DIY Natural Laundry Soap

Craft natural laundry soap with common, nontoxic ingredients including baking soda and vinegar to help keep your home clean, green and healthy.

| August 2013

The Naturally Clean Home Book Cover

Banish harmful chemicals from your laundry with natural laundry soap recipes from “The Naturally Clean Home.”

Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing

Pair nontoxic ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar with essential oils to clean, disinfect and freshen every room. With more than 150 recipes for all-natural, easy-to-prepare solutions in The Naturally Clean Home (Storey Publishing, 2008), you can clean wood, glass, tile, porcelain, fabric, carpets and much more — naturally and safely — including laundry. In this excerpt taken from chapter 4, “The Laundry,” learn how to craft your own natural laundry soap.

You can purchase this book from our MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Naturally Clean Home.

The Herbal Touch

Herbal essential oils can be blended into laundry formulas (liquid or powder) or added to the softener dispenser of your machine. Essential oils not only boost cleaning power, they also provide a fresh, clean scent.

Essential oils can also lend therapeutic qualities. For instance, add tea tree essential oil to your laundry if you suffer from frequent yeast infections. Eucalyptus essential oil can be used when someone in the household is fighting a cold. Jasmine, rose, or ylang-ylang essential oil will impart a romantic scent to fine washables. You are encouraged to experiment! You can even create your own unique blend from the essential oil chart below.

Herbal-scented baking soda is another way to use essential oils in the laundry. Baking soda adds whitening power and is a natural water softener. For a 16-ounce box, use 15 to 20 drops of essential oil. You can mix it right in the box! Simply add the oils to the box and shake well. Or add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to 1 cup of white vinegar; the oil lends additional cleaning power and helps to remove odors.

Be creative in your thinking, and you’ll soon find that you don’t miss store-bought detergents at all.

5/25/2016 9:42:19 AM

You shouldn't mix castle soap(a base) & vinegar, or any other acid for that matter, such as lemon juice.

5/5/2016 4:26:07 AM

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3/25/2016 7:39:46 AM


4/15/2015 12:24:14 PM

I also found a company in indiegogo that is giving away as part as a perk a Starter kit to make your own herbal laundry powder..check it out Cant wait to try my kit.

3/6/2015 2:16:39 PM

I made my own much easier than measure "1 cup", etc. 1 box washing soda, 1 box (the big one) baking soda, 1 box Borax (controversial,I know), 1 container oxy clean (unscented), then 2 bars of grated Fels-Naptha. Mix it up, put it in two 1-gallon containers. It lasted our family of 3 for TWO YEARS and cost less than $30 to make. I have sensitive skin and never had an issue!

3/4/2015 9:47:33 AM

I believe there is a post farther down that gives a formula for he detergent.....

3/4/2015 9:45:29 AM

Is there a formula for clothes detergent where your washer requires he detergent?

1/31/2014 1:12:18 AM

Wonderful...I prefer to make my own stuff like, detergents and laundry detergents!One of my favorite ingredient is tea tree oil. due to its anti fungal properties it is just amazing :)

1/25/2014 9:27:23 AM

Thank you Rose Curran! As Rose mentioned, Castile soap and vinegar do NOT go together.

1/6/2014 11:26:10 AM

Much easier and very effective in top load or HE machines: 1 c borax, 1 c washing (not baking) soda, 1 bar grated ivory soap. 1 or 2 T per load, depending on size and how dirty.

rose curran
8/26/2013 10:07:19 PM

Castile soap and vinegar do not go together. See the link where Lisa Bronner talks about this.

8/26/2013 7:49:33 PM

Can the liquid detergents be used in a HE front loading machine? Thanks.

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