Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have an exciting recipe to share today, but it’s not food, it’s homemade laundry detergent!

For a while, I’ve been wanting to create my household supplies from scratch. We spend a large portion of our lives indoors, often in enclosed spaces with poor air circulation, so why not free our homes of toxic chemicals?

Since I became interested in health, I have primarily focused on the ingredients going into my body. However, I have come to realize that health is so much more than what you eat. For example, I have read that skin absorbs up to 60% of what is put onto it topically. This means that whatever chemicals are in your cosmetics, lotions, deodorants or even on your clothes, are being absorbed into your body. While I am working on alternative solutions for all of the above, today I am just going to focus on laundry detergent.

Here are just some chemicals and additives in most commercial laundry detergents:

Phenols– Deemed toxic by the Natural Health Institute. Can cause damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver. Have been linked to serious health conditions.

Bleach– Can cause serious reactions if it comes in contact with the skin. Can irritate nose and throat.

Fragrance– A lot of fragrances are made from petroleum. These can be a strong irritant that can bother the eyes, nose and skin. They can trigger asthma and allergies.

Phosphates– Have been known to cause diarrhea, nausea and skin irritations. They also are difficult to remove from waste water and end up polluting lakes and rivers.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)– This chemical has shown links to organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, possible mutations and cancer.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. None of these side effects sound good to me. I don’t want to be absorbing these chemicals through my clothes, or through the air when I’m doing laundry; my home is my safe haven! So onto the fun part.

This is the recipe my mom gave me for my first batch of homemade laundry detergent. The first ingredient is Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I love this stuff and use it daily. The second is washing soda which, to my knowledge, is not harmful as a detergent (though I read you don’t want to breath it while you’re making it, and still want to keep it out of reach of kids and pets).  The third is borax which I’ve read mixed things about the safety of it. I see lots of “natural” and “green” recipes that use it, but also some people warn about potential dangers of it. So I’m making no claims on its safety, but I feel that a 3-ingredient homemade laundry detergent has to be better than the commercial alternative!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

homemade laundry detergent ingredients
The ingredients: washing soda, borax and castile soap.
castile soap
Chop the castile soap into friendly pieces for the food processor.
homemade laundry detergent
Ta da! Laundry detergent!
5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Chop castile soap in to friendly pieces for the food processor.
  2. Process castile soap until it is a fine powder.
  3. Combine castile soap with borax and washing soda. Mix.
  4. Use 1 tbsp or so per load of laundry.


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I am an aspiring homesteader on a journey to become self-sustainable and free. In my past, I've worked corporate jobs to make ends meet and get ahead a little; it didn't make me happy or confident in my future. Since taking the leap to self-employment and living a more simple life, my happiness levels have increased greatly and I've never felt more alive. I finally understand what I want in life and how to get there, and that is what this blog is all about.


  1. Tom Duchesneau says

    I enjoy and appreciate reading and watching your continuing adventures in the wild.
    Thanx for including me on your learning journey.
    I pass on your jottings, ideas and videos often and hope this helps.
    Best of luck and wishes for success.
    Your friend, Tom in CT.

  2. Karen says

    Just curious, how do you guys do your laundry? Laundromat? Or do you have some sort of off-grid washing machine?

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