Chemical-Free Liquid Laundry Detergent

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I like doing laundry. I mean, isn’t it fun to throw in dirty clothes, add a little soap, and then see how clean and good smelling they come out? It’s actually kind of satisfying! Now, I didn’t say I like the folding and putting away part, I just like the “doing” part. Who’s with me?

SONY DSCWhile I love the smell of my fresh clean clothes, I really dislike knowing that a ton of harsh and “icky” chemicals went into cleaning them. Don’t believe me? Visit the Environmental Working Group’s site and check it out. I dare you to type in your favorite laundry detergent that you’re using right now and see the grade it gets. My favorite that I used to use a few years ago received a big fat F. Yikes! I was shocked when I started typing in other known brands and seeing more and more “F’s.” No good, folks! There are known chemicals in store bought laundry detergent that have developmental and reproductive effects, cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, and allergies. To name just a few!

Yeah, I’ll just go the “no-chem” route myself.

I’ve been making this borax-free liquid laundry detergent from The Hippy Home for the last 2 years, and I gotta say, I love it. I much prefer liquid over powder. But, if I’m being honest, it’s because I don’t want to take the time to grate the soap. Ha! Call me lazy; but really, who has time for that?!

So, as stated above, this recipe is borax-free. I know there are several DIY laundry detergent recipes out there that use borax, but type “borax” into the EWG’s cleaning list, and see the grade it received. You got it; another F. Boo. It got an F because there’s “high concern” for developmental, endocrine, and reproductive effects. Wowza. Since I’d love to have another baby someday, I’ll go ahead and skip that ingredient. I definitely prefer this recipe to all others I’ve seen out there. AND, I have an HE machine and have had zero problems to date! I even add just a tad extra detergent to my loads, too (because, let’s be real; who really measures out the exact amount needed for each load?). That’s just how I roll.

First, I’ll share with you how to make this chemical-free liquid laundry detergent. Then I’ll go into more detail about each ingredient and what it does.



  • 2 gallon bucket
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda (found at any grocery store I believe!)
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 3/4 cup castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s in lavender)
  • 30 drops of your favorite essential oils (I used lavender and “joy” blend)
  • Large wooden/plastic spoon to stir (not pictured)
  • 2 1-gallon glass containers


SONY DSCFirst, measure out 1/2 cup of the Super Washing Soda and pour into a 2 gallon bucket. I use this bucket for making this detergent only; I store my supplies in it and just grab it when I need to make more! That way it stays nice and clean and doesn’t get used and dirty with other things.


SONY DSCAdd just enough hot tap water to cover the washing soda, and stir well to dissolve.



Measure out and pour 1/2 cup of Baking Soda into the water/washing soda mixture, and stir well to dissolve.


SONY DSCFill up your bucket all the way to the top with hot tap water, only leaving about 1/2 inch of room on top. Make sure you do this BEFORE adding in your castile soap, or you’ll have a bubbly mess!


SONY DSCMeasure and pour into the bucket 3/4 cup of castile soap. My favorite is Dr. Bronner’s, and they have a few different scents. I used lavender because I love how fresh it smells. But, you can also buy unscented and use your favorite essential oils to give it a yummy fresh smell!




SONY DSCPour in 30 drops of your favorite essential oils! I used 20 drops of lavender, and 10 drops of “joy.” They smell SO good.


SONY DSCCarefully stir everything together until well mixed.


SONY DSCPour the detergent into jars or bottles. I used a soup ladle to transfer into my big jars, but if your bottle is thinner you can use a funnel.


Pour 1/3 cup of the detergent in with your dirty clothes and wash as normal. Contents might settle to bottom or clump, but just give the bottle a good shake before you use it every time and it’ll be fine. The clumps will break up in the wash. I noticed mine gets clumpier when it’s cold, so I try to keep it in a warmer spot, like under my kitchen sink during the winter.

Your clothes will come out clean, chemical free, and smelling fresh! Woohoo!

So, want to know what all this stuff does in your laundry? First, if you type in any of the ingredients from this recipe in the EWG’s cleaning guide, every single item will get an “A.” Now THAT is the kind of detergent I want to use for my family!

Super Washing Soda: Or, “soda crystals,” are a highly alkaline substance, which means it can boost the effectiveness of laundry detergent especially in areas with hard water (which we totally have!).

Baking Soda: Sodium Bicarbonate is also a detergent booster. It soften clothes, helps keep them bright, and keeps odors at bay!

Castile Soap: This natural soap is made from plant oils. It’s sensitive on skin, biodegradable, and earth friendly. It has SO many more uses than just laundry detergent!

Essential Oils: These not only provide your laundry with delicious smelling scents, but also can have calming properties as well. I used lavender and “Joy” blend in my detergent, and both these oils help to relax and improve moods. Some other lovely essential oils to add that have relaxing properties: orange, tangerine, grapefruit, jasmine, rose, and ylang ylang. What’s your favorite scent?

SONY DSCDid I mention how inexpensive making this detergent actually is? Washing soda and baking soda are INCREDIBLY cheap. As in, a couple of bucks or less. Both my Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and my essential oils last a really long time. Like, my big Dr. Bronner’s bottle has lasted through 4 laundry detergent batches. With 2 gallons each batch, that’s 8 gallons of laundry detergent! I’m not sure exactly how many loads each gallon gives, but it’s a LOT. One gallon lasts me a couple of months at least. My essential oil bottle has also lasted me through all that, and then some! Together the castile soap and EO’s might run you $30, but that’ll last you a LONG time.

SONY DSCSo, what’s holding you back from making your own liquid laundry detergent? Here are 5 key reasons to help you ditch your current detergent:

  1. In the long run, it’s cheaper!
  2. It’s chemical-free
  3. You can choose your own scents with you favorite essential oils
  4. Made with all natural ingredients
  5. You don’t have to grate any soap!

Convinced yet? :)

If you need some essential oils for your own laundry detergent (and want to know how I get mine at wholesale prices), come find out more info HERE! We also have an amazing deal going on this month, with some “freebies” you won’t want to miss!

Starterr kit offerHope you all have a fabulous weekend my friends!

(I link up at these fun parties!)



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        • Amanda says:

          Hi Lourin! I’ll be honest; it’s not the BEST detergent for tough stains. But then again, I only have one little one and we don’t have a ton of stained clothes to wash. It gets our laundry clean and it works for us. Let me know if you do try it and how it works for your family! :)

          • Amanda says:

            Hi Britney, it doesn’t HAVE to be glass containers since you’re not doing a ton of essential oils in the detergent. When using essential oils, and a lot of them, they tend to break down plastic. However, I have not had that problem in this detergent. I also store my detergent in a dark place, which also is better for essential oils. If you omit the oils altogether, you definitely don’t have to use glass at all! :)

          • Jesse Mark says:

            I have used this exact recipe from the hippy home for several years and find that if you use spray and wash or a dab of dawn dish soap on stains, they will come out. I have three kiddos who love to play in the mud and seem to spill anything red on their clothes. Yes, I know spray n wash is not chemical free. But it beats having to throw away stained clothing and using harsher commercial brand detergent. My girls have ultra sensitive skin, as do I, and we no longer have rashes from our laundry soap! I add kosher salt too …it helps keep colors brighter! Love love love this stuff!!

          • Amanda says:

            Hi Jesse! I love hearing this! This is the best recipe I’ve ever tried, and I love it still a few years later! I’ve never heard that tip about the dish soap on stains, I’ll have to try that! And the kosher salt idea too, I’ll get that for my next batch! Thanks!! :)

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Kara! I’m not totally sure how well that’d work to be honest, but it’s worth a try! As long as it measures the same amount as using the liquid soap it might work! :) Let me know if you do try it!

        • Kat says:

          I can tell you right now that bar soap has chemicals in it so you’re getting that chemical free soap. The Castile soap is pure and organic.

      • Kaarin says:

        Is it ok to use regular tap water or do you need to use distilled water when making this detergent. I’m so excited to whip up a batch and start using it!!! Many thanks!!

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Kaarin, sorry for the delayed response! I use regular tap water in mine and it’s been great. If this was a detergent you were going to use very rarely and it would sit for a long time (couple years I’m thinking),, then I’d be tempted to use distilled water just in case. Otherwise if you go through it quick enough you’ll be fine with tap! :)

  1. Selene Galindo says:

    I had no idea that Borax is bad bad bad!! I may have to try your recipe soon since I’m running out of Borax anyway. I’m assuming the recipe cleans well since you’ve used it for 2 years. That’s always my concern when trying homemade laundry detergents. Thanks for sharing!
    Selene Galindo recently posted…Progress in the NurseryMy Profile

    • Amanda says:

      Me neither, Selene! I had found a recipe awhile ago and was all set to make it, but I didn’t know what borax was. So, I researched it and found it’s actually banned in some parts of Europe! I had no idea! This detergent does clean well, and my clothes always smell fresh. I hear you though, I was skeptical too when I first tried it. I won’t ever go back to anything else! :) Enjoy your weekend!

      • Becca says:

        We use borax in Texas to keep away scorpions and spiders, even snakes…essentially it is used as a pesticide. Also can mix with a little sugar and baking soda or light corn syrup if you have roaches or ants and it kills them…so in my opinion I don’t use it in my laundry lol

    • Amanda says:

      I know, right?! I never was this conscious about chemicals, but now that I’ve been doing some research, it’s amazing what’s in the everyday stuff we don’t even think about! it definitely super cheap, too. I just love how long it lasts! :) Hope you have a great weekend!

    • Amanda says:

      Woohoo! This stuff is really great, I think you’ll love it, Melanie! I definitely hated the grating soap step; it was what put me off to making my own detergent, until I found this recipe! Let me know what you think of it! :) Happy Sunday!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Well, I am definitely trying that! I’ve suddenly developed all kinds of sensitivity to various chemicals, so going natural with the laundry and other cleaners has been a must. It’s hard finding just the right recipes for our family. Here’s hoping this one is a hit. Thank you for sharing!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you, Suzanne! I’m so sorry to hear your allergies to chemicals, that’s awful! I’ve been loving going the more natural route, because it’s so nice to know I’m doing my daughter (and us, too!) a great service! I hope you enjoy this recipe, I think it works great! Let me know if you do make it! :)

    • Kendra says:

      My mother in law has an LG HE washer and dryer. She’s concerned that this detergent is not HE washer and dryer friendly. Is there a website I could go to and prove this to her?

      • Amanda says:

        Hi Kendra, there’s not a website that I know of to prove it to her, but you could google the different ingredients and see if something comes up? I have an HE washer and dryer and have had no problems whatsoever, and I’ve been using this detergent for 3 years now! Hope that helps a little!

  3. Draven says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been wanting to try making my own liquid detergent for months now, but could never find one that didn’t have Borax in it! I’ll definitely be whipping up a batch of this!
    Draven recently posted…March Projects & De-ClutteringMy Profile

  4. Dee R. says:

    Another Dee here! I’ve recently started using Young Living, and now I can’t stand artificial fragrances. I made some powdered detergent (grated the soap in my food processor), but will try this next. My question is, what do you use for your dryer sheets?

  5. Jen Cooper says:

    I love this! I have my homemade laundry soap that is dry and with borax and though I love it, I never did the research into the borax and now you have me freaking out. :) Grating the soap by hand would be tedious but I put mine into the food processors. Wam Bam thank you mam!.
    I will be trying your recipe when I run out of my current supply.

    Thanks for sharing. Coming to you from:
    Jen Cooper recently posted…Quick & Easy Bagel PizzaMy Profile

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you, Jen! Ha, good idea, I never thought of a food processor!! Duh! THAT wouldn’t be near as bad as grating by hand. 😉 I had no idea about borax, either! I’m glad I did a little research. Now it makes me wonder what ELSE is bad for me that I don’t even know about! Hope you have an awesome day!

  6. Kilroy says:

    This is a really great idea, and I am going to try it out. Just a pet peeve, this says chemical free over and over again. It is absolutely not chemical free. Water is a chemical (HO2). Oxygen is a chemical (O). Washing soda is a chemical (Na2CO3), and so on. Using the “chemical free” term is so misleading.

    • Amanda says:

      I think you’ll like this recipe, it works great! Thanks for pointing that out! However, when I say “chemical-free,” I’m referring to it being free of harsh chemicals that that can be harmful to us. The phrase “chemical-free” is a widely used marketing term to show that a product is safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly, such as this liquid laundry detergent. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I love the idea of natural cleaning products! I assume since this is natural it would be safe for washing baby clothes? Would there be any oils to avoid for little ones clothes?

    • Amanda says:

      Absolutely, Carolyn! I use this on my toddler’s clothes too, and have for the last year or so. It’s pretty gentle, and you can even use the Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild version which is unscented to make it even more gentle. I think most oils are good for the little ones, but that’s a great question! I might stay away from ones like peppermint and wintergreen just in case, those can be pretty strong. I’d assume all others are safe. :) Thanks for visiting!

  8. Christie says:

    This is the first DIY liquid detergent I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing your post with us at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party. If you haven’t linked up this week, be sure to stop by. The party is still going on! Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Christie ~ Sparkles of Sunshine
    Christie recently posted…Simple & Quick Bunny Crochet PatternMy Profile

  9. Jaalie says:

    Hi Amanda !
    Just made my own liquid laundry detergent using your recipe and it seems very… Liquid. Water kind of liquid. Way more than yours.
    I’m worried it won’t “work”. :/

    • Amanda says:

      Hi! Don’t worry!! It is super watery, and that’s ok. All you’ll need to do is just shake it up real good before you use it! Let me know how it works for you! :)

      • Jaalie says:

        Hi ! So I’ve been using your recipe of liquid laundry detergent for about 3 months now and I LOVE IT
        Extra cheap, super easy to make, and (most important) actually wash. I don’t add any EO so my laundry just smells clean and this is really what I was aiming for. Perfect. Thank you very much !

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Jaalie!! Yay!! That makes my heart happy to you love it and that it’s working so great for you! It’s totally cheap and easy, which I love, too! And it works really well! Thank you for your experience with me, I’m so glad! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Kimberly! You could make it in the jar, although you’d probably need to have two jars that are exactly a gallon each, and you’d have to split the ingredients exactly in half into each jar, if that makes sense! The gallon bucket is just really helpful for measuring. I think you can even pick one up for a couple bucks at any hardware store! But, it’s not a complete necessity. :) Let me know if that helps!

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Gina!! Glass would be the best option as sometimes the essential oils can eat through plastic. However, I have yet to find great glass jars that make it easy to scoop out, so I’ve been storing mine in old plastic laundry containers. A slight no-no, but I haven’t had any issues yet! Let me know if you find any great glass jars that work well! :)

  10. patty says:

    Thank you for this recipe, so easy. My only question is in the HE washer can you put in the soap compartment or do you have to put right with clothes. Passing this on to family and friends. Thanks again.


    • Amanda says:

      Hi Patty! I’m not sure, to be honest! In my washer, there is no soap compartment, I just put it right with the clothes. If your washer has a soap compartment, I don’t see why you couldn’t put it in there instead. I’m sorry that’s not much help! Let me know how the recipe works for you if you try it! Have a great week. :)

  11. Sheila says:

    I just made this laundry soap on Father’s Day. I just got around to washing clothes today. A few of the clothes don’t seem “clean” enough. What can I add to help get them cleaner, either more washing soda or Castile soap? Let me know if you can thanks!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Sheila! I’m so glad you tried it out! Hmm, that’s a great question. Don’t be afraid to try a little more than the 1/3 cup, too. I always put more in with each load! You might try a tad more washing soda perhaps? I’m not totally for sure if that would help, but it’s worth a shot! Let me know how it works! :)

  12. Chandler says:

    Where did you get your jars? I’m hoping to make some next week but don’t know where to get them. Last round of homemade laundry detergent I just used old plastic milk jugs. Would that work?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Chandler, I got my jars at Hobby Lobby, but I’ve seen them at Walmart as well. I used to use old vinegar jugs too, and actually after using the glass, I prefer them! Normally essential oils need to be in glass because they can break down the plastic and lose their properties, but because there’s not a lot of essential oils in the detergent, the plastic jugs should be ok! :) Thanks for visiting!

  13. Lindsay says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could tell me where you get the Castile soap. I’ve only ever seen the bar kind. I apologize if this question is already been answered in the comments I didn’t take the time to look through. I really like the idea of using this laundry detergent and I’m planning to make some. Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Lindsay! I don’t think anyone has asked that, so you’re right to ask! :) I find mine at our Fred Meyer in the organic section (it’s also Kroger in other states). I’ve also seen it at Whole Foods. If you don’t have those near you, you can also get it on Amazon! Let me know if you get to make some and home you like it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    • Jamie says:

      You can also buy the castile soap bar, grate it with a cheese grater and dissolve it in water to make a liquid version. There are several tutorials online.

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you, Jamie! That’s a great tip! I wanted to make it easier without having to take the extra step to grate the soap, so I used liquid, however if if you aren’t able to find the liquid then grating is a great solution! I bet it’s even cheaper, too. :)

  14. Dawn says:

    I am loving this recipe to split with my sister but she has really bad allergies to smells like lavendaer. Does the recipe still work if you omit the essential oils? Thanks!!

  15. Rose says:

    Planning on making this tonight, do you see any problems with re-using the liquid laundry detergent jugs. (like the gallon jugs of Tide)?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Rose! I don’t see any problem with that at all, in fact I just did that for my last batch, too! Just make sure you have enough jugs, as this detergent makes two gallons. You might need two to fill them up! Let me know how it goes or if you have any more questions! :)

  16. Bianca says:

    Hi! Thanks for the post. I have done this and it works great for my clothes but my husband works in construction and the detergent is not strong enough to get rid of the smell. Do you have any tips for it? More Castile with smell or more Essencial oil?
    If I put too much will it ruin the clothes?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Bianca! So glad to hear you use this detergent! You can absolutely use scented castile soap to help, or, definitely use more essential oil. There’s one oil Young Living sells that is called Purification, and it is SO great to getting smells out! You can also just add extra of whichever you use too, and hopefully that will help! It shouldn’t ruin the clothes. Let me know how it works! :)

  17. Sarah says:

    Hi! I’m just trying y make this now but have run into a problem…not sure d anyone else had experienced this. I mixed the washing soda and water, then added the baking soda and it set completely solid almost instantly, it looks like it might dissolve slowly. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Sarah! Did you use warm water to mix the washing soda and baking soda into? I think the warmer the water the quicker it will dissolve. Keep stirring (maybe even use a whisk?) and it should eventually dissolve!! Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Amanda says:

        Hi Stacy, to keep my detergent from solidifying I keep it in a warmer room or in a cupboard. Our laundry room gets chilly, and it tends to chunk up more when cold. I also give it a really good shake before each use. Hope that helps!

  18. Liz Brown says:

    Just tried making this! I cut the recipe in half to try just 1 gallon at a time. I don’t see any suds in my washer…? Is yours usually like this? I just want to make sure my clothes are getting clean!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Liz! Great idea to cut it in half, especially if you’re just trying it out! Yep, it’s not crazy sudsy, but you should probably see SOME suds in the washer. How much did you put in with the load? My washer is a low-water one, and maybe I see more suds because of that. Let me know, we can figure it out! :)

  19. Caitleigh says:

    Hi! I just came across this article on Pinterest 😊 question: are any of these ingredients used as fabric softner? If not, is there something I could add? Or what do you recommend??

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Caitleigh! I don’t think any of the ingredients in this detergent act as a fabric softener, however vinegar actually works as one! I’ve read you can put in like 1/4 to 1/2 cup into the fabric softener compartment, and it works great. You can even add in a couple drops of essential oils to the vinegar too, however your clothes won’t come out smelling like vinegar at all. Hope that helps! :)

      • Jennifer says:

        This may have been asked but can this be put in a he laundry soap compartment or do you just pour in the machine on clothes?

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Jennifer! I used this detergent for two years in my older HE washer, and I just put the laundry soap right in with my clothes (there wasn’t a compartment). We just moved and our new washer is a new HE one, and I just put it right into the laundry soap compartment. Haven’t had an issue! :) I say just try whatever your machine accepts best! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Gina!! Absolutely!! This detergent is my favorite, and I’ve been making it for a couple of years now. It’s all we use! SO much cheaper, and I love knowing exactly what’s in it. I felt safe using it on my little one’s clothing when she was born. So happy I found it! :)

  20. Heidi says:

    I see you write that it is HE friendly… Is it front loader friendly, too? Has anyone tried it over a long period with a front loader?

    My fear is that the soap will get clogged or jam up in the tubes within the machine. Hoping to avoid that, but VERY interested in this recipe. I’ve been searching for a Borax free DIY liquid recipe for some time now!


    • Amanda says:

      Hi Heidi! I’m not completely sure if it is front loader friendly too. My HE washer is top loading, so I can’t say for sure. I’ll do some research and let you know if I can find any answers! :)

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Mary Beth! I’m not sure to be honest. It might not work as well with this recipe, but I’m not totally for sure! If you give it a try, let me know how it works! :)

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Wendy, I have not found a definitive answer unfortunately. I have an HE washer and have had no problems, although mine is top loading and I don’t know if that’s a huge difference or not! I’ll keep researching!

        • Liana says:

          I use this in my front loading HE was he. The only problem I’ve ever had was when the detergent solidified, iet too big a chunk sit in the detergent cup and it didn’t dissolve. So I scooped it out and washed again. Smaller chunks have not been an issue. I use peppermint Dr. Bronners and skip the essential oils, and I add maybe a teaspoon or so of vinegar to the fabric softener compartment. The funny thing is that since I’ve been using this, that mildew smell the front loading machines tend to get has disappeared.

          • Amanda says:

            Hi Liana! So glad you love this detergent!! I’ve had the same problem once or twice, so I just have to make sure I give my jug a big shake before pouring into my machine so it doesn’t clump up too much. So glad your machines are even cleaner! I find the same in my own, but I have top loading. Yay for no more mildew smells. :)

  21. danielle says:

    the only thing I don’t like about this recipe is that arm and hammer products test on animals… do you recommend an animal friendly recipe or subsitution you can use that doesn’t test on animals?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Danielle, I had no idea about that, thanks for sharing that info! I don’t know of another animal friendly recipe or substitution, but my only suggestion would be to Google it. I’ll research it, too!

  22. Stephanie says:

    Hi. I’m wondering if you think this detergent would “pour” through a spout on a beverage dispenser? I’m thinking of the glass ones with the lever at the bottom that you pull to pour a drink?. How thick does it actually get compared to store bought detergents? Thanks!!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Stephanie! Unfortunately, I don’t think it would. If the lever at the bottom was quite large it might be ok, but it would be hard to shake the detergent for every use, and it does have some clumping that might get stuck. I wish it would work, I’d much rather use a dispenser like that for mine! It does stay thin, just chunky. I just give it a good shake every time I use it! Hope that helps!

  23. Rachel says:

    I made this receipe and found it to be easy to make and cost effective. My question is that both my husband and son complain about static electricity when they wear certainfabrics. Have you had this issue? Any suggestions on how to correct this?

  24. Laurie says:

    Love it! I made some of this as a trial run into using more EO in homemade products (soap, face moisturizer, laundry products, etc). I handed them out as samples for ladies in my mom’s group. The laundry soap was a big hit! Especially for baby poop stains (and smelly man clothes). I make it in small enough half batches that last me about 2 weeks. Thanks!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this with me, Laurie! Such a smart idea to give out samples to your ladies group, and I’m so glad to hear they loved it! :)

  25. Christina says:

    Hi Amanda! This is a wonderful post and just what I was looking for :) How has it fared with your delicates? Is it safe for delicate fabrics? Can’t wait to try it!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Christina! I haven’t had any issues whatsoever on my delicates using this detergent. :) I’d say it’s pretty safe for most delicate fabrics! Hope it works as well for you as it does for us! :)

  26. Jennifer says:

    I just started using your laundry detergent recipe and love it. I am finding the glass jars hard to work with–heavy to move, hard to shake and one just cracked (which I can’t figure out why.!) I didn’t use EO so would it be okay to store in a plastic container?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Jennifer! I’m so glad you love this recipe! I totally agree, the glass jars are definitely hard to use for detergent in general. You can absolutely put it in plastic, and since you omitted the essential oils, you should have no problem at all! In the past I’ve just saved old Tide detergent bottles because they’re big enough to hold it all! :)

    • Kat says:

      If you use BPA free plastic then there is no problem with using EO. All my cleaning products which include EO are in BPA free plastic with no problems at all. Now if you only were use EO in plastic then you would have a problem.

      • Amanda says:

        Kat, I think it depends on the brand of EO’s. I use Young Living’s EO’s in a cleaning product as well and after about a month of it being in a plastic bottle, it ate through the bottom and was leaking in my cupboard. Sometimes different brands are more “potent” and pure than others.

  27. Cheyenne says:

    Hello Amanda. I was wondering if you use EO do u have to use glass jars. I have a Gain jug that has a spigot on it and was wondering if I could use that instead. I have been considering about making my own laundry detergent and i am trying to be more chemical-free due to me and my husband thinking about starting a family.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Cheyenne! Essential oils can break down plastic if stored in it, however, since there isn’t a large concentrated amount of oils in this recipe, I sometimes cheat and put mine in an old detergent bottle, too. I shouldn’t, but I haven’t had any problems and sometimes it’s just easier for pouring! I will say that since this detergent can get clumpy, a spigot might not work as well. :)

  28. Karrie says:

    I have been making this detergent for a few months now and I love it! It gets my husbands stinky work cloths clean with no problem. I use lavender and lemon eo in mine, is there some reason why it should not be stored in a plastic container?

    • Amanda says:

      That’s so awesome, Karrie!! We love it too, and I love how well it cleans our clothes minus all the nasty chemicals! Because essential oils are so pure, they can actually break down the plastic it’s stored in. However, I admit I get lazy and put mine in plastic sometimes and haven’t had any issues! :)

  29. Sarah says:

    I was wondering if store bought liquid laundry detergent could be used in place of Castile soap… I know, I know, kind of defeats the purpose of it being chemical free and all, but since I have yet to find a place around me with good Castile soap that isn’t real expensive, and my mother has a large thing of Tide, I was thinking of trying it out, just to see if I could ‘extend’ the premade stuff with this recipe.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Sarah! Hmm, that’s a really good question!! I’m not sure to be honest. You could certainly make a super small batch with it and see how it works out. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, and Amazon actually sells it in a 32oz bottle for a really great price!! Here’s the link: (affiliate link). Hope that helps!

    • Kat says:

      Amazon carries Castile soap and it is not that expensive since you are only using 3/4 of a cup. And you get it organic. Seems kind of silly to make the soap if it isn’t going to be chemical free.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Lisa! I don’t have a printable option (though that’s a great idea!), but what you can do is copy and paste the whole page into a Word document, and then delete all the pictures so you just have the words. Hope that helps! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Leslie, mine is cloudy too. Mine also gets a little clumpy, but shaking it up before each use should fix that problem, as well as storing it someplace that doesn’t get too cold! It still works great. :)

  30. Diane says:

    arm and hammer soda small box has alumunum in which is a heavy metal can cause breast cancer but if you buy a big amount box at Sams Club it states on front of box no aluminum organic would be a good choice too

      • Alyson says:

        Do you think this is not much of an issue after its run through the dryer though? I’m sure if wearing the clothes while wet will cause you to absorb aluminum in the product but what about once the clothes are completely dried?

    • Kat says:

      How much do you have to use to get breast cancer? one oz.? one gallon? 20 gallons? Do we really know? If I’m not mistaken, most testing of chemicals are done in very large quantities, so large that the average person would never use the amount in their lifetime.

  31. Rebekah says:

    Good afternoon, I tried to make the soap twice, but each time I did after I put in the baking soda it formed solid chunks. I think it was the baking soda because the washing soda was dissolved already. I couldn’t break the chunks up either. I was mixing in 2 cup glass measuring cup. I wasn’t sure if more water really would change the chunk issues. Any help would be great.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Rebekah, when I make mine I make sure to use really hot water in the bottom to dissolve both the washing soda and the baking soda. You can even go as far as boiling a little water and dissolving the sodas in there first, but hot tap water should do the trick. It MAY get chunky after you make it and it sits for a bit, but that’s normal! Let me know if you have any more trouble! :)

  32. Danielle says:

    I made this in a huge 2 gallon glass jar and it looked awesome and I store it underneath my sink in my kitchen. Today however I opened up my sink and there is like white flakes in it. And it looked like a jellyfish tentacles in some of them….. Is that ok? Any suggestions on how to fix it? Thanks.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Danielle! Mine separates like that too and has “floaties,” but once you give it a real good shake it’ll be just fine! Sometimes storing it under a sink can make it clump more, depending on how cold it is! It should still work great though. :)

      • Diane says:

        Just wondering about using plain tap water. Everything I’ve read about making things with water, the subject of germs, and germs growing in things made with plain water. Shouldn’t one use distilled water, or perhaps boil water when making water based substances?? Help, because it really concerns me about the possibility of germy anything including laundry detergent. Thanks.

        • Amanda says:

          Hi Diane! To be honest, I’m not really sure on tap water vs distilled. I’ve always used tap water and have never had a problem with germs or anything happening to the detergent, but you could absolutely use distilled water if you’re concerned! Hope that helps! :)

  33. Ukti Hajar says:

    Ah! I am all over this! I found a bunch of DIY detergents too, but many people were still putting a bunch of chemicals in there. For me, if I’m DIY’ing it, I’m going au natural!

    Question: any ideas for fabric softener sheets or anti-static stuffs in the dryer/post laundering? We have a lot of clothes in our house that need this.

    Thanks so much for posting!

  34. Alina says:

    I have a front loader HE washer and like to use the economy wash (cold water wash) to save money wherever possible. Does this work on cold watch washes? I’ve already made a batch and it works great on normal warm water. It’s also helping keep my washer clean. I’ve never seen my washer so clean with no waxy build up! It’s awesome love it!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Friedrice, I don’t have a recipe like this for powder, I personally prefer liquid. I’ll keep an eye out for one! This recipe lasts me a few months. I need to keep better track of that! :)

  35. Jane Toomajanian says:

    Found your laundry soap recipe on Pinterest about a month ago. Made it as directed and scented it with lavender and bergamot. I also used lavender castle soap. I love the fresh smell my laundry has when I use it! I probably won’t go back to “commercial” laundry soap. Thanks for the great recipe!

  36. kristy says:

    does anyone know exactly how much this cost make and how many loads its for? how long does this last? i make the powder kind with the borax and it last me almost 9 months and cost around 20.00. and i have a family of 4

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Kristy! I haven’t had the chance to take the inventory of cost and how many loads, but when I do make another batch I will keep a closer eye so I can add in that info to the recipe! I can say it does last us several months for sure, but I don’t know exact. Hope that helps a little! :)

  37. Lilee says:

    I know that this comment is late from the post, but I have seen some people say that using Castile soap as laundry detergent causes grease stains on clothing. Has this happened to anyone? I’m thinking that maybe the water, baking soda, and super washing soda dilute the soap. I’m super excited to try this recipe, but don’t want to ruin my clothes in the process!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Lilee! I’ve used this detergent for a few years now and haven’t had any problems at all with grease stains. It works great and gets our clothes clean! Hope you love the recipe, too! :)

  38. Olivia says:

    Hi! I just made this and mine seems kind of liquidy? Like not a gel consistency at all like I see in the pictures. Does it have to cool for some time or is there a trick? Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Olivia! Don’t worry at all, mine is totally liquidy too. It doesn’t really congeal and become like a gel like most store bought detergents. I just shake it up real well before each use and it works great! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Yay Kiersten! So happy to hear that! I think you’ll love this recipe. :) I was with you, there was no way I was going to grate any soap, so this recipe has been my total favorite. Let me know what you think! :)

  39. kelsey says:

    I just made this detergent and i am supper excited to use it!! I used the lavender castiles soap and lavender essential oils so it smells amazing! But mine is very watery, I was curious if it was supposed to be thicker or if it thickes up after awhile ?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Kelsey! Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be pretty watery. :) It definitely won’t gel up like store-bought detergents. Just give it a good shake before each use and it’ll work great! Let me know what you think of it! :)

  40. amy johnson says:

    LOVE this detergent! I made a half batch if this recipe about 7 weeks ago. I just now had to make a second “half batch”. This lasted me through 35 loads of laundry and cost me about $2.90 to make which ends up being about $.08 per load. I would compare this to norwex detergent. There is no smell (unless you use EO) and your clothes come out clean. This is not for stain removing. I always pre-treat stains before washing.

    • Amanda says:

      Yay Amy!! I’m so glad you love it, and thanks for the breakdown of what it cost you!! I have yet to figure that all out. 😉 It really is cheap to make though and lasts quite a while. :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Laura! I don’t really use a lot of bleach with my laundry, but I’d say it wouldn’t hurt anything if you did use bleach! Let me know if you do and how it works! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Absolutely, Heather! In fact with my first baby I washed all her clothes in the special “Dreft” detergent, but then did research and found I didn’t want that on my baby’s skin. For this second baby, I’ve washed all his clothes in this homemade detergent and I feel better about him wearing them knowing exactly what’s in the detergent. :)

  41. Michelle says:

    Is this safe for cloth diapers and wipes? Also does it need to be used in warm water? I have used some in the past that if you wash in cold it leaves a film.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Michelle! I use cloth diapers as well and to be honest, I don’t use this on them and I haven’t tried. I’m so worried about the diapers losing their “absorbency” since we invested quite a lot into them and we wash them so often that I stick to the detergent the brand recommends (an all-natural one). However, since this detergent is pretty mild I’d say it would be fine, I just haven’t tried it yet! When I do I’ll check back and let you know. :)

  42. Ukti Hajar says:

    Hi again! Thanks so much for your link to dryer sheets as well. We are having fun laundering up over here in chemical-free style! I’m wondering if anyone has tried this with cloth diapers? We have a little one on the way and I keep seeing only chemical homemade options to wash cloth diapers. Thought I would refer back to you again, laundry guru!

  43. Brittani says:

    Do you know if this is safe for babies? I’m pregnant and want to wash all my babies clothes and if I’m able to use this that would be great.

  44. Tina says:

    Can I use vinegar in the rinse cycle or will it cause the soap to break down and ruin my clothes or clog the drain? The castile bottle says use vinegar in the rinse cycle. I made this last night and really loved the recipe!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Tina, you can totally use vinegar as the rinse! I just put vinegar right into my fabric softener spot in the washer and it works great. So glad you loved the recipe! :)

  45. Salena says:

    Hi, first of all thank you for your liquid recipe. It is one of the simplest I have seen on Pinterest as it does not involve any “melting” of bar soaps. It only took me ten minutes to stir and make. I wanted to ask if you have ever used any other brand of essential oils to make your soap? I used the “Now” brand lavender pure from Sprouts Market but it appears to have stained my clothes. I will probably make it without the essential oils next time but just want to know if anyone has had this issue. I may have put too many drops in also.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Salena! So glad you like this detergent! I agree, it’s super easy to make rather than melting any bars of soap. I’ve only ever used Young Living brand, and have never had a problem with any stains on our clothes from them. The detergent will work perfectly well without the oils though, too! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Anesia, using essential oils is totally up to you! I use lavender Dr. Bronner’s sometimes and still use lavender essential oil too, but it’s totally optional. :) Just depends on how much scent you’d like!

  46. Glenna says:

    I made this yesterday, but I’m not sure if I did it right because the consistency is like water…Is that how it’s supposed to be, or is it supposed to be gel-like? Help! lol

  47. Nancy says:

    I really like this recipe. We have a family of 4 total, so we don’t go through this super fast and don’t have a huge amount of space to store the extra. I changed it to make 1/2 gallon at a time and use one of the pitchers from Pampered Chef which has the mixer/plunger in it. Since I don’t use the EOs in mine I don’t worry about it being in the plastic. I can mix it before every use and since it is clear I always know when I need to make the next batch.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with this detergent, Nancy! I love the idea of putting it into a pitcher like that, that’s so smart! And great idea cutting it in half, too. So glad it works well for you! :)

  48. Emma says:

    Does this detergent suffice for a fabric softener as well or is there a recipe for that? I’m really excited to try this out!!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Emma! This doesn’t work well as a fabric softener, however I’ve used just plain vinegar as fabric softener in the past and it works great! It doesn’t leave the vinegar smell, either! Hope you love this detergent as much as I do! :)

  49. Kat says:

    Making my second batch! I was the only one using it as the rest of the family figured it was just a hippy thing. They ran out of the chemicals they were using and tried mine. They fell in love! Thanks for sharing this. It’s really inexpensive and works greatk

  50. Kristen Lipka says:

    So I tried making this and it took the color out of my clothes…. looks likeI added bleach but I didnt…. any one else have this problem? My husbands work clothes are ruined now 😓😓

    • Amanda says:

      Ack! I’m so sorry, Kristen! I haven’t had that problem before, I’m not sure why that would have happened! I hope it didn’t ruin your clothes!

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