Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap - Dr.Axe
Doing the laundry can be expensive, especially for families. But laundry soap is not only pricey, it also typically contains toxic chemicals. Next time, instead of buying your soap at your local grocery store, why not try making it yourself with this homemade laundry soap recipe? Homemade laundry soap is not only easy to make, it’s also really cost effective. Try it and experience the benefits today!


Why Make the Switch

Conventional laundry detergents are typically loaded with all kinds of questionable ingredients. You may think it doesn’t matter since you’re only washing your clothes, not your body. But think again, the health hazardous ingredients in laundry detergents can be harmful to very human health as well as to the environment.

One of the top offending ingredients in laundry detergents is “fragrance”. As I’ve talked about before, dangerous synthetic scents like this have been shown to be extremely toxic. Yes, they may leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean, but these fake fragrances can also leave you with some major as well as common health problems (like headaches). A report by the National Academy of Sciences reveals that approximately 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). These chemicals include things like carcinogenic benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene, and a bunch of other toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, and central nervous system disorders. (1)

Another ingredient commonly found in conventional laundry soaps is bleach. While bleach may be excellent at getting whites their whitest, it has also been shown to irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. In fact, a study study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine suggests that even just “passive exposure” to bleach in the home is associated with a greater chance of respiratory illness and other infections in children. (2)

Other problematic ingredients commonly found in laundry detergent include chemical surfactants, stabilizers and brighteners. Another offender is 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that 1,4-dioxane is possibly carcinogenic to humans. (3) There are are just so many ingredients in commercial laundry soaps that are seriously concerning.

Using homemade laundry detergent not only helps you avoid a plethora of health destructive laundry chemicals, it can also help your clothes last longer since they’re not being exposed to such harsh ingredients. Your skin will also thank you because it won’t be irritated by heavy dyes, chemicals and fake fragrances. Your nose, lungs and entire body will also thank you for avoiding the synthetic scents in those store-bought versions.


Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredient Benefits

Let’s break down what exactly is going into this homemade laundry soap and why the ingredients are much better for your health, the health of your loved ones and the environment.

Castile soap: Pure castile soap is an eco-friendly, biodegradable soap made from plant oils. This soap is so gentle that it can be used to wash your skin and hair yet it is strong enough to thoroughly clean clothes. You can also use pure unscented castile soap to rinse fruit, clean dishes and so much more! It’s really a great product to keep around your home.

Washing soda: Washing soda or sodium bicarbonate is a very affordable and highly effective natural cleaning agent. It has an excellent reputation for fighting tough stains when added to laundry detergent. Washing soda also receives an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group for its safety to both humans and the environment. (4)

Baking sodaBaking soda is so inexpensive (you can easily buy a box for one dollar or less) yet it is such an effective non-toxic cleaning agent. What we call baking soda or sodium bicarbonate occurs in its natural form as the mineral nahcolite. It’s so non-toxic that it is commonly added to recipes, taken on its own for all kinds of health benefits, and can even be used to make a homemade face wash, face scrub or shampoo.

Lavender essential oil: Adding essential oils to this recipe is optional so feel free to leave your homemade laundry detergent completely fragrance-free. If you do opt to add lavender essential oil then make sure you’re using a high-quality 100 percent pure oil. Adding lavender oil not only makes this detergent smell delightful, but it also adds proven stress-reducing and mood-lifting aromatherapy benefits. Plus, lavender oil has antimicrobial properties so its a perfect disinfectant for dirty clothes. (5)

Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint essential oil is the perfect complimentary oil to pair with lavender. While lavender is sweet, floral and calming, peppermint oil adds a bright, herbal and energizing scent to this recipe. Peppermint oil also has natural antimicrobial properties. Again, just make sure you are using a pure essential oil.

How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap

Making laundry soap at home really isn’t time consuming, costly or labor intensive. As long as you have all of the ingredients on hand, all you have to do to create this recipe is combine the ingredients in an airtight container and mix. Doesn’t get much simpler than that! For a large load of wash, use about a fourth of a cup of soap.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 12-15

Ingredients:

  • 1 bar grated Castille soap
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
  2. Use 1/4 cup per large load (adjust accordingly, especially for high-efficiency washers, for which you may want to wait until the water runs through soap dispenser).

Josh Axe

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Comments

50 Comments

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

      • Nancy on

        I have an HE washer and have been using and making home made Laundry detergents for about 6 years …..I do recommend running citric acid through every couple of months but I would do that for any washing machine to keep it gunk free and fresh smelling!

    • kindra on

      I make a version of this using similar ingredients. It adds baking soda super wash and instead of castille uses fels naptha. I have an HE washer and it works wonderfully

    • Christine on

      You can use it in HE, you have to wait until the water runs through soap dispenser. Add detergent to water as it passes through.

    • EJ Heinrich on

      I have a front loading machine and this is quite safe for it. I have been using a recipe similar to this one for over 3 years now and I will never go back. I keep an electric hot water kettle in my laundry room. I add my soap in hot water and dissolve it then I pour in in my machine as a liquid. And this way I can use cold water in my machine! Works like a champ.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

  1. Jacalyn Lantrip on

    The link for the Castile soap only brings up this page again? Maybe recheck this or post the link for us? Thanks Doc! ;-)

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

  2. Jacalyn on

    Please redo the link to this? 1 bar of grated Castile Soap Bar or I like to get a deal and buy them in bulk here. Thank you,

  3. Bonnie hopkins on

    Can you send me a receipe for liquid laundry detergent . I don’t always wash clothes with hot water and these powders may not desolve thoughrouly thank you love your articles they are very useful and i love sharing them and trying new ways to improve health

  4. Tonya on

    I just made this recipe for the laundry soap. How much do you use/recommend in a typical load of laundry. I see that it says 30 servings. Does that mean this amount should last for 30 loads?

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

  5. Rita on

    Can this be used for he washers and how much? I see many peoples have ask the same question but no answer!

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I do not personally have a HE washer and had to do some researching but from what I understand, HE washers require low foaming detergents. The ingredients in this recipe do fall under that category and for that reason, I don’t believe there should be a problem with it. If you’re really worried, you cans start off using 1/8-1/4 cup of the detergent.

  6. Teresa Miles on

    This is a very expensive way to wash clothes. i have to wash for 7 people, i can buy a bottle of laundry liquid at my local corner shop for £1 that does 28 washes!!

  7. Matthew on

    This is wonderful and I just found that soap in the store! Any tips on whites to replace bleach or is bleach okay?

  8. Jennifer on

    ive been making my own liquid laundry detergent with the above ingredients and using it in my HE washer for 4 years now. I melt the grated Fels Naptha soap bar in 4c hot water on the stove stirring till dissolved. Then dump in a 5 gallon empty paint bucket and fill halfway with hot tap water then add 1c Super Washing Soda, 1/2c Borax, and the lavender oil. Stir it and fill to the top with hot tap water. This lasts me 6 month to a year with my family of 5 and only costs about $4!!! As needed, I fill an old laundry detergent bottle halfway with this mix from the paint bucket then fill the other half with tap water. Just shake it each time before you add it to the washer because it may separate. HTH

  9. Susie Montalvo on

    I have recently had to change all, my cleaning agents to free n clear due to an excema problem I didn’t have before. I would presume this homemade laundry soap is much milder than commercial ones like tide or bleach for whites??

    Thanks!
    $
    Susie

  10. Rhoda Edwards on

    I have received the gluten free cookbook and now I am going to try out this laundry soap as soon as I gather all the materials. Thank you so much Dr. Axe. Blessings.

  11. Sonia Lara-Lopez on

    I have been using homemade laundry soap. I lke it, but I have a problem with whites becoming dingy. I am told because of hard water. Some people use Iron Out, Oxyclean, mixing some regular detergent, or a bluing agent. I have a regular washing machine: may tag heavy duty. I really would like to continue to use homemade laundry detergent. I use dawn, as one of the ingredients. Mp lease help with the dinginess.

  12. Cheri on

    I have been making homemade laundry soap w/ 1 bar fels naptha, 1 cup of borax, & 1 cup of washing soda. After grating the bar & mixing w/ the powders, I run them through my Nutribullet. It gives a finer mixture that dissolves easily in any water temp. 1 tbsp is all that is needed in my front loader. Cleans great & costs about 6 cents per load. I couldn’t imagine using a 1/4 to 1/2 cup (especially w/ this recipe calling for 2 cups of the powders + baking soda). JMO

  13. zoraida cruz on

    Utilizo el SA8 Legacy of Clean Biodegradable…que puede decirme al respecto. Gracias por compartir sus conicimientos e información las cuales son de mucho beneficio.

  14. Miss Min on

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this soap. Read a lot too. But what is your take on how it effects sensitive skin? My son and I break out from the simplest detergent changes. From one brand of free amd clear to the next brand of free amd clear can throw our nervous systems into war like condition dancing on our skin. What would be a less harsh powder than borax?

  15. Dawn on

    You might want to consider using a coconut oil based soap instead of castile. Coconut oil based soap has a better cleansing numbers than castile (olive oil) soap. I make my own bar soap and grate it into laundry soap.

Comments are closed.

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