Here's the short list of what's in a bottle of Tide Free & Gentle, one of the leading dye- and perfume-free detergents on the market (32-load bottle retails around $8):
WaterNow let's take a look at the ingredients in Ecos, a biodegradable, eco-friendly clothing cleaner (67 loads for $11.39):
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate
Diquaternium Ethoxy Sulfate
Diethylenetriamine Pentaacetate (Sodium Salt)
Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate
Magnolia & Lillies - 100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil-based surfactant, horsetail plant, essential oils of magnolias and lilies, purified water.Now let's say you don't want to spend so many dollars on your detergent, nor do you want to put harmful chemicals into the very products you lay so close to your naked skin, nor do you want to search high and far on the Internet and specialty, overpriced markets every time you need a new bottle of detergent. How about making your own?
Lavender - 100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil based surfactant, horsetail plant, essential oil of lavender (NOP Certified Organic), purified water.
Lemongrass - 100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil based surfactant, horsetail plant, coconut based fabric softener, essential oil of lemongrass (NOP Certified Organic), purified water.
Here's a very simple laundry detergent recipe safe for any graywater, septic, or sewage system. All of us downstreamers say thank you!
Basic Biodegradable Laundry Detergent
4 cups of water
1 bar of vegetable-based soap (avoid any soap with heavy fragrances)
2 cups of washing soda (available in most supermarkets)
2 cups of Borax (available in most supermarkets)
A big wooden spoon
A measuring cup
Pour 4 cups of water into a pot and heat. The water does not need to boil.
Grate the soap bar.
Remove hot water from heat, add grated soap, and stir with wooden spoon until soap is completely dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.
Pour in Borax and washing soda and stir.
When the solution is liquid, you may choose to add 1/4 cup liquid bluing to make whites brighter without the use of bleach. You may even add in some liquid castile soap for a little extra cleaning boost and scent. Add enough hot water to make 4 gallons to 5 gallons laundry detergent.
Store the solution into a 5-gallon container with a lid or use your old laundry detergent bottles. Let the solution sit overnight and in the morning stir again. For each load of laundry, use about a 1/2 cup of your homemade laundry detergent.