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Make your own detergent & wash sustainably

Make your laundry detergent - natural, sustainable, plastic-free

Laundry can also be done without waste. And it's wonderfully sustainable. The many packages of detergents cause Plastic waste without end. With very simple means, you can wash your laundry sustainably and ensure that you leave behind less plastic waste. I'll show you how you can Make detergent yourself can. In the end, I also have a really strong alternative to homemade detergent ready for you!

Make your own detergent - Here's how

The coolest thing I think is the homemade detergent from chestnuts! It is certainly surprising for some how easy it is and how wonderfully the natural detergent works. But the detergent can also be made very well from curd soap. For this you now get a concise instruction in each case!

Make detergent yourself from chestnuts

From September / October is chestnut time! Was that cool to collect chestnuts in the past! Since you can use them perfectly for a homemade detergent, this is now also for adults again a reason to go among the chestnuts! Because chestnuts, like ivy, contain a lot of saponins that create foam and a soap-like liquid in water.

What you need:

  • 500 ml container with lid / or a reused detergent bottle
  • about 10 chestnuts (collect in autumn and stock up right away!)
  • 300-400 ml water
  • Kitchen strainer (This set* is ideal)
  • Kitchen knife (This kitchen knife* is perfect, but I'm sure you already have one in the kitchen!)

Here's how:

  1. Quarter chestnuts with a knife
  2. Add to your glass with 300-400 ml of water
  3. Wait about half a day (put the jar in the light).
  4. Sieve the resulting liquid
  5. Application in the detergent compartment of the washing machine

When you shake it, you will already notice how it foams. Try to shake the detergent vigorously once before each use. After using the homemade detergent from chestnuts, your laundry will smell of nothing, because we have not added any flavors or fragrance oils. But this is freely variable. So chestnuts offer the ideal opportunity for your own detergent. I recommend you to take proper precautions next fall, so that you can make your own detergent in this way for a long time to come. By the way, in addition to its effect as a detergent, the liquid is also suitable for other cleaning tasks and also as a dishwashing liquid. Try it out!

Make your own detergent from curd soap

Similar to the homemade washing up liquid, you can create a plastic free vegetable soap also grate to be able to make your own detergent. So even for this detergent you do not need much!

What you need:

Here's how:

  1. Grate curd soap or cut into very small pieces
  2. Put water, washing soda and curd soap in a pot
  3. Stir vigorously (CAUTION: If the pot is shallow, it can quickly foam over)
  4. Turn on the stove and let the liquid boil
  5. Add essential oil (after about a quarter of an hour of cooling!)
  6. Fill the finished detergent into desired containers

Again, before each use of the detergent, you should shake it once vigorously. In contrast to the chestnut detergent, you can make the detergent yourself all year round. If you always have chestnuts in stock, you can of course also make the chestnut detergent yourself at any time. To use the detergent from curd soap, you should take about 200 ml of the homemade liquid.

Washing nuts - The alternative to homemade detergent

You can make your own detergent, but you can also use another product of nature to wash your clothes clean. Soap nuts, or the soap tree on which the nuts hang, grow in tropical regions. In countries like India, soap nuts have been used for many centuries to clean laundry. Like chestnuts or ivy, soap nuts contain many saponins that produce foam. Unlike chestnuts, we can get soap nuts all year round. Here you can order them plastic free*. Shows like Galileo have already done the test. The washing nuts make cleaner than conventional means, cost only half in the end and are environmentally friendly. They can be used more often and after consumption go into the bio garbage can. There is no plastic waste and no costly manufacturing process is required. I have also tried the washing nuts and find them really strong.

What you need:

This is how you apply the soap nuts:

  1. Take 5-7 half shells of the soap nuts
  2. Simply place the soap nuts in a small bag (or a sock) with the laundry in the laundry drum

More info about washing with the washing nuts:

  • The washing nuts can be used several times. (up to 5x at low temperatures, up to 3x at high temperatures).
  • The natural mild substances of the soap nuts are suitable for any type of washing
  • The soap nuts do not produce a scent during washing. There you can again a few drops essential oil* Place in the fabric softener compartment of the washing machine.
  • The washing nuts can also be used for hair and are also suitable as a dishwashing liquid, for making liquid soap or for cleaning cars

Here you can order the soap nuts directly and try them out!*

Make your own detergent or use washing nuts

As you can see, you can do laundry without plastic waste by making your own detergent or replacing it with soap nuts. Natural & Plastic Free. Plasticfree lifestyle without waste is really simple. It can be so simple if we think outside the box and choose the environmentally conscious and sustainable way. Have fun doing laundry! Feel free to write me a comment or message with your experiences.

Best regards,

Living plastic-free - Less plastic waste in the environment

PS: You can also make your own washing-up liquid. Read the article Make dishwashing liquid yourself through. Have fun!

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement

* Links with asterisks are so-called affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

24 thoughts on “Waschmittel selber machen & nachhaltig waschen”

  1. Really cool site, the detergent and toothpaste I will try. Shower gel from curd soap I already make myself.....nähe for friend and me fabric bags for shopping from old clothes and fabric scraps....
    Got many more motivational ideas.....and would appreciate a deodorant recipe
    many greetings Bianka

    1. Hi Bianka! Thanks for the tip, "make your own deodorant" is on the list 🙂 Cool! Everyone should do that!
      Many greetings

  2. Hello Christoph!
    Great, your tips for environmentally friendly washing!
    You're right, soap nuts really do wash great. Nevertheless, I would not recommend soap nuts, because since more and more Europeans have discovered soap nuts for themselves, the people in the countries of origin can no longer afford soap nuts. The prices for them have risen so much that, for example in India, almost exclusively chemical detergents are used. Wastewater is often discharged directly into rivers. For this reason, soap nuts are better avoided. With chestnuts or ivy you can but super class regional wash so to speak 😉
    All the love, Marion

    1. Hello Marion! Absolutely right! It's the same with all natural and seemingly sustainable things that don't grow in our country. The soap nuts would be ideal if the great demand from us in the country of origin would not cause such damage. That's why I also prefer chestnuts and ivy. They grow here in every village and do no harm in other countries.
      Many greetings,


    Hello, Christoph!
    I know since HOBBYTHEK and Jean Pütz no better alternatives to natural selnstgemachten Waschmiirötn. Since 1991 I use curd soap, beinSpinnrad buy och my essential oils and I have never regretted a day that I invent or replace detergents with natural products. Go on, that also the coming generations have something from mother earth and not a destroyed world, as it is implemented m.E. still in the policy too late. I am older, but my daughters find it great that I act environmentally friendly. I have the nature since my school time in the view and it is spitze that over the www so many ideas can be recommended also regiongerecht. Great praise!!!
    The idea with ivy and the chestnuts is great, does it also work with dried chestnuts?
    And what else is important,
    When will people realize that you can't eat money...?
    It's 5before12 and no one wants to admit it. LG, Chris

    1. Hi Chris,
      wow! Thanks for your great feedback, that makes us very happy! Regarding your question, yes, you can make your detergent with dried chestnuts. Just collect a few more in stock 🙂 Since they are a bit harder, the cutting is very difficult. But then the hammer helps 😉.
      Best regards

  4. This is really interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to in the hunt for more of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  5. Hello Christoph,
    I think your site is really great. However, it is often not easy to get something without plastic packaging. Some comparable, whether food or commodity, is often more expensive. With family sometimes not quite feasible. But I try it where it only goes.
    I find the tip with the soap nuts very good. I've been using soap nuts myself for a short time. However, I still need to find something against grass, fruit, grease stains. Because these do not go out with the nuts. At Alnatura there are these nuts, unfortunately with plastic windows. Therefore, I looked at the same link here above. But even here you get the nuts not plastic-free.
    Here is an excerpt from the reviews:
    "One point deduction for unnecessary plastic in the packaging. The nuts are in the cloth bag again packed in a plastic bag. And since it was a double package (2×1 kg) were the two cloth bags again sealed in a larger plastic bag. Since a piece of string would also have been enough...."
    Best regards and thanks for all the helpful tips.

    1. Hi Jasmin,
      thank you for your detailed feedback and the tip about the washing nuts! I have the manufacturer directly pointed out and hope that it will soon be adjusted 🙂
      Stay clean,

  6. Hello Christoph,
    I am thrilled with all your super ideas and try all possible! 100000 Thanks that you provide so many wonderful options here for free.
    I would be interested to know if you can use the chestnuts again after you have prepared the broth once or if you can only prepare them once. Can you leave them longer in the water or should you leave them only one day in the water.
    I would still be interested in how long you can store the chestnuts (they dry logically with time, is it the same for the detergent or should you then take something more)?
    Am very grateful to you for this super page 🙂
    Love greetings

    1. Hi Anna! Thank you for your great feedback - we are very happy about that 🙂 .
      Use 2x unfortunately does not work with the chestnuts. You should also cut the chestnuts as small as possible, so that the foaming ingredients also dissolve - with a second use it foams hardly.
      You can store chestnuts forever! Just collect a big bag full in the fall, then you have long long peace 🙂
      Stay clean,

  7. Hi Christoph, I have used soap nuts for many years for most laundry with success. However, as someone already described, for many stains (children: fruit, grass, grease ...) you need something extra to get them out. Also, my experience has been that white laundry is no longer white over time. The ecological bleaches I found required 90 degrees washing temperature and therefore were not suitable for all laundry. Do you have any tips for this as well? I assume this problem will also exist when using horse chestnut.
    Thanks a lot
    Love greetings

    1. Hi Monika, thanks for your comment. I still wash with my washing nuts, which I have had for half an eternity - smell and color are always okay. So blatant stains I have not yet had - can someone else help?
      Many greetings,

  8. Hello,
    These are super ideas. I year by chance still many now dried chestnuts that my daughter has collected in the fall. I'll try it out right away. How much of the detergent do I take afterwards per wash load?
    Warm regards

    1. Hi Marit! Since you can just take the usual amount - always depends on the mass of laundry 🙂
      Many greetings

    2. Hello Christoph,
      Thank you very much for your answer.
      I have prepared the first brew. ? my question now is, how long does the finished detergent keep, so how quickly should I consume it?
      And do you still put essential oils in it or have a recommendation for that?
      Warm regards

      1. Hi Marit! Great, what kind of detergent did you do? Basically, you can expect it to keep for about 2-5 weeks 🙂
        Many greetings

  9. I also use chestnut detergent for washing cars. My colleague relies on vinegar for washing. I must say that I like washing with chestnuts better, not only for the car.

  10. Hello,
    it must not always be curd soap. Aleppo soap / olive oil soap is also super good for washing! 🙂 Supposedly leaves the eventually a gray haze, but I have seen nothing after a year of washing with it.

    1. Hello Julia!
      You are absolutely right, I also have Aleppo soap here with me and have also not noticed anything of a possible gray haze.
      Stay clean,

    1. Hi Antje! That always depends on how much you make. But basically you can use it for a few weeks. As with food, it is also true for homemade detergent to trust your own senses.
      Best regards

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