DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY laundry detergent

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Remove some evil chemicals from your life, save money, and provide your family with some hypoallergenic laundry detergent.  A lot of chemicals we expose ourselves to everyday disrupt our hormones.  When you have a disease like PCOS it becomes an even bigger deal!

I developed a powder laundry detergent from researching online, and I can’t remember everywhere I looked, this process took months (if you know of a citation, please inform me because I certainly do not remember where I got all of my information!).  My current recipe consists of a large box of washing soda, large box of oxiclean (I used the generic from Dollar Tree), 2 bars of grated soap (I used 1 bar Fels Naptha and 1 bar Kirk’s Castile, watch TV while you grate- it goes faster than you’d think), 1 large box of baking soda, 1 box of Borax– mix everything together in a large container with a lid (I used an old icing bucket I got for free from the bakery at the grocery store- just ask!).

I add things in a bit at a time and mix to make sure everything gets distributed equally.  I use a dropper-full of tea tree oil to sanitize loads (research tea tree oil if you haven’t, it’s AMAZING stuff- only thing proven to kill MRSA and a host of other evils, great for skin issues from acne (works wonders on my PCOS acne!!) to blisters and even to make counter cleaning sprays 🙂  I also use Biz (an enzyme detergent enhancer) for stains and/or rub in some Fels Naptha on the stain.

The entire powder recipe cost around $20 and should last (at least) most of the year, which means I’m spending less than $2/month on hypoallergenic laundry detergent (yay!!).  You only need to use 1-2 tbsp per load, seriously (the generic oxiclean actually has a perfect sized scoop).  I created this recipe by looking around at other recipes online- it is reportedly totally safe for high efficiency machines (mine is from the dark ages) and is supposed to be awesome for cloth diapers.

We have been using this detergent since the end of June and we love it.  It is great for sensitive skin (like mine) and the laundry will smell clean but not perfumey- an added bonus that I have noticed is that it effectively removes deodorant residue and the like from clothing without being overly harsh on the fabric (no effort involved on your part).

Let me know what you think and please share your experiences with homemade laundry detergent and cleaners!

***Disclaimer, I am not an expert, this is just what worked for my family.***

***8/13/2017 Update- I have since heard that using essential oils in laundry can be dangerous due to fire risk in the dryer, please do your own research regarding this matter.***


  1. Twitch – Lynne

    That's our next thing to convert. I've already switched to all-natural, SLS and paraben free shampoo, conditioner and soap (love getting my soap from the farmer's market!). We already use a natural detergent, but it's expensive. I've been looking at a lot of detergent recipes, and as soon as I get that stupid little piece of paper we all work so dang hard for (a paycheck, of course!), I'll be making some of my own! Glad you like yours! mine will be a liquid detergent – my washing machine does not like powder lol

  2. SECS

    Lynne- I need to work on getting all the bad stuff out of our personal care products- I started to, but I'm just not loving the natural shampoos I have tried (and they're dang expensive). I thought about doing the liquid detergent but it just looked like so much messy work cooking it and whatnot that I decided to just go ahead and give the powder a try. Hope you had a nice Labor Day!

  3. Tessa Burt

    Just to make sure I read this right. Do you put the dropper full of Tea Tree directly in the wash cycle itself? I cloth diaper and have been buying laundry detergent through co-op's but I have to wait until another one is opened before I can order again. This will be so much better. I like this one better than just the baking, oxy, and borax ones.

  4. SECS

    Tessa- just saw your comment, sorry for the delay! I DO just put a dropper full right into the wash- I have an older machine so I sort of aim it at the water as it fills, but I don't think it matters too much. Good luck- PLEASE let me know how well it works for your cloth diapers! Thanks for reading!


  5. Tessa Burt

    For cloth diapers skip the bar soaps because it makes them repel.

  6. SECS

    Tessa I just saw your comment, I have had no issues with my recipe as it is on our cloth diapers, but I would guess that different factors are at play for different people such as hard and soft water etc. Hope you're well!


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