5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Homemade Laundry Detergent
My goal of this heading isn’t to give you an exact recipe, but to break down the common ingredients in homemade laundry soaps.
Most homemade laundry ‘detergents’ are made up of water softeners like baking soda, washing soda, and borax and a cleaning agent which is typically a grated bar of soap.
The goal of the water softener is to… you guessed it! Soften the water. You might have heard the terms hard water and soft water which has to do with the level of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water.
The most common water softeners used in homemade laundry soap borax and washing soda, but they’re marketed as laundry BOOSTERS because they are meant to aid a detergent not replace one.
If you have really hard water, like I do in California, using a homemade laundry soap is even worse because the high levels of calcium and magnesium make it almost impossible for the soap to wash free from the textiles.
While the laundry boosters help some, its not an appropriate replacement for detergent.
DIY laundry ‘detergent’ can RUIN your clothing:
When you’re using homemade laundry soap you can ruin your clothing. I know this from personal experience, but lets take a little bit deeper look into why.
If you use soap on your hands in the kitchen or bathroom sink you’ve probably had to deal with soap build up or soap scum.
That’s happening to your clothes, and worse… your washing machine which we’ll address in the next heading.
Every time you wash your clothing soap build up buries itself inside of the textiles. This build up can create a water repelling effect which might be why your reusable towels aren’t super great at absorbing water, but can also leave an oily residue behind.
When soap accumulates in your clothing it will actually attract and trap dirt in your textiles. It quite literally makes your clothing DIRTY the exact opposite thing you want from a laundry detergent…
How Does Laundry Detergent Affect the Environment?
When we dump a capful of concentrated cleaning detergent into our laundry machine, we don’t really think much of it, especially not in an environmental sense. After all, as far as most of us are concerned, something as common and innocuous as laundry detergent couldn’t possibly be bad for the planet. Some brands even make a point to say so! Unfortunately, like so many man-made chemical inventions, detergent is far from completely harmless.