DIY Laundry Detergent

I have an irrational fear of either running out of toilet paper or laundry detergent.  I have never actually run out of either, hence why it is irrational.  But I actually hate buying laundry detergent.  Our options are slim in this little town and I just don’t trust that they are safe and good at, well, laundering.  Luckily, my mother-in-law made a DIY laundry detergent and let me try some.  I am hooked.  Bonus:  make it once and have detergent for a whole year!

DIY Laundry Detergent

A few years ago I used All Free Clear because it is supposed to be great for sensitive skin.  I never had issues with it and it did get my clothes nice and clean.  But then I realized it’s rated a D by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  I just couldn’t use it after that.  So I made the switch to Honest Company because I could get it in a box every month and never worry about running out of laundry detergent.  Seriously, at one point I think I had three and a half bottles on hand.  Until I found out some of the ingredients were questionable.  (Side note – Honest Company has revamped their formula, but I have yet to try it to see if it is good.)  After that, I just started trying random brands our local co-op sells.  I settled on Biokleen and liked it a lot but I didn’t feel like it kept my whites super bright.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when my mother-in-law let me try her detergent.  It is awesome!  First off, one batch lasts for over 300 loads.  Second, after using it for a whole year, she had made a second batch.  If that doesn’t say it’s good, I don’t know what will.  I think my favorite part is that it uses Oxiclean (a good rated one) so my whites stay bright.  But then I can’t forget the cost, I spent around $25 and it works for 320 loads!

The recipe is from Bren at  She also goes into more detail about safe products and answers common questions so be sure to check out her site.

DIY Laundry Detergent


4-4oz bars castile soap (this one comes as a pack of 5)

4lbs baking soda

3.7lbs super washing soda

3lbs Oxiclean Versatile Free (I used this but Oxiclean Baby is rated really well too)

28oz epsom salt (this works as a fabric softener.  Both my mother-in-law and myself used it in our detergents)


Grate the castile soap.  I really thought this was going to be horrible.  It was so easy!  The soap is soft so it goes really quick.  It goes even quicker when you are watching the Olympics.  (I also blame the Olympics for distracting me from taking any photos of the steps.)   After that’s all grated, dump every thing into a large container to mix.  And by large, I mean huge.  I started with a giant bowl but had to switch to a 5 gallon bucket.  Be careful not to breathe in when stirring it all up – it’s not the most pleasant smell.  After it’s well mixed, move to a container to store.  I ended up re-using the Oxiclean tub, as well as filling up two large cylinder jars (pictured).  To wash, use one to two tablespoons per load.

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