Homemade Laundry Detergent


I tried making detergent a couple years ago but stopped using it. I didn’t  like the recipe that I used but continued using it until it ran out. Instead of trying another recipe I decided to just go out and buy a natural and eco-friendly detergent. Then, months go by and my sister tells me that she made her own detergent and so she shared some with me. It smelled amazing but her version faded my clothes. So then  I’m thinking, I should try making my own again so I could go as natural as possible since everything else we use is, right? I make our own cleaning products, toiletries etc etc. so since I make everything else myself why not just go back to buying, dye free eco-friendly detergent?  You know, things will be fine If I buy my detergent, right?

A couple years go by and  I had been trying different detergents but my clothes  still weren’t  coming out very clean! I’m thinking it’s my washing machine! I have an HE front loader and I don’t like it! It’s high maintenance! All the clothes just tumble around and I feel the washer needs to agitate to clean the clothes.I have to wipe it down after every wash and then……I have to clean the drain thingy at least once a month. I use peroxide or vinegar (not as often as I should) to clean the seal or its gets full of mildew, yuck! Come on, all I want to do is wash clothes. I don’t want to take care of a washing machine because as it is, I am tired of doing laundry. Laundry is something that is never ending. I especially do NOT like folding whites. Why is it that socks get lost?

Enough venting about my machine, let me get back to detergent… My sister in law text me one day and told me about soap nuts. She tried them out and said they worked. I immediately bought some. They actually do work!

Yet again, after a while, I stopped using them because they are supposed to go inside a small muslin bag and then you toss the bag into the washing machine, Well the bag would open and then when I was finished washing clothes, I  then had to pick out the soap nuts from the clothes. Now I don’t mind, I can deal with it, but my 2 kids would rather just use detergent. They were kind of like, “what? These soap nuts are going to clean clothes?”  So again I decide to start buying detergent again. I now alternate between Seventh Generation and Soap Nuts.

Then one night while scrolling through Pinterest I decided to look through some of my pins and what do I find? A pin from a couple years back with a recipe for laundry soap.This begins to interest me again and late one night I decide to search for more recipes. I happen to find one that incorporates soap nuts. I’m thinking that this is a perfect recipe because I can still use my soap nuts and the kids will feel like they are using detergent!  Then I find another recipe that is made with Epsom salts and no borax, so this is another one that I will try. Now that I have 2 powder recipes, I might as well look for a liquid recipe and I found one. I could just keep going but I have to stop somewhere right? I might as well just try these 3 and see which one is the best.

All 3 recipes were put together and labelled. Next I have 2 kids still living at home, so now each of us can try one of these detergents and come together and vote on which one works best.

Here are the recipes:

Recipe #1 (I am hoping this is the winner) There is a large batch and small batch recipe and I used the small batch

  • 1 c Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • ½ c Oxiclean Free
  • .5oz soap nuts (grind into a powder)
  • ¼ cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container and Use 2 T per HE load. Usually when using powder you still put the detergent in the dispenser, oxyclean container states to put it in the tub not the dispenser  so to protect the washer I already don’t like, I’m putting the detergent in the tub, you may want to do so as well.

Pretreat stains (I use felis naptha soap or castile bar soap)

Recipe found at here


Recipe #2 Borax Free

  • 1 ½ c baking soda
  • 1 ½ c washing soda
  • ½ c Epsom salts
  • A few drops essential oils (I didn’t use any)

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.

use 1 T per load and to pretreat stains, make a paste of this detergent and rub into stain.

Recipe found here


Recipe #3 Liquid detergent

  • 2-gallon bucket
  • 2 gallons’ hot water (from faucet)
  • ½ c super washing soda
  • ½ c baking soda
  • ¾ c castile soap
  • 30 drops essential oil


Put ½ c of washing soda in bucket and add hot water to cover the washing soda,

Stir up until dissolved. Add baking soda and stir again until dissolved

Fill bucket with 2 gallons of hot water and stir again.

Add essential oil to castile soap, stir and add to water mixture.

Stir up and dispense into 2 1gallon water jugs or an old detergent bottle. (I used a cup and scooped out the liquid and poured into bottles)

Let cool and place caps on bottle. Use 1/3 cup per load.

Recipe found here

So now we will take the time to test these and will update with the results.

What do you use for a natural eco-friendly detergent?

UPDATE: I love this last liquid recipe ! It works the best. Daughter #1 uses the soap nuts recipe and that works as well.

UPDATE: We are detergent free, thanks to The Washing Ball. I don’t know how it works, but it works. Check it out on Amazon

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