Septic-Safe Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade laundry detergent uses natural items that contain little to no chemicals. This means the detergent will not corrode or harm septic tanks. However, according to Razor Family Farms, the soap flakes used in many homemade powdered laundry detergents can clog the septic tank, resulting in an expensive repair bill. Instead, create a liquid laundry detergent that is safe for septic systems.

Homemade laundry detergent can help lower your budget.

Bar Soap

To begin the process, bring a pot filled with 4 cups of water to a boil on a stove. The water must be hot enough to completely dissolve the bar soap. Once the water begins to boil, turn the heat down on low and let the water simmer. While the water is simmering, grasp the white bar soap with one hand. The soap should not contain a high amount of fats, oils, fragrances or moisturizers. These items will throw off the effectiveness of the homemade laundry detergent. Hold the bar soap over a container and grate the soap with a cheese grater. You must use the whole bar soap. Pour the grated bar soap into the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the soap dissolves completely.

Washing Soda and Borax

Found in the laundry aisle of department stores, washing soda and borax are all-natural and inexpensive items that have various uses in your home. While the grated bar soap is dissolving on the stove, pour 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax in a small plastic container. Washing soda contains sodium carbonate and borax is sodium borate. Stir the powder together with a spoon. Slowly add the powder to the soapy-water filled pot and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. The soda and borax will not introduce unneeded chemicals, yet it will help clean your clothing while removing stains.

Plastic Bucket with Lid

To store the homemade liquid laundry detergent, use a large plastic bucket that features a lid. Pour 1 quart of hot water in the clean bucket. The bucket must be clean before you add the water. Carefully pour the soap, washing soda and borax mixture in the bucket and mix thoroughly with the wooden spoon. Immediately pour 1 gallon of water into the mixture and stir once again until mixed. Secure the lid on the bucket. The lid will keep bugs and debris out of the homemade laundry detergent. Store the laundry detergent in an out-of-the-way area that is cool, dry and out of direct sunlight.

Essential Oil

Adding essential oil to the mixture is not necessary but it will give your homemade laundry detergent a pleasant scent. Since there are various essential oils, choose the one you find pleasant. Lavender, lemon, cucumber and rosemary are a few common scents used for laundry detergent. Add several drops of the essential oil to the goop and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. You can switch up the essential oil with a different fragrance for each batch you create. This will give your clothing a new scent.


Before using the homemade detergent for the first time, let the mixture sit for 24 hours. The detergent may begin to separate and stirring it with a spoon before each use may be required. For each load of laundry, use 1/2 cup of the liquid detergent. Pour the detergent directly into the washing machine drum before adding the garments. However, if your washing machine features a detergent receptacle, pour the homemade liquid detergent into it instead.