Borax Free Powdered Laundry Detergent
Recently, I’ve been on the search for a new powdered laundry detergent that’s safe for cloth diapers. I had also had several requests from readers for a borax-free laundry detergent they could use after concerns that borax could be irritating on the skin. I began researching different all-natural cleaners and stain removers that were soap free. I already used baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to help whiten my laundry, and I knew Epsom salt was a natural surfactant (meaning it basically makes water “wetter”) because of how it works on my garden. It helps the water get into the fibers of the fabric to break away dirt and grime and wash it out. Baking soda is a natural fabric softener, whitens fabrics, removes odors and fights tea and coffee stains. All of my other laundry “detergent” recipes already contained Washing Soda (sodium carbonate). It will break down and remove wine, oil and grease stains and naturally softens the water. What I was lacking was something to get out diaper stains. I’d used Oxy-clean in the past, but there was concern about optical brighteners being present in Oxy-clean and their use on cloth diapers (Oxy-clean maintains that it does not contain optical brighteners, but perception is reality). I also didn’t want to use soap (i.e. Fels Naptha) because of its possibility of building up on cloth diapers and causing leaks.
I did find this guide to Green Laundry Stain Removers. Many of the stain removers I already knew about. I used to use a combination of lemon juice and corn starch to remove yellow stains on the feet of my show rabbits. One I didn’t know about was salt. As it turns out, salt can be very useful at removed liquid stains. Check out Uses for Salt: Doing the Laundry. Salt is proven effective against blood, gravy, grease, ink, mildew and wine. I’ve also found that it’s great at getting out set in stains that make white fabrics dingy.
It’s taken some tweaking to come up with a recipe I was really happy with. My goal was to find something that was safe on cloth diapers, but would brighten my whites as well as if not better than bleach. I really like this recipe because it doesn’t have any soap in it. I’ve also found that it makes a great household cleaner and stain fighter. Take a small amount of detergent and mix it with a little bit of water to form a paste. Rub it into the stain and it will almost instantly disappear I’ll warn you though, if you do it on upholstery, the spot where the stain used to be may end up being cleaner (and therefore lighter) than the rest of your furniture. I still have a dining room chair seat I need to steam clean because it cleaned the spots a little too well. The paste also works great on grout lines.
- 1 1/2 c Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 c Washing Soda
- 1/2 c Epsom Salt
- 2 Tbsp Salt
- A few drops of essential oil for fragrance (a little bit goes a very long way)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until well combined. Store in an airtight container (I use a mason jar).
- 1 Tbsp per large load of laundry.
Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of reimbursement for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.