Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder Recipe

This quick and easy Homemade Laundry Detergent recipe makes a half gallon of powdered laundry detergent. Simple ingredients that can be used in top loading and front loading washing machines.

Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe

Homemade Laundry Detergent

The laundry room is one of my favorite parts of our country home to keep free of chemicals. Old fashioned ingredients; borax, washing soda, baking soda, and vinegar have been used for generations to keep laundry fresh and clean.

Making my own laundry soap the easiest way, I began the switch to all-natural laundry care. This natural laundry detergent recipe is straightforward to make. It requires a few ingredients that clean just as efficiently as commercial detergent. It is also very cost-effective for our large family who does loads of laundry.

I have found that this laundry soap recipe is safe for standard, front loader, and high-efficiency washing machines, as it is a low-sudsing formula. However, as with all DIY recipes, I suggest doing your research. I am simply sharing what works for our family.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Why Switch to Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder?

Switching over to DIY laundry detergent has many benefits. Conventional laundry detergents are loaded with harsh chemicals, fragrances, additives, and artificial colors.

Most conventional laundry detergents leave a chemical residue on your clothing. Toxic chemicals have been known to cause health problems such as skin and eye irritation and rashes, especially for sensitive skin or allergies. Some studies have even linked the chemicals to hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing chemicals.

For our family, switching to a more all-natural laundry detergent means using products that are free of dyes and harsh toxic chemicals. Our skin is our largest, most absorbent organ, and for 24 hours a day, our skin is in constant contact with some fabric.

It is essential that I take the most excellent care of my family, and part of doing so is ensuring that our natural laundry care routine is healthy for us.

Natural Homemade Laundry Soap

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Powder laundry soap detergent ingredients

These are the ingredients I use for natural homemade laundry detergent. Washing Soda, Baking Soda, and Borax can be found at the local grocery store on the laundry aisle. Natural bar soaps can be found in the health, beauty, or organic sections of the store. All options are also available online.

Homemade Detergent

Washing Soda

Washing soda is sodium carbonate which is a naturally occurring mineral. It is an ancient laundry aid and is very effective at deep cleaning clothes, removing grease and tough stains. Washing soda is used in many commercial laundry detergents to treat hard water and remove stubborn stains.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is made up of sodium bicarbonate. It is used to neutralize odor-causing acids and is a stain remover. It also helps soften the water to help the detergent work more effectively.

Borax

Borax is an excellent laundry aid and booster. It is gentle, cleans, deodorizes, and helps get rid of stains. Borax helps to boost the cleaning ability of mild detergents.

Bar Soap

Natural, toxic-free bar soap is the only type that should be used for this recipe. Lavender Pure Castile Soap is an excellent option, as is a Homestead Laundry Bar Soap.

Essential Oils (optional)

Essential oils are excellent at deodorizing, are antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial. Oils add a great all-natural scent without the worry of harsh toxic chemicals. 20-30 drops of essential oils would be plenty to provide a lovely smell to your own detergent.

DIY Laundry Detergent

Water Temperature for Homemade laundry detergent

I use to believe that washing all laundry in cold water was the best way. However, as an adult, I have learned much about laundry care from my favorite homemaking book, Home Comforts. Here are some of the recommendations that I have learned and implemented into our natural laundry care routine.

For the best laundering results, choose a hot water temperature for washing fabrics. The hotter the wash temperature, the better laundry detergent will work. Hot water also kills microorganisms, does a better job of sanitizing, and kills dust mites.

Washing laundry in cold water can cause residues of undissolved detergent as the granules may not readily dissolve in cold water. However, this isn’t the case with just homemade detergent. While some laundry products advertise they will work in cold water, it does not mean that they will not perform better in warmer water.

Hot water (130 degrees) is best for whites, heavily soiled work clothes, play clothes, dish towels, sheets, and pillowcases.

Warm water (90-110 degrees) is best for permanent press, colorfast brights, and dark colors.

Cool water (80 degrees) is best for fabrics with dyes that may bleed, delicate materials, or soaking stains such as blood.

Cold water is recommended for rinsing clothes after they have been washed. Most washing machines have settings that can be set for the wash temperature and then the rinse temperature.

Baking Soda Laundry Detergent

Frequently asked questions about homemade laundry soap

Why did my laundry detergent turn hard? Most likely, it was exposed to moisture. A container with an airtight seal can help to prevent this issue. It is best to discard badly caked laundry detergent as the pieces likely will not dissolve very well in the wash.

What does homemade laundry soap smell like? That will depend on what soap is used to make your own laundry detergent. Opening the lid on my laundry soap, I get an herbal scent of rosemary with a floral touch of lavender. I use Rosemary essential oil with Lavender Castile Soap to make this recipe.

Does the fragrance stay on the clothes? No, but the laundry smells fresh and clean. Those lingering smells that remain on the laundry after it has gone through the wash are not suitable for you. Imagine how powerful those synthetic fragrances need to be to stay in the laundry after being washed in the washer?

Do I have to use essential oils in this recipe? No, essential oils are optional. However, I love how the laundry detergent smells when I open the jar and scoop out the amount needed for a load of wash.

Homemade Laundry Powder

How to Make Your own Homemade Laundry Detergent

Step 1: Grate the Bar Soap

Using a cheese grater, grate the bar of soap. Add the grated soap to an airtight container.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

Add 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups baking soda, and 2 cups borax to create the laundry detergent in the container. If using essential oils, add 2-30 drops. Place the lid on the container and shake ingredients to mix thoroughly.

If you have a food processor, add the grated bar soap, washing soda, baking soda, and borax and grind into a fine powder. Add mixture to an airtight container.

Step 3: Store

Store homemade laundry detergent in an airtight container.

Step 4: Use

Use 2-3 level tablespoons of homemade laundry detergent per a load of laundry. Use one tablespoon if you have a high-efficiency washing machine.

More natural laundry care tips

Add vinegar to the rinse cycle.  Add 1/2 cup during your machine’s last rinse cycle. You can add it to the fabric softener dispenser, which will release it at the right time.

Vinegar is used for getting rid of static, fighting stains, and cutting soap residue. Do not pour vinegar directly on fabrics, and never mix it with bleach.

DIY Detergent Powder

Essential Oil Blends for Laundry

Listed below are some great options for blending essential oils into your homemade laundry detergent. Castile Soap comes in various kinds, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, and Unscented.

I recommend using the soap that best pairs with the essential oil; for instance, use Citrus Orange Castile Soap with Wild Orange, Tangerine, and Bergamont essential oils.

Fresh Citrus

Lemon + Grapefruit + Orange + Tangerine + Mandarin + Spearmint

Wild Orange + Tangerine + Bergamont

Freshly Clean

Cedarwood + Lemongrass + Grapefruit

Rosemary + Orange

Peppermint + Orange

Rosemary + Peppermint

Eucalyptus + Spearmint – use

Lemon + Tea Tree

Rosemary + Peppermint + Lemon

Lavender + Rosemary

Homemade Laundry Detergent with Baking Soda

Printable Homemade Laundry detergent Recipe

I hope this post inspires you to look at your laundry routine and what harsh chemicals may be lurking in your laundry room. Making your own laundry soap is a great way to have fresh, clean laundry naturally.

Homemade Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Yield: 42-64 loads
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This quick and easy Homemade Laundry Detergent recipe makes a half gallon of powdered laundry detergent. Simple ingredients that can be used in top loading and front loading washing machines.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 2 cups borax
  • 1 grated bar of Castile Soap or other all natural choice

Instructions

Step 1: Grate the Bar Soap

Using a cheese grater, grate the bar of soap. Add the grated soap to an airtight container.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

In the container, add 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups baking soda, and 2 cups borax to create the laundry detergent. If using essential oils, add 2-30 drops. Place the lid on the container and shake ingredients to thoroughly mix.

If you have a food processor, add the grated bar soap, washing soda, baking soda, and borax and grind into a fine powder. Add mixture to an airtight container.

Step 3: Store

Store homemade laundry detergent in an airtight container.

Step 4: Use

Use 2-3 level tablespoons of homemade laundry detergent per a load of laundry. Use 1 tablespoon if you have a high-efficiency washing machine.

this post was originally published on April 26, 2020, but edited and updated on July 26, 2021

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