How to make your own natural laundry detergent powder

Effective washing powder is important to getting clothes clean with a fresh fragrance. Most commercial laundry detergents achieve these objectives, but contain chemicals that are not environmentally friendly or cause skin irritation. An inexpensive and equally-effective alternative is to make your own natural washing powderder. Creating your own washing powder allows you to control the chemicals exposed to your family through the detergent, while likewise sparing the environment of harmful chemicals.

Pour 1600g (8 cups) of baking or washing soda into a large plastic container. Both work equally well, but baking soda produces less foaming normally associated with soaps and detergents.

Add 6 cups of borax powder and 1200g (4 cups) of grated Fels Naptha soap to the baking or washing soda.

Drizzle 25ml (1 1/2 tsp) of fragrant essential oil over the dry ingredients. Use a pleasant scent that you would enjoy smelling on your laundry. Lavender, vanilla and citrus scents are potential examples.

Stir the dry ingredients and essential oil together with a wooden spoon until well-blended.

Place a 25g (1/8-cup) measuring scoop into the plastic container and seal it with a tight-fitting lid to prevent moisture from clumping the detergent. Use 25g (1/8 cup) of detergent for each normal-sized load of laundry.


Most grocery stores carry both washing soda and baking soda. Washing soda tends to be more common in European countries, while baking soda is more prevalent in the United States. This recipe makes enough detergent to do an average amount of laundry for a family of four for 6 months.


Use a blender\processor that you don't mind getting banged up a little, harder soap chunks can scratch the plastic and make sure it's cleaned out VERY VERY well and sanitized before using it for food. Always follow instructions in your washing machine's manual. Some machines are not meant for powdered detergents at all. Keep in mind that people with a soap allergy make react to this laundry soap, so always TEST first! Always test on your fabrics first, epsecially on delicates or items that require special detergents!

Things You'll Need

  • 1600g (8 cups) baking or washing soda
  • Plastic container
  • 1200g (6 cups) borax powder
  • 800g (4 cups) grated Fels Naptha soap
  • 25ml (1 1/2 tsp) essential oil
  • Wooden spoon
  • 25g (1/8 cup) measuring scoop
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.