Laundry Detergent Recipe


(Looking for a more fragrant laundry detergent recipe?  Click here.  The following recipe is perfect for the very most sensitive skin, as it contains no fragrance.  However, the fragrant recipe still works very well with sensitive skin, too.)

Both of my kids have CRAZY sensitive skin.  I’ve tried a bunch of different laundry detergent options, but either they have a bad reaction immediately, or they develop a sensitivity to it over time.  And y’all, I’ve tried it all.  Dreft, Tide Free and Clear, All Free, GV brand of free and clear, Melaluca (this was actually one of the best options we tried.)

Then one day, I ran across a recipe for laundry detergent on Pinterest.  I’ve been using this recipe for around 2 years now, and I LOVE it.  For one, my kids’ skin is clear of rashes and eczema…. but also, this stuff is hard-core.  It cleans better than any store-bought detergent I’ve ever used.

The Recipe:

  • 1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (detergent isle)
  • 1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (baking isle)
  • 1  55 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (detergent isle)
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap or 2 bars Zote soap (detergent isle)
  • Optional: Oxyclean (3.5 lbs) — I ALWAYS use the Oxyclean, and it’s still OK with my kids’ skin.

To mix it up, get a 5 gallon bucket, kitchen trash can, or some big container similar to those.  Add all of the above items except the soap.

The soap is where life gets interesting.  It’s the only tricky part of the recipe.  Your options:

  • Grate it.  This will take FOREVER, but your house smells nice when it’s done.  (This is the way I’ve always done it.)
  • Cut it into smaller pieces and run it through a food processor.
  • Microwave it.  Apparently, if you microwave the bar of soap, it crumbles!  (I’m trying this next time.)

Anyway, once you’ve processed the soap in whatever fashion you’ve chosen, mix it in with the other ingredients.   Then, mix it all up!

I usually just make this in half batches, because the whole batch is A LOT.  A half batch usually lasts me around 6 months or so.

To use, put 1-2 tablespoons in your wash just like you would do with normal detergent.  Be aware–this isn’t strongly fragrant.  I usually use vinegar as a fabric softener and add essential oils to that (my favorite–lavandar and sweet orange) for a hint of fragrance.   I also usually use dryer sheets with my and my husband’s clothes, because it doesn’t irritate us like it does the kids.

Anyway, enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Laundry Detergent Recipe

    • Hmmm… That’s odd. What kind of soap are you using? And are you using the off brand of oxyclean? Aside from that, the only thing I could think of would be how you’re storing it. Good luck!

  1. ok so I did this and there was some white residue on my clothes, and when microwaving the bar there were still some large hunks that got harder… what am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Kinsey! That’s very strange–I’ve never had a problem with residue. How much detergent did you use with your laundry? And what kind of washer do you have?

      With the bar of soap, did you use a bar of Zote instead of Fels-Naptha? I found that Zote didn’t do well with microwaving. With microwaving, I cut the bar of soap into smaller chunks so that it heats evenly.

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