Years ago, I developed a homemade laundry soap recipe and used it for a long time before my husband forced me to switch to store-bought laundry detergent! I learned that homemade laundry detergent does not work.
There are articles you can read about why homemade laundry soap is not actually cleaning your clothes. They make them stink and leave behind a dirty color. (BUT there is a reason and way to use my DIY laundry soap successfully! Read more at the bottom!)
I didn’t want to believe it – after all, I was saving a lot of money and feeling quite accomplished making my own laundry soap. But, the smelly and dirty clothes were finally enough proof to convince me that my husband had been right all along.
- Within months of using my homemade laundry soap, my husband started complaining about the smell of his “clean” clothes – “wet dog” was the exact description he used! I made the poor guy suffer through the stinkiness for years.
- Our lights/whites started becoming all shades of brown and gray. I tried adding white vinegar, (more) baking soda, and essential oils – but, the issues continued!
Why Homemade Laundry Detergent Does Not Work
Through my research, I learned how laundry soap and detergent are very different, why homemade laundry soap works okay for hand-washed laundry and detergent is best for modern washing machines, and what the best laundry detergent to buy is.
A couple of years ago, we made the switch to a naturally-based laundry detergent that is affordable and best of all – it works! No smelly, dirty clothes – just fresh and clean laundry!
- I do add essential oils to my washing machine, usually eucalyptus to help with dust mites, etc.
- I use an energy-efficient LG top-loader washing machine and have for a few years.
- I still use the laundry tips that I included in my FREE printable along with my homemade laundry “detergent” recipe, but I wanted to share the “stinky truth” about why homemade laundry detergent does not work like I hoped it would.
LAUNDRY Metal Street Sign, Vintage, Retro
Stain Removal Guide Metal Sign
Metal Sign Guide to Fabric Care Tag Instructions
Foldable Clothes Drying Laundry Rack – White
Galvanized Washboard, Large, Silver
Cotton Rope Basket in Grey | Tall Storage Basket with Long Handles
Why & How To Use DIY Laundry Soap
I am not deleting my (very popular) recipe and laundry tips post because it is still a valuable article. Educating ourselves is always a good thing and knowing how to make a laundry soap that is especially helpful for handwashing may come in handy someday!
I still think it is okay to use it for a while if you need a super frugal option, but not a good idea to use it longterm. I recommend keeping my homemade laundry detergent recipe in your DIY binder or homesteading notebook for those months when you need to stretch the budget or simply want to use a washtub and washboard – homesteaders understand! 😉
Buy my favorite laundry detergent with the all-important enzymes HERE – I have been using it for a few years now! It is natural, gentle on sensitive skin, HE/regular washing machine compatible, and quite affordable – just one bottle will wash up to 215 loads (HE) at approximately 16cents per load!
Speaking of laundry, what (large family) tips do you have for me & everyone reading this? Leave them in the comments!