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


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

·         1 c. vinegar added to the rinse cycle

172 thoughts on “Sal Suds in the Laundry

  1. Time for true confessions, folks. It is February 9, 2017, and I have missed several months of comments for the simple reasons that things went a little crazy around here. I very much apologize. I am tackling them now for the sake of those faithful and new readers who might actually read them all. I am going to start with the most recent. Bear with me.

  2. As for laundry using Sal suds, do I rinse clothes twice or only the once should be OK ?

    • Hi Tomoko – I apologize for not seeing your question February. One rinse is fine.


    • Hi Jan – I am sorry for missing your comment from March. “1:10” means 1 part soap to 10 parts water. The amount depends on the size bottle you’re trying to fill, but an example is 1/4 c. soap to 2 1/2 cups of water. Here’s an active link for Sal Suds: Thank you for pointing out the broken link.

  4. Hi, how much should I use for a 1kg load in a top load washing machine?

    • Hi there – You do not need much for a 1 Kg load. Try just 1 Tbsp, or 15 mL of Sal Suds.

    • Hi, I’ve since upgraded my machine haha… How much should I use for a 10kg top load HE machine? 10 or 5 tbsp?

    • My norm on that sized barrel is 2-3 Tbsp. (30-45 mL). But if the loads aren’t that dirty, feel free to go with less.

  5. I’ve been having a ton of issues with residue on my laundry and stink that has gotten progressively worse over the 3 years making my own laundry detergent using the common bar soap plus washing soda and borax method. In searching I found that those recipes use so little of the soap that they’re leaving a lot of dirt behind and, in a front loader a lot of residue as well. I found Sal suds as a suggestion to a natural solution that won’t cause these problems. I can’t wait to try it after I actually strip all the gunk out. Google dig laundry detergent not working to learn more and see some disgusting pictures. My first tubfull looked exactly like those pictures and the water absolutely stank. Please don’t suggest using a soap for laundry detergent as it can cause real problems. The detergent in Sal suds is a way better suggestion.

    • Hi Chelsea – Yes, this would make an awesome detergent for baby items. In fact, I was horrified the other day when I was reading the Environmental Working Group’s review of the common baby detergent Dreft: Sal Suds is free of colorants and fragrances and is exceedingly clean rinsing. It also is tough on stains and can be applied straight to fabric to lift out stains.

  6. You are part of the Bronner family dynasty of soaps by Hebrew soapmaker?

    • Hi there – Yes! Dr. Bronner was my grandfather. My family still runs the business today.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    Just wondering if Sals Suds will get massage oil out of my massage sheets. Haven’t found anything really effective in the last 15 years of being a therapist. Have tried Oil Eater, Windex, Simple Green, you name it as a pre-wash treatment followed by laundering with regular and DIY detergents. Lots of work and not great results. Wondered if you have experience with Sals Suds and oil stains? Thanks for any help!

    • Hi Gayle – I do have some experience with this, not from massages, which would be more lovely, but from being a messy cook. I found that a very heavy concentration of Sal Suds spray works great. Try 1/4 c. of Sal Suds in a quart of water (this 4x the amount I normally recommend). Spray the stains thoroughly and rub it in. Let it sit for a bit and then soak in water before washing.

  8. What would be a good solution for a top loader machine that does not allow powder, only liquid?
    Also I think my top loader is classed as a ‘HE’ like mentioned in the original post, if that makes a difference.

    Thank you

    • Hi Jordan – The Sal Suds would be a great option. Try a mere 1 Tbsp. to start with.

  9. Hello. I wondered if this method would work for cloth diapers as well? Laundry is the one area where I have the hardest time switching…

    • Hi Stephanie – This works really well on cloth diapers. While I never did that myself, I have heard excellent reports from friends. Wash them with the Sal Suds with vinegar in the rinse compartment and then dry in sunshine for ultimate whitening.

  10. Hi Lisa,

    I use Sal Suds for washing laundry. How would you recommend I hand-wash a microfibre mop after use? (mopping with dilutions as per your instructions on dilution cheat sheet) As i don’t want to mix it with clothes in my HE machine? Bear with me, I’m new to this way of living eco 🙂

    Btw, I read your grandfather’s story. A beautiful man, and such inspired enduring messages. Great legacy and company your family has inherited, who I am proud to support.

    Paul, in the UK.

    • Hi Paul – Thank you for your kind words! I wash my microfiber mophead with my other microfiber clothes in a small load once a week. I agree that I wouldn’t wash it with other clothes. If this idea works for you, use about 30 mL per load, with vinegar in the rinse compartment. By hand, soak the mophead in your bucket with clean water and 15 mL of Sal Suds. Swish it around and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Then swish it around some more and rinse well.

    • Lisa- can you let me know why you would wash the microfiber clothes separately from your clothes?

    • Hi Katherine – To make sure I get my microfiber cloths really clean, I wash them with hot water, with added vinegar and baking soda. This is much stronger than I wash my clothes – on cold with just the Sal Suds. The repeated hot water, with baking soda, would wear my cloths down.

  11. Hi!

    Would you or would you not recommend added essential oils to this mix in order to create nice smelling laundry?
    Do you think it would be safe for clothes and not leave marks?

    • Hi Chelsea – There is no adverse outcome to adding essential oils to the laundry. The only thing is that the Sal Suds itself is so good at grabbing oils and rinsing clean that the scent will probably be carted away. To get scented laundry, it might be better to sprinkle some essential oils on a cloth and add it to the dryer.

  12. Thanks for all the useful tips, Lisa!

    Do you have a Sal Suds-based formula recommendation for getting laundry fragrances out of secondhand clothes and fabric? I’ve had to quit shopping for clothing, household linens, and fabric at thrift stores and yard sales because it takes so long to get the smell out that I’ve actually had things mildew on the line in our damp climate before the smell ever faded.

    I did have good luck with adding a (natural, fragrance free) dishwashing soap and some borax to my laundry soap, then washing the whole load of thrifted sheets on the highest temp my machine could manage (205). But I don’t want to have to wash everything on 205!

    I haven’t tried Sal Suds in my front-loading HE washer yet, but will this weekend. Is it ok to use borax in place of the baking soda, to boost the fragrance breakdwon? I am concerned about over-sudsing, which could mess up the washer.

    Looking for an economical and ecologically friendly solution to those nasty synthetic fabric fragrances. Thanks for any remedies you can suggest.

    • Hi Vickey – I absolutely love hand-me-downs and re-owned clothes, especially for my kids, but I too have noticed the leftover fragrances of detergents on them. It goes to show you how powerful those fragrance ingredients are! If they stick to the fabrics so tenaciously, how much do they stick to us?! I wash all my laundry with Sal Suds, and I have found that one washing with Sal Suds alone on cold water is enough to get the old scents out. If that’s not enough, I would add baking soda first before trying borax. Borax isn’t my favorite ingredient because there are some toxicity concerns with it, so I try to avoid it. Another option is washing soda, or sodium carbonate. This is a little rough on clothes, so I wouldn’t recommend using it regularly, but one time to get that scent out would probably be fine.

      Sal Suds works great in HE washers. You only need 1 Tbsp.

  13. Hi Lisa, after using Dr Bronners castille soap for years in the shower etc, I’ve now bought Sal Suds and am loving it. I’m using it in my laundry too (HE) washer and just have a couple of questions: Do you suggest using the Sal Suds neat or diluting, and in the dispenser drawer or directly into the drum in one of those little containers that come with liquid detergents that you sit on top of the washing? Also, I note that you sta baking soda and white vinegar are optional additions. I believe the vinegar is to soften, and have yet to try, but can you explain what the baking soda is for please and in which situation you would / wouldn’t use it? Many thanks

    • Hi Linda – Welcome to Sal Suds! Great stuff. I don’t predilute the Sal Suds for laundry. I just pour it over my clothes in the tub, but I don’t have an HE machine with one of those snazzy detergent spots. You could do it either way. Vinegar is to soften and deodorize, and baking soda provides extra scrubbing, whitening, and deodorizing. I only use it on really grubby rags or towels. I would not use it on regular clothes.

    • Hi Cookie – Sal Suds was specifically designed for use in hard water. Hard water is the one place our Castile soap sometimes struggles – when washing shiny things like glasses or cars. Castile reacts with the minerals in the water and leaves behind a film we call soap scum. It’s actually precipitated minerals, but whatever you call it, it’s not that pretty. Sal Suds does not react with the minerals and rinses exceedingly well.

  14. wonderful Im using your products fro years,although I prefer more alkaline washing soda for laundry)

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