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Your skin demands homemade laundry soap!

by The Nitty Gritty Team
Do It Yourself

Ok so you know how when you throw your clothes in the laundry, you expect them to be clean after? Maybe you have a washer dryer combo, slash all-in-one washer-dryer situation. Maybe you prefer to wash clothes at the laundromat, or perhaps an old timey washboard and basin is your jam. 

The point is, whatever vessel you choose to launder your items, we’re guessing you toss in some laundry detergent, too – you know, for suds. 

But here’s the thing about that. You see if you’re using regular laundry detergent, regardless of the machine or pair of hands involved in the cleaning, your clothes, sheets, towels, etc. retain a mysterious chemical residue that lingers long after everything’s been tidily folded away. 

And as your largest organ, we think your skin – the part of you that comes in contact with your freshly fluffed towels and neatly ironed slacks - might have a thing or two to say about that.

“You call this clean??” it might quip, as it absorbs invisible toxins. “Is this scent found in nature? What are you putting on me? And what about my eczema, is there not a gentler detergent for eczema?” 

Skin can be so whiney sometimes. 

A Brief Sidebar on Eczema

Skin with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is more easily irritated. That’s because the moisture barrier is damaged, making it more difficult to retain that all-important protection. 

A gentle, natural laundry soap can help eliminate irritants from clothes, and help keep sensitive or eczema-prone skin much happier. 

But wait! It can keep regular, old non-sensitive skin happier, too!

What’s in YOUR laundry detergent?

Even if you don’t typically require a detergent for sensitive skin, or have a detergent allergy to speak of, chances are your pores are still absorbing one or more of the following common chemicals that lurk in many laundry detergents: 

Phosphates Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonates, Petroleum Distillates, Quanternium-15, Nonylphenol Ethoxylate, Diethanolamine, Polyalkylene Glycol, Ethylene Oxide. 

We know, we can’t pronounce most of them, either, ok?

Which is why if you ask us, the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin, or any skin at all, for that matter, is a natural laundry detergent. Organic detergent. Even pet-safe detergent! (How many times is too many times to say detergent!)

And anyway, though we tend to use the terms detergent and soap interchangeably, the two are actually incredibly different as far as chemical makeup is concerned (detergent is not biodegradable!) 

Which is why a nice, clean organic laundry soap is not actually a detergent at all (It’s true, just ask science!) 

It will, however, get your fabrics and textiles, favorite hoodies and pet sweaters actually clean. And the best part? You can whip this up at home. So let’s do this thing!


Behold! A Laundry Soap Recipe


  • 14 cups very hot water, divided
  • 1 cup baking soda, divided, clumps removed
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup of your favourite Cove Castile Soap (we recommend the Unscented Gallon for sensitive skin) 
  • 30 drops essential oil (Optional! But fun!)
  • Gallon-sized jug


We’re gonna do this in two parts since it makes a large amount. Feel free to halve the recipe, though. Who are we to judge?

  1. In a large glass bowl, combine 7 cups of the hot water with half the baking soda (1/2 cup) and half the salt (1/4 cup). Stir it up until completely dissolved. The mixture will start out all murky-looking, but when everything’s good and dissolved, it should be mostly clear. 
  2. Now go ahead and pour the mixture into your gallon-sized jug.
  3. Repeat step one with the remaining half of your ingredients and add to the jug, too.
  4. Time to pour in your Cove Castile Soap and essential oil, if using. Swirl gently and then go ahead and label that thing, while you’re at it. 
  5. Wash your clothes! Shake the container to make sure everything’s nice and cohesive, then pour half a cup (or more if it’s a particularly gross load) of the laundry soap into the washer as it fills with water. Run that cycle!

So, the moral of the story is this: Not only is natural laundry soap completely non-toxic, better for your skin, pets, babies and your overall health in general, BUT it’s better for the environment, too. AND you can DIY it at home.

Your clothes will be clean. Your skin will stop whining. Everyone wins!

Castile soap to rescue. 


Keep clean simple, friends.

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