Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I first read about this recipe from the Duggar family a few years ago when their tv show first came on but have only recently attempted to make it. Now that I have though, I have no intentions of ever not making my own! It's very easy to make, ridiculously inexpensive, the scents are customizable to whatever you like (or omit oils altogether), and I've noticed no performance difference at all!

you will need:
a bar of naptha fels
1 cup oxiclean (or washing soda)
1/2 cup borax
4-5 drops of preferred essential oil like orange, peppermint, or tea tree oil (optional)

first i got a bar of naptha fels. i thought it would be hard to find since i had never heard of it but nope, it was perched right on the top shelf in the detergent aisle.

i popped it into the food processor and grated it into the tiniest of bits.

then add the cup of oxiclean

& then the borax and tea tree oil. i love tea tree oil. it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal - it's so multipurpose i put it in almost every homemade cleaning product i use! just don't drink it :) i've also recently started using peppermint oil for like towels and such. the scent is inviggorating! and more calming oils on things like sheets and what not.

this recipe makes about 3 cups of detergent but you only need about 1-2 tbsp per load of laundry. i've been using it about 2 months now and i see no difference in performance from this homemade detergent and the conventionally made kind. i highly recommend grating the soap up as tiny as you can. the first batches i made, i was a little lax about making the soap bits teeny tiny and it left a small amount of residue. also this recipe is really low sud so i bet it would be just fine in a HE washer


  1. hi all... is it just me or is this text hard to read? jennifer, is there any way to change it?

  2. is this good for diapers Jenny?

  3. christina- yes it was hard to read. actually it was hurting my eyes. i am still working on the layout. sara gallaugher has a sweet design for this blog as "sacred earth" was her vision. suggestions are ALWAYS welcome!

  4. i use ivory soap and washing soda (both of which are available in kroger)-- but i'm going to try oxi-clean. anyone have thoughts on the environmental pros/cons on oxi-clean vs. washing soda?

    also, i use jasmine oil to make mine smell good.

  5. I was wondering the same thing about OxyClean. I used it some when my kiddos were babies and it ate through some of the clothing?? So I am a little hesitant to use it.
    Do you use the ivory soap (bar soap?) in place of something else or in addition to the ingredients other than the Oxy?

  6. do you put the drops of oil in each load or add it in the dry mix? just curious because I couldn't tell based on the fact you used different oils for different loads...