I started making laundry detergent when my oldest son started sucking on his blanket. I had already started my journey toward using more natural products (starting with essential oils) and could not even think about washing his blankets in all the chemicals of regular laundry detergent. So I decided to start making my own.
Products like detergents you find in the store have some scary ingredients in them: harmful chemicals like Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent that has been linked to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and biochemical or cellular changes, possible mutations, and cancer. These chemicals from detergents get stuck in our clothes, rubbing against our skin all day long, absorbing into our bodies and causing problems.
There are many chemicals found in laundry detergent and there are 3,000 different ingredients alone that could be classified as Fragrance (which is typically listed as 1 of the ingredients). Check your laundry detergent label or use the free app Think Dirty and see what chemicals might be in your laundry soap (seriously…the more you know…)
Here is the recipe I use for my family. It is a little bit of work but makes a huge amount that lasted me over 1 year.
- 4 cups hot tap water
- 1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 Cup Borax
- 2 C Baking Soda
- 1 bar grated Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap (I did half bar lavender and half bar rose)
- 5 capfuls of Thieves Household Cleaner
- 3 Tbsp Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing Agent
- Optional: 10-20 drops of your favorite Essential oil (I added lavender since I used lavender and rose bar soaps)
You will also need:
- Medium size sauce pan
- Long wooden handle spoon
- Measuring cups
- 5 Gallon bucket with cover
Grate soap into small pieces and set aside. Pour 4 cups of hot tap water into saucepan and add soap, stirring continually over low heat until soap is melted and dissolved -do not boil. Fill the bucket half full of hot tap water and add melted soap, washing soda, baking soda, Borax, and Thieves Household Cleaner. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill 5 gallon bucket to just below the top. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken. Add bluing agent. Opt: once thickened, mix with immersion blender. Fill an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle half full with soap and fill the rest of the way with tap water.
- Non-HE machines: 5/8 C per load (apx 180 loads)
- HE machines: 1/4 C per load (apx 640 loads)
There is also the easier option (for those not wanting to do the work but wanting to switch to a natural laundry detergent without harmful chemicals) to buy Thieves Laundry Soap from Young Living and there is a trick to make this laundry detergent last a little longer as well (I’d be happy to help with this). If this is the method you are interested in you can sign up via my Young Living link (my page).
I would be happy to answer ANY questions you might have about homemade laundry detergent, Thieves Laundry detergent, essential oils, or Young Living products in general.