making your own homemade fabric softener. Not only will it leave your laundry feeling soft and smelling fresh, but it will also help prevent residue buildup and mold growth in your HE machine.

To make your own fabric softener, you’ll need a few simple ingredients: distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils for fragrance. Combine one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda in a large bowl or container. The mixture will fizz, so make sure you use a container with enough room to accommodate the reaction. Stir the mixture until the fizzing subsides.

Once the fizzing has stopped, add 10-15 drops of your preferred essential oil to the mixture and stir well. Lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus oils are popular choices for their refreshing scents. Transfer the fabric softener to a lidded bottle or jar for storage.

“Homemade fabric softener is a great alternative for HE washers, as it helps prevent residue buildup and keeps your laundry soft and fresh. Plus, it’s easy to make and cost-effective.”

To use the fabric softener, simply add half a cup to a cup of the mixture to the fabric softener dispenser of your HE washer or use a fabric softener ball. Shake the bottle or jar before each use, as the ingredients may separate over time. This homemade fabric softener is designed for use in HE washers, but it can also be used in traditional top-loading machines.

Ingredient Quantity
Distilled white vinegar 1 cup
Baking soda 1/2 cup
Essential oils 10-15 drops

By using this homemade fabric softener, you can enjoy soft, fresh-smelling laundry without the use of harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances. It’s a simple and effective DIY solution for enhancing your laundry routine and caring for your high-efficiency washer.

Conclusion

In conclusion, making your own homemade laundry detergent for HE washers is a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution that offers a range of benefits. By creating your own detergent, you have greater control over the ingredients that go into it, ensuring a safer and non-toxic option for your family and the environment. Additionally, homemade detergents can help you save money in the long run, as they are often more affordable than store-bought alternatives.

Whether you choose to make powdered or liquid detergent, both options are suitable for high-efficiency washers and can deliver clean and fresh-smelling laundry. The powdered detergent is quick and convenient to make, while the liquid version offers added versatility for stain treating. Whichever recipe you choose, always remember to use the recommended amount of detergent per load, as homemade detergents are concentrated and using more can lead to residue on your clothes.

In summary, by following the recipes and tips outlined in this guide, you can create a greener and more sustainable laundry routine. Whether you opt for homemade detergent or choose from the alternative options available on the market, making conscious choices about the products you use can have a positive impact on the environment and your wallet. Start making your own homemade laundry detergent today and enjoy the satisfaction of clean clothes while reducing your carbon footprint.

FAQ

What is the difference between laundry detergent and laundry soap?

Laundry detergent is synthetic and designed for specific purposes, while laundry soap is made from fats and oils with an alkali or base.

What are the benefits of homemade laundry detergent for HE washers?

Homemade detergent is cost-effective, eco-friendly, and often uses natural and non-toxic ingredients.

What ingredients do I need to make homemade laundry detergent?

You will need borax, washing soda, and a grated bar soap, although there are borax-free options available.

How do I make powdered homemade laundry detergent?

Grate the bar soap and mix it with borax and washing soda. Store in an airtight glass jar and use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

How do I make liquid homemade laundry detergent?

Dissolve grated bar soap, borax, and washing soda in hot water. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load and dissolve in warm water if experiencing residue issues.

Can homemade laundry detergent be used in high-efficiency washers?

Yes, as long as it is a low-suds detergent. Homemade detergents in this guide are low-suds and have been successfully used in HE washers.

What tips should I follow when using homemade laundry detergent?

Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, test where to add the detergent in your machine, dissolve powdered detergent in warm water, and regularly clean the washer to prevent buildup.

Are there alternative options to homemade laundry detergent?

Yes, brands like My Green Fills, Ecover Zero, and Emma Eco Me offer pre-made natural and eco-friendly laundry detergents.

Can I make homemade fabric softener for HE washers?

Yes, a homemade fabric softener made from distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils is a safer choice for HE washers.