Below you will find “recipes” for homemade detergents provided by different Padded Tush Stats readers. I asked them to provide me with the source of their recipe, if it is from somewhere (I also tried to do some detective work to see if perhaps it was from somewhere else). If you see that one appears like one listed from another website, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can make sure I link up that site. Please also be aware that some of the contents listed in these recipes had a negative effect on your diapers or may void diaper warranties. While I personally do not feel like there is sufficient research correlating the use of these chemicals on diapers specifically, please use at your own risk. Pin Stripes and Polka Dots has a GREAT post that talks about many of these ingredients.
*** Items are those that may lead to premature wear on diapers, so wash at your own risk! Borax is in all of these, which may lead to early wear. See the article above at Pin Stripes and Polka Dots that talks about the abrasiveness of Borax and how dissolving could help with the harshness. You may also want to read this caution article from Thirsties. I am eagerly pursuing actual research that connects these chemicals with damage on diapers, so if you find anything that provides lab or statistical-based evidence, please let me know.
Although washing with some of these natural chemicals may not be ideal for diapers, many have come to the point that due to their water conditions or budget, it is just something they need to do.
Making your own detergent is one way to both reduce costs and to customize your detergent to meet your particular needs. 35 of the 2,098 survey respondents to the Washing Diapers Survey (still open) indicated that they made their own detergent. Overall, the satisfaction score for homemade detergent did score higher than the average score for all detergents.
Those who had front loaders, soft water, and normal water all seemed very satisfied with their detergent (much, much more than those using all detergents).
I asked those who were satisfied with their routine to let me know what their recipes were and here were the responses:
Front loader, unsure of water:
1 cup borax***
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda
1 finely grated bar of Ivory or Dr Bronners
Use 1-2 tablespoons per load
Makes 48 cloth diaper loads/24 regular clothes
(this video seems very similar to this recipe)
Estimated Price: roughly .05 per load
1/2 c washing soda
1/2 c borax***
bucket add 2 1/2 gallons of hot tap water, pour hot soapy water into that stirring well. While it’s still liquid-y I pour that into gallon jugs (I use vinegar jugs). Leave lid off overnight the soap will set up a bit like jello.
Use a little less than 1/4 cup.
1 box baking soda
1 box borax***
2 containers of oxyclean***
3 bars Dr Bronners bar soap (or Kirks Castile bar soap)
To wash, I use 2-3 tablespoons depending on my load size. I also use this same recipe for all of our regular clothes as well. I have been cloth diapering for 22 months, and we have never had any issues with build-up, stinkies, repelling, etc. And all of my diapers are still in good condition (except the seconds quality rump-a-rooz I bought that delaminated). The only ‘issue’ we had is when my son’s urine turned into that super strong toddler urine, and his overnight diapers would be pretty potent. And he also started wetting more heavily, and we had to start doubling up on inserts. But those are hardly issues at all! So overall, everything has been going great for us!”