How to Substitute Liquid Bluing

Written by mason howard
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How to Substitute Liquid Bluing
Brighten whites by adding blue shampoo to homemade laucndry soap. (green grass, blue sky and white clothes image by Eric Isselée from

Having somewhat of a counter-intuitive name, liquid laundry bluing detergent is a product used to whiten clothing. In contrast to its chemical whitening counterparts, laundry bluing is non-toxic and biodegradable. The blue part of the product indicates the optical brightening that occurs when a blue undertone is added to white. As a substitute to a commercial bluing detergent, homemade bluing detergent can be made with common household materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 bars Castile soap
  • Cheese grater
  • Pot
  • Stirrer
  • Bucket or mixing bowl
  • 2 cups borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 2 tablespoons blue shampoo
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Plastic jug with lid

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  1. 1

    Grate two bars of plain Castile soap using a cheese grater. Castile soap works well for washing clothes because it rinses well without leaving a residue.

  2. 2

    Bring a pot of four cups of water to a boil.

  3. 3

    Add the grated Castile soap to the boiling water.

  4. 4

    Use a stirrer to stir the soap and water until the soap has completely dissolved.

  5. 5

    Pour the hot, soapy water into a bucket or large mixing bowl.

  6. 6

    Add two cups of borax. Borax is a safe, natural and environmentally friendly substance.

  7. 7

    Add two cups of washing soda. Washing soda is also a safe, natural product.

  8. 8

    Stir the solution until the borax and washing soda is dissolved.

  9. 9

    Add two gallons of cool, fresh water and continue to stir.

  10. 10

    Stir in two tablespoons of blue shampoo. Optionally add a few drops of a favourite essential oil, such as eucalyptus or lavender, to add fresh scent to your homemade bluing detergent.

  11. 11

    Store the bluing detergent in a sealable jug.

  12. 12

    Use 1/4 cup of the solution per full load of laundry.

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