Sal Suds in the Laundry (Video)

Take a look at my 2019 update of this video: Green Laundry Care with Dr. Bronner’s.

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.  The fabric softener compartment, if your washer has one, works great for this.  If the vinegar mixes with the baking soda during the wash cycle, it will cancel out the cleaning capabilities.

Here is my recipe for using Sal Suds in the laundry. Halve these amounts for HE washing machines:

  • 2-3 Tbsp. (30-45 mL) Sal Suds for a large load

Optional:

  • ½ c. (120 mL) baking soda added to the wash cycle
  • 1 c. (240 mL) vinegar added to the rinse cycle

274 thoughts on “Sal Suds in the Laundry (Video)

  1. I just purchased a Wonderwash manual washing machine. Its a hand crank washer that holds a small load. How much Sal Suds would you recommend I use to wash my clothes in this handy device? Also if I use it outside would it be safe to drain outside if I use Sal Suds exclusively as my detergent? Don’t want to do anything that would harm the soil. We’d be using it while camping and hanging clothes on a line.

    • Hi Sharon- A Wonderwash sounds like a great device! You’re the second person to ask me about it too! I think Sal Suds would work great in it. I was reading the washing capacity from their website – Washing capacity: 7-8 dress shirts/ 10 T-shirts/ 2 pairs of jeans. I would start with my general recommendation for hand washing clothes, which is about 1 tsp. Sal Suds per gallon of water. Let me know how that goes. Sal Suds is biodegradable and won’t harm plants or grass in small doses. Depending on how often you’re doing laundry, rotate around where you pour out the water and alternate with non-soapy water so you’re not dousing the same plants with soapy water repeatedly. It doesn’t sound like you’re using vinegar or baking soda in your wash, which your plants most certainly would not like.

  2. First of all, Love the products that I have tried so far!!!! Can I mix Sal Suds and water in bottle ahead of time? So my teens can measure out an amount and add it to the machine?

    • Hi Christie- It’s great to hear our soaps are working for you! I don’t pre-dilute Sal Suds for laundry. It’s so gentle and clean-rinsing that it can be poured directly onto fabrics, such as with a top-loader, or used in the soap compartment.

  3. Hello! I know the vinegar is optional for Sal Suds. Is it also only optional when using the regular pure castile soap for detergent? Thanks!

    • Hi Emily- If you have hard water, you’ll want to use vinegar with the Castile Soap. Castile interacts with the minerals in hard water, which over time reduces absorbency in towels and leaves fabrics feeling stiff. Vinegar counteracts that reaction. Added bonus – it’s a natural fabric softener.

  4. Do you recommend putting the sal suds in the soap compartment or straight in the machine with the clothes for a HE front loader?

    • Hi Tina- Use Sal Suds in the same way you use conventional detergent. The soap dispenser works just fine. For an HE machine, use 1-1.5 Tbsp.

  5. I have 2 questions. The first is my daughter has super sensitive skin and have just been using the castle soap with baking soda and washing soda. Is sa l dude Dave for her skin. Also I have a older too loaded using about 40 gallons of water how much would i use.

    • Hi Crystal- Yes, Sal Suds is exceptionally clean rinsing and will not leave a residue on fabrics. Use 2-3 Tbsp. in your washer. If you want to simplify, you don’t need to add baking soda and washing soda for a regular load. I use baking soda for only my grimiest loads.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Do you ever make the detergent in a large batch? Thinking it would just be easier to have it already made and mixed, but not sure if it will be as effective.

    Thanks,
    Cara

    • Hi Cara- Because I usually use Sal Suds straight, I don’t combine ingredients. With vinegar, I want it to go through the rinse cycle, so I add it to the fabric softener compartment. I’m don’t think mixing Sal Suds and baking soda together ahead of time is a good idea.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    I am using a Lehman’s off-grid wringer washer. Would I still use the 2-3 T with 10-15 gallons of water in this system or should I half it like for HE washers? Thanks!

    • Hi Sara- I’d lean towards the lesser amount. Start with 2 Tbsp. but if you find it sudsy or hard to rinse, go with less.

  8. Hi Lisa,

    Do you know any more about this mold issue for HE machines that you mentioned in the video? It doesn’t make much sense how using Sal Suds in HE machines would promote the growth of mold. I”m wondering if you can point me in the direction of where users have said this. Thanks!

    • Hi Taylor- I’ve learned a lot since making this video (almost 10 years ago now!). Since then, we’ve found that Sal Suds does an excellent job in HE machines and does not contribute to mold. However, some HE machines can be prone to odors, in which case using vinegar in the rinse cycle will mitigate that. Be sure to take a look at my updated laundry video: https://www.lisabronner.com/green-laundry-care-with-dr-bronners-video/.

  9. Lisa, I live in an apartment building with communal washers. For underclothes and workout gear that I don’t dry in a dryer I would like to add tea tree oil as an antimicrobial. What amount do you think I can add in with Sal Suds?

    • Hi Grace- Tea tree essential oil is very potent. Start with a small amount of 1/2 tsp or about 50 drops per load.

  10. What about a front loading he machine? Is there a change in the amount used?

    • Hi Steph- Halve the amounts for an HE front loader. That’s 1-1.5 Tbsp. Sal Suds, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup vinegar.

  11. Just confirming that you added Sal Suds, Baking Soda and Vinegar all together in the along with clothes that need to be washed ? I have a top loader which is pretty old so I do not have separate slots to add vinegar and baking soda like the new machine do. Thanks again

    • Hi Esther- The vinegar will react with the baking soda if mixed together. It’s not a problem, but they do cancel each other out. I too have a top loader and put the vinegar in the rinse cycle compartment. If your machine doesn’t have one, you can leave the vinegar out. Or, if needed for odors, run the full wash cycle then add vinegar and run a rinse-only cycle. Some readers tell me they put vinegar in a fabric softener ball, although I haven’t tried this method.

  12. Can you add some of the regular fragranced soaps for laundry? For example, could I use the sal suds mixed with peppermint soap just for a little fragrance?

    • Hi Katie- There’s no problem mixing Castile and Sal Suds. I’m not sure you’ll get the strong scent you’re looking for, though. To scent clothes, put sachets filled with dried lavender or others herbs in drawers and closets.

  13. Hi Lisa,

    Could I replace the baking soda with washing soda? I just bought a big bag of washing soda with grand plans to make my own laundry detergent, but after much research I’m deciding to use Sal’s Suds as laundry detergent instead. I would hate to waste the washing soda.

    • Hi Abigail- Washing soda and baking soda do the same thing (and are very similar chemically), but washing soda has a pretty high pH and is likely to wear down fabrics very quickly. Don’t throw the washing soda away though. Save it for your really grungy loads. For every day laundry, I don’t use baking soda at all, as I find Sal Suds does a great job on it’s own. I’m wrapping up an updated laundry post (this is an oldie!), so keep your eyes peeled for it.

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