I recently started making my own laundry detergent, to see if there really is any secret weapon in natural detergent or if I might actually be able to make a better detergent myself. A few years ago I would have been too nervous to go rogue like this, but now I have discovered I make a better foaming sugar scrub than any I have bought, and that most household cleaning can be done with baking soda and Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. So, a few of you suggested when I posted my first homemade laundry detergent recipe that goat’s milk soap might work better than Dr. Bronner’s castile soap at cleaning without leaving a residue. How did it turn out?
I followed the same recipe as before, which you can see below. I used another grated bar of solid soap to add to my washing soda and borax mix, and I grated it the same way. The results? Exactly the same, as far as I can tell. Goat’s milk soap is a little more expensive than castile soap, and in theory it should work a little better at cleaning without residue. But I didn’t notice any difference after a couple weeks of using it. So if you want the best bet for creating your own cloth diaper-friendly detergent without build-up, you may want to go the goat’s milk soap route, but it doesn’t seem to be essential.
Next up, I may try to create a liquid version of this detergent, but I may wait until winter when there isn’t so much mold around trying to get into my homemade concoctions. I’m a little concerned about it spoiling. Probably another unfounded fear, though. I’ll let you know how it goes! And please let me know how these recipes work for you. The cool thing about making your own detergent is that you can customize the scent with your favorite soap: I love Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap (boy, does sweet peppermint smell better than dirty diapers!), and you might be able to get some real benefit out of a goat’s milk soap with tea tree oil and citrus like I just tried. Without any additional ingredients, you can get some cleaning boost from natural bacteria fighters that are included in your favorite natural soap.
Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent 2.0: Goat’s Milk Soap Version
1 cup borax (in the laundry aisle at mainstream grocery stores)
1 cup washing soda (also available in the laundry aisle)
2 cups grated goat’s milk soap (I used Zum Bar soap from Whole Foods)
Shake these dry ingredients together in an air-tight tupperware container, and use 1 Tablespoon of detergent per load of laundry, give or take a little depending on your water and type of washer.
Hope you like it!