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  • Allison

Homemade, Economical, & 100% Natural Powdered Laundry Detergent

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, which means that it is especially important to limit its exposure to toxins, as those can be easily absorbed into your body through your skin. Some of the most harmful toxins are in laundry detergent, believe it or not, and even though people claim the detergent "rinses off" in the washing machine, most other sources prove that these chemicals stay on the clothes and can be absorbed through your skin. I do not know about you, but to me, that is very concerning. So, I set out on a quest to make the BEST homemade laundry detergent, and that is how this recipe came about.

Not only is this laundry detergent healthy for you, but it can actually save you a few bucks as well. Improve my health AND save money? Yes, please!

Before I show you how to make it, let's get two questions out of the way:

What are the pros of making my own laundry detergent?


  • You can save a lot of money.

  • It is healthier for you than 99% of commercially-produced detergents.

  • You can customize it accordingly.

  • Stores well.

  • You can use it in any type of washing machine.

  • Works just as well, if not better, than store-bought laundry detergent.

  • It takes less than 10 minutes to make.

If those reasons are not enough to cause you to start making your own laundry detergent, then I do not know what is!

Why powdered instead of liquid detergent?

Yes, homemade liquid detergents typically require fewer ingredients and can dissolve better in water, but nothing beats the strength of powdered detergent. This is because you cannot add the same types of detergent-boosting, stain-removing, odor-annihilating, and clothing-brightening ingredients to the liquid version. To me, this is well worth using powdered detergent as opposed to liquid.

Alright, let me show you how to make it.


Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent


1 half-gallon jar or container

1 5 oz bar of laundry or castile soap (I use Fels Naptha)

2 cups of borax

2 cups of washing soda

2 cups of baking soda

1 cup of salt

30-40 drops of essential oils *optional* (You can also use scented castile soap).


  1. Finely shred the bar of soap using a grater.

  2. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined. You may have to use a whisk to break up all of the clumps.

  3. Dump the mixture into your container or jar of choice.

  4. Use 2-4 tbsp for normal loads and 1-2 tbsp for HE machines.


  • I would start with 2 tbsp of detergent per regular load of laundry (or 1 tbsp for HE machines), and gradually increase it until the laundry is clean enough to your liking. You should not need to use more than 5 tbsp of detergent per regular load of laundry.

  • The essential oils make the detergent itself smell nice, but the scent will not stay on the clothing. This is totally normal and goes to show how much synthetic fragrance most detergents contain, which causes the clothing to have a stuck-on scent after it has been washed. The essential oils DO, however, aid in getting rid of bad smells as well as just making your clothes smell clean. But do not expect your clothes to smell like a lavender bush when you pull them out of the washer.

  • I recommend adding 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar to the washer during the last rinse cycle OR in the fabric softener compartment. The vinegar will naturally soften your clothes, boost the detergent's cleaning power, and help get rid of bad odors.

  • You can use this detergent in hot and cold water, but it is a little harder for the mixture to dissolve in cold water as opposed to hot. If you find that it is not dissolving at all in cold water, you can add 2-4 tbsp of detergent to a cup, mix it with some warm or hot water, and pour it in the washer.

  • Do not allow any moisture to get into the jar of detergent, as it can cause some clumping.

  • This recipe makes about 45-50 loads.

  • A half gallon of this costs approximately $9 - $10 ($0.10 - $0.15 per load), but you can save even more money by making it in bulk.

How to deep-clean fabrics:

This detergent can also be used to thoroughly deep-clean fabrics and clothing. I have used it on dirty rags, sweaty and stained clothes, and dingy whites, and it has either greatly improved the fabrics or fixed them completely! Here is what you do:

  1. Add your fabrics/clothing to a large bucket or tub.

  2. Add 1/2 - 1 cup of the powdered detergent to the bucket/tub (you may need less or more depending on how dirty it is, the amount of clothes, etc.).

  3. Add 3-4 cups of distilled vinegar to the bucket/tub.

  4. Cover the clothing/fabric completely with very hot water (I would not use boiling water for most clothes, so the hottest water from your tap should suffice).

  5. Mix it around slightly to make sure the fabrics are fully saturated with the liquid.

  6. Let it sit for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

  7. Dump and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can, and do a normal cycle in the washing machine.

  8. Dry as normal and enjoy your good-as-new fabrics!

Ingredient usage:

I thought it would be beneficial to give you an understanding of what each ingredient in this recipe is used for, so you feel comfortable knowing that we only seek the best for your clothes/fabrics and that every ingredient has a purpose.

Bar of laundry soap:

This is really just used as the main soap that actually cleans your clothes.


Borax works very well at removing stains, softening clothes, whitening and brightening clothes, and removing odors, and it actually helps boost the cleaning power of your laundry detergent.

Washing soda:

Washing soda is not the same as borax, although they are very similar and do very similar things to your laundry. Washing soda softens hard water, which helps the dirt come off the fabric, and it is also a very good degreaser, which helps get all of those greasy stains out.

Baking soda:

Baking soda is excellent at getting rid of smelly odors, whitening your whites, boosting your detergent, and even helping to clean your washer as you wash your clothes.


Salt does a great job at removing stains, reducing yellowing in fabrics, helping to prevent fading in fabrics, and preventing fabrics from bleeding into other fabrics during the wash cycle.


I hope you give this powdered laundry detergent a try, and let me know in the comments below if it forever changed your laundry game. :)

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this article. We appreciate every single one of you!

See you next Wednesday!


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