Back To Basics- How to Make Laundry Detergent

With all the focus that we put on what goes into our bodies, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the things that go on our bodies.  Our skin works as a protective barrier, designed to keep out potentially harmful bacteria and even radiation; yet, it’s a porous surface and some chemicals can penetrate it, getting inside and potentially wreaking havoc.

There has been a movement towards natural cosmetics and beauty products over the past several years as people have begun to discover ingredients in conventional formulas they found questionable.  It’s cheaper and better for the bottom line to put low cost fillers in cosmetics, the same way the food industry does with processed ingredients.  I, along with many others, have done my best to clean out my bathroom cabinets; eliminating products that could be harmful over the long run, and in turn replacing them with natural products, some even homemade!

In an effort to further ‘ go green’ with my home and products that touch my body, I decided to start using all natural and environmentally friendly laundry detergent, which doesn’t come cheap.  Some jugs were running for $20 to my disbelief!  I found a brand that I liked (and was semi-reasonably priced), and stuck with it for a while until I needed to start cutting household costs.  I just knew, like everything else, there had to be a homemade solution and a way I could bring this back to basics.

After doing some research, I learned to mix up my own detergent, the recipe for which I want to share with you today.  This detergent is incredibly easy to put together and super cost effective compared to both conventional and all-natural detergents.  I find that it leaves my clothes fresh, but not artificial-smelling.  I haven’t noticed any abnormal color fade, and it works well at removing stains.  Also, because this solution is low suds, it is safe for HE washers.

It’s easy to forget that the chemicals we wash our clothes in can impact our bodies.  They touch our skin all day, and our sheets do the same at night.  Whether you’re looking to go green with your lifestyle, get rid of unnecessary chemicals in your home, or cut costs, I recommend this laundry detergent.  I know I will never go back to the store bought version again!

Finally, I want to announce the winner of our Gourmet Garden giveaway!  I see you all have fun with herbs and spices!  Jackie Watson, my fellow garlic lover, chosen by, you are our winner.  I’ve sent you an email, so look out for it!  Thanks to everyone that entered.

Back To Basics- How to Make Laundry Detergent
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 48 Loads
  • 1 Bar of Soap, shaved with a cheese grater
  • 1 Cup of Borax (NOT Boric Acid)
  • 1 Cup of Washing Soda
  • Essential Oils, lavender or lemon
  1. Put all of the ingredients into your container and mix well. Use 1 Tablespoon per load or 2 Tablespoons for heavily soiled clothes. Before pouring the powder into the machine, drip 10 drops of essential oil on it. The oils will provide a nice, clean smell to your laundry. I like to use lavender for clothing and linens, and lemon for kitchen rags and reusable napkins; yet feel free to create your own scents.


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2 Responses to Back To Basics- How to Make Laundry Detergent

  1. Shawn, I am so excited about this! Thank you for posting. I had no idea it was so easy to make your own detergent out of normal ingredients! We use Borax in most of our loads anyway, for my husband’s gym clothes… didn’t know you just had to add a few more ingredients to do away with store-bought soap entirely! I cannot wait to try this with lemon oil, that sounds amazing. Is there a soap you prefer? What are those pretty yellow things on the top of your jar? Thanks for the cool post! Oh, also was intrigued by your thyme cookies!!!! Cool combination!

    • Sharon, I’m so glad you want to try this! Technically, you can use any soap you like (I like a lavender scented French milled bar I get at Whole Foods), but you might want to try Fels-Naptha. It’s a specially designed laundry bar soap, good for getting perspiration out in the case of your husband’s clothes. The yellow things at the top of the jar are the soap shavings before they are mixed in. I thought it was a pretty presentation for gift giving.

      Also, make those cookies! You won’t regret it! :)

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