Sal Suds in the Laundry

Sal Suds makes a fabulous laundry detergent.  This video shows how simple it is.  Clothes are left clean, soft, and fragrance-free.  Sal Suds is gentle enough for any washable delicates (although it cannot be substituted for dry cleaning).  It works at any temperature, and rinses fully with hot or cold.

The baking soda and vinegar are optional.  I only use them on my whites, or if a load is really smelly.  Be sure to put the vinegar in the rinse cycle only.  If it mixes with the baking soda during the wash cycle, it will cancel out the cleaning capabilities.

I do not have a front loading, HE machine, so I have not tried this recipe out there.  Generally, we had been recommending cutting the ingredient quantities in half, but we’ve heard that there is also an issue with mold in the HE machines, and I don’t know how to counteract that without bleach.

So, here’s my recipe for a top loading washer:

·         2-3 Tbsp. Sal Suds for a large load

Optional:

·         ½ c. baking soda added to the wash cycle;

·         1 c. vinegar added to the rinse cycle

85 thoughts on “Sal Suds in the Laundry

  1. Hi there – The one product that is perfect for bathing and cleaning is the Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soaps. They are primarily designed for the body, but work amazingly well around the house. The Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is designed for cleaning and is slightly more effective and clean rinsing. It is a mild detergent, and should not be used for bathing. Hope that helps!

    Let me know if other questions come up!

    All the best,
    Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa. I can not English, I use translator. I am from the Czech Republic. I had Sal Suds – is perfect. Now he can not get here. Please deliver somewhere in Germany? Where are you? In Germany I can not find Sal Suds, just soap.
    I would order it through Germany. Thank you. Alice

  3. Hi Alice – Unfortunately, the Sal Suds is not available through our distributor in Germany. The nearest distributor that carries it is in Britain.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I know of a better product for cleaning and I have a place in the cabinet, there were no unnecessary bottle. I love Sal Susds. Maybe some will even deliver to Germany (to the Czech Republic). I would love to.

  5. Thank you for the website and all your helpful comments Lisa, it is just the boost I needed to actually start buying the products. I can’t wait to put my first load of laundry in with the Sal Suds.
    Since you mentioned using those spiky balls in the dryer I wanted to add that I use wool dryer balls and love them. I do get some static, but not like I would without them and they help decrease drying time (a must for cloth diapers and towels). I can’t imagine they would damage clothes since they are so soft and as a bonus they don’t add a thumping noise the way the plastic spiky ones do. You can buy them online or just make your own from an old wool sweater. I’ve also heard of people adding essential oils to them for the scent.
    Thanks again for all you advice!

  6. I am going to attempt using this for washing cloth diapers. How would you recommend doing this? I would assume I would need to cut down on the Sal Suds but just not sure how much I would cut out. I just want to be sure there isn’t anything left after the rinse cycle that would affect the diapers absorbency.

  7. Lisa,

    I really appreciate your website. I have environmental sensitivities and very bothered by scents, including many essential oils (although I am uncertain about those used in Sal Suds). Does Sal Suds have a strong scent when used for cleaning? Does any scent remain on clothes washed with Sal Suds? Thanks, Judy

  8. Hi,
    I just came across sal suds and I’m looking forward to trying it with my cloth diapers. Do you know if i can also use it to soak them in until i wash them? Thankyou!

  9. I just got our gallon of sal suds yesterday and I’ve never been so excited to do laundry before! (that just sounds ridiculous!) We have a front loading washer so I wanted to chime in for those who are curious. My first load I did 2 tablespoons, some vinegar and half a scoop of oxyclean. (I haven’t researched that yet to know if I should or shouldn’t be using it, one thing at a time….sal suds was the first transition.)
    I have to say, so far so good! My youngest is potty training and we’ve had a busy week so her clothes didn’t get washed right away. For those familiar with that smell, you can rest assured when I say the clothes smelled clean when they came out, they really did! (that is a hard smell to get out, especially if it’s been sitting for a bit) I did use a little bit of vinegar but saw it started draining into the pre-washed clothes, and as I understand it, rendering the soap useless or maybe that’s just if I used castile? I don’t know. But I do know everything smelled great! Even the swim towels that got left on the floor of the laundry room from 4 days ago! (Like I said, it’s been a busy week/weekend and the laundry was the first thing neglected!)
    I’ve got the 2nd load in now, just did 2 tablespoons of sal suds and half a scoop of oxyclean. There were lots of bubbles (there weren’t hardly any on the first load, I assumed because of the vinegar being added too soon) but as it’s rinsing, it looks clear.
    I have a ton more things around the house that I’m excited to try sal suds on, not to mention I’m really looking forward to ridding my house of all the random cleaners I’ve accumulated over the years as I render them useless in light of sal suds doing the job they never really could.
    Thank you Lisa for all your practical and easy to follow advice and instructions. (I read to my husband the various warnings you give about using too much sal suds because he tends to be of the mind – if some is good, more is better. We’ll see if he follows your advice or not!) :)

  10. How and what do you use as a pre treater for stains. I would like to get away from the Shouts and Resolve type products. I have a front loading HE so it can’t be sudsy and I want it to wash away.

  11. I am so sorry for my belated responses here. I hope they are still helpful.

    Toria – How do you make the wool dryer balls from an old sweater? That would be a great repurposing.

    Sarah & Josi– The Sal Suds work great on cloth diapers. It is very clean rinsing. I recommend using 2 Tbsp. of Sal Suds for a load of diapers. You can also add ½ c. of vinegar to the rinse cycle for extra whitening, brightening, and deodorizing.

    Judy – Sal Suds does not have a strong scent at all. It does not leave a scent on clothes or other surfaces.

    Tara – I hope your success continued, along with your enthusiasm for doing the laundry!

    Marguerite – I use pure Sal Suds on stains. It works really, really well and does not damage the color at all. I just put a drop or so directly on to the stain.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  12. I am currently using Charlie banana cloth diapers and have emailed their customer service on dr bronners Castile soap and sal suds for cleaning their diapers. They actually came back and said dr bronners products have tested to have a major build up, contrary to the recommendation on your website. I am not sure if I should continue to use the sal suds to launder the diapers. Is the build up from the amount used??

  13. Hi Katherine – I will check out our website on that. I definitely recommend the Sal Suds for diapers for that very reason. The Sal Suds is fully clean rinsing and is very effective, especially when paired with sun-drying the diapers. The build up is from the soap’s reaction with hard water producing a residue that could impeded moisture absorption. Rinsing with vinegar helps, but since with diapers, moisture absorption is paramount, I’d go with the Sal Suds.

    All the best,
    Lisa

    • I’ve been using salsuds for laundry for almost a year and have loved the scent free, itchy free feeling of my clothes. I reused a face moisturizing pump that dispenses very little solution. I use about 2 undiluted squirts of salsuds (about a teaspoon) in my front load HE washer. Lately I’ve noticed something that I can only describe as oil stains splattered on my clothing and seem to be evident on my cotton clothes, colored or white. Could it be from the salsuds? I use the cold/cold cycle for all my clothes. How can I treat my clothes that have stained? I really want to continue using salsuds for my laundry. Thanks for your help!!!

  14. Hi Lei – I am sorry to hear about the stains on your laundry! That is super frustrating. I really don’t see how it could be from the Sal Suds, especially as they sound like oil-ish stains. Although I do not have an HE machine, those who do have recommend 1 Tablespoon of the Sal Suds per load, which would be three times what you are using. Perhaps upping the amount of Sal Suds would help. To treat stains, I apply undiluted Sal Suds to the stain before washing.

    Let me know if you make any progress on this.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  15. Hello Lei – I often noticed what looked like grease spots on clothes coming out of my dryer [especially noticeable on darker items]. I suspected the dryer sheets I was using and went online looking for alternatives, which is how I learned about white vinegar. This was about 10 years ago & I haven’t had a grease spot problem since I stopped using the sheets. PS – there are other ways to use dryer sheets – just not in your dryer. Hope this is helpful.

  16. I have been using your Sal Suds on my HE machine top loading for months and it works excellently well. I do not get mold nor does the light to clean wash come on. I only use about 1 tablespoon. I loveeeee Sal Suds!!

  17. So glad to hear it, Marlene! I couldn’t agree more!

    Great tips, Janet!

  18. Hi, Lisa,

    I never try DB product and I just made my first order and Iooking forward to use it, but I have few question about it.

    After I open the Sal Suds…How long I can keep it?

    I wonder if I using it for laundry, and can I using the Laundry sanitiser together with it?

    When I do the Laundry, I need to set it to COLD water? I normally using 40c for washing clothes and 60c for towels and bed sheet !

    I am living in Hong Kong and I think it is a hard water in here, so, if I mixing the sal suds with the hard water for a spray to clean my home, is that ok? or I better buy a bottle of water to mixing it?

    After I mixing a spray or dish wash by hand… how long i can keep it? do i need to finish it within a a month or some?

    If I using it for washing dish (By Hand), are they strong enough to wash off the grease oil? And will that be damage my skin? because I do not wear any gloves when I do the kitchen work, I do believe that is the best way to feel are they clean enough!

    Sorry for that many questions…

    All the best,

    Carol

  19. Hi Carol – Welcome to Dr. Bronner’s! I’m glad you’ve asked your questions. For the Sal Suds, we say officially that it has a shelf life of 3 years, even after opened, but I have never heard of the Sal Suds going bad. For the laundry, you can combine the Sal Suds with other cleansers, if you would like. It will not react with it. Sal Suds works equally well in hot or cold water. Sal Suds does not react with hard water, so you do not need to buy bottled water. For the spray, also here I have never heard of a case of the Sal Suds solution going bad. For washing dishes, yes, Sal Suds is terrific and getting rid of grease while still being very mild to your skin. I don’t wear gloves either and absolutely agree about needing to feel the dish myself to see if it is clean.

    Let me know if you have further questions.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  20. Hi Gayle – Since both proteins and household greases are from organic sources (people, animals, or plants), an alkaline cleaner is the best option for cleaning them. Both Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps as well as the Sal Suds are alkaline and good options.

    Please let me know if I can be of further help.

    All the best,
    Lisa

  21. I think the problem with front loaders is the suds. This can be eliminated by adding a small amount of fabric softener to the wash cycle along with the soap. I don’t know why it cuts the suds but it does.

  22. I recently did the 4th annual flat (diapers) and handwashing challenge…what, and how much, would you use for handwashing large squares of cotton in a 3-5 gallon bucket? Would you recommend wearing rubber gloves or is it gentle enough to use bare hands?

  23. Lisa do you ever add essential oils to this recipe? If so, when and how much? Also wondering if they’d be more potent in the dryer.

  24. hi

    just a question about the arm and hammer that you use
    it s all over the net that arm and hammer and church and dwight the company that makes baking soda, test on animals… it even on peta black list
    do you have any infos about that ?
    thks much

  25. Hi Lisa, first I want to share with you, last summer by accident I had a chance to read so much about chemical toxic that interrupts our fertility system and developmental growth (I had a couple of IVFs three years ago due to infertility, luckily on our 2nd try we got a boy.) I was lucky to found out EWG website (from someone’s comment), and the first safe brand listed in EWG was “Dr. Bronner’s”. I was immediately tossed all of my chemical filled household cleaners, body cleaners and moisturizers, and went to my local Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s and purchased Dr. Bronners’s castile soap and body bars, and started to look into natural moisturizers and essential oil, like coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, beeswax, etc. (Now we replaced diaper creams/minor wound ointment with coconut oil and lanolin, and tea tree oil for its anti-fungel/anti-odor effectiveness! I also apply coconut oil as my eye cream, and apply jojoba oil to reduce my t-zone oiliness. I used to have oil skin and oil scalp, but after I start using DB’s castil soap, my face/scapl immediately seems controlled! The result hit me with the idea, that all my years of oily-skin, was artificially produced by chemical filled body cleanser and moisturizers! Unbelievable!)

    Unfortunately I couldn’t find Sal Suds on any local store, so we ordered our first bottle (in gallon) from Dr. Bronner’s web shop immediately. Now almost a year passed, we still have one inch left in the same bottle, it saved us SO MUCH $$$! We mainly use Sal Suds for all our laundry (husband & my, and our toddler’s clothes), also I followed your cheat sheet and made my own all-purposed spray and hand wash dish soap. My husband was very skeptical at first about Sal Suds cleaning strength, but now after a year, he loved how Sal Suds can clean everything so effectively, especially he’s the one who does our the laundry every few days LOL, and he loved that it didn’t cause us a fortune to keep clean and green :)

    Now I have a question. Is it safe to use Sal Suds on lamb’s wool? I am looking to buy a wool crib mattress puddle pad (I just learn about these pad are naturally water resisted, so to avoid those chemical treated waterproof crib pads), I wonder if Sal Suds is too strong to wash off lanolin from wool in general? Do you have any good suggestions on this? Thanks in advance for helping me, and thanks to your family for making these amazing non-toxic products to simplify our life! Here’s the wool pad I am thinking to get – http://www.amazon.com/Natura-Crib-Mattress-Puddle-Pad/dp/B001N2LWCY/ref=pd_cp_ba_1

  26. Hi Lisa

    I would like my chemical free laundry detergent to smell nice. Is it ok to add lavender essential oils to the sal suds and baking soda?
    For another option with a fragrance, could I also use castile soap with baking soda?

    Thanks
    Shanna

  27. Is this product safe for septic systems….we are not connected to city sewers

  28. Just some feedback in regards to washing Bumgenious diapers, I have been using Sals Suds for my baby’s Bumgenious 4.0 set for the past three months and it has been working far better than the mainstream free and clear brand I was using before. The washing machine no longer stinks and the baby no longer gets diaper rashes. No buildup on the diapers (no repelling) and the diapers dont reek. I use it 2 tablespoons per load, hot wash, normal type washing machine with a second rinse, about 24 diapers/inserts at a time. Note I do NOT use any additives such as baking soda, washing soda, or vinegar as this reportedly causes issues with the bumgenious elastic.

  29. I have been using a laundry recipe that is a bit different. I found it at http://wholesomemommy.com.
    3 Tbsp Dr. Bonner’s castile soap
    6 Tbsp borac
    6 Tbsp Arm and Hammer washing soda

    Pour 4 cups of hot water into a gallon container. Add Castile soap and shake it up to dissolve the soap. Add Borax and washing soda. Fill container to the gallon mark. Shake and mix.

    To use: Pour 1/2 cup into washer for a normal load. I pour about 1/2 of white vinegar in the rinse compartment.

    Also, I have a HE washer. Leave the door open when not in use and wipe out the rubber parts with vinegar periodically. Mold happens no matter what detergent you use.

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