Tallow-Free Homemade Laundry Detergent Using Kirk’s Castile Soap

Finnfemme: Kirk's Castile Soap laundry detergent recipeAlthough I am partial to my homemade detergent recipe using Zote soap, I did have a request from a friend, who is vegan, for a detergent recipe that doesn’t use tallow or any animal by-products. Knowing that castile soap is plant/vegetable oil based, I rummaged around my soap collection – yes I collect soap – and found a bar of Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap. Kirk’s Soap has been around since 1839 and is a pure botanical coconut oil soap. Then I scurried on over to the Kirk’s website and indeed, they did have a recipe for making laundry detergent. In fact it’s very similar to my Zote recipe.

Finnfemme: Grating Kirk's Castile SoapI set out to make this new detergent version. Since I always hand-grate my soap, the main difference is that Kirk’s soap is incredibly hard and dense compared to Zote’s rather soft composition. This makes a huge difference in hand-grating. It took me over 30 minutes to finely hand-grate the 4 oz. Kirk’s bar, as opposed to less than 15 minutes to grate a huge 14 oz. Zote bar. I thought I would never get through this bar; you will definitely get an arm workout!

Finnfemme: Kirk's Castile Soap homemade laundry detergent recipeYou will need: One 4 oz. bar of Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap – One Cup of Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate) – 1/2 Cup Borax. Directions: Grate the Kirk’s soap bar with a hand cheese grater (this will seemingly take forever…). Add the one cup washing soda and the 1/2 cup Borax. Mix together. Store in an airtight container. Use 1 to 2 Tablespoons per load of laundry. This is okay to use in High Efficiency washers because it is very low sudsing.

Finnfemme: Kirk's castile soap homemade laundry detergent recipeI have used this laundry soap for a couple of loads now, and it seems to work quite well. It has a really clean scent evocative of old-fashioned laundry. I’ll probably continue to use my Zote recipe for my mainstay (I happen to be a fan of tallow) 😀 , but it’s nice to shake things up every now and then and try something new.




One Response to “Tallow-Free Homemade Laundry Detergent Using Kirk’s Castile Soap”

  1. Kathy

    Just bought an HE washer and am one of the (I’m sure) very few that is underwhelmed with it. One thing I really hate is that I can’t use my homemade laundry detergent. I found this recipe and will be trying it out in short order! Have you tried using this in a liquid form and how much water would I use any ideas?

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>