DIY All-Natural Laundry Powder

The average 4-person American family does a whopping 80 pounds of laundry a week.

Wowza, that’s a lot of laundry! It’s also a lot of laundry detergent.

Unfortunately, most common, store-bought laundry detergents are filled with unhealthy chemicals. We and our families are exposed to the chemicals in laundry detergents both when they are made airborne during the laundry process, and afterwards when wearing clothing, using towels, or sleeping in sheets “cleaned” with the detergent.

These ingredients also contaminate waterways and are extremely detrimental to the environment and aquatic life.

Fortunately, you can make your own all-natural laundry powder that is not only economical, but works really well!

DIY All-Natural Laundry Powder

You’ll Need

  • 1 bar of castile soap (it is up to you as whether to choose unscented or scented; I typically do a double batch and combine two scents just to keep things interesting! These particular bars are scented with essential oils.)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 washing soda
  • 1 airtight container
  • A tablespoon measuring spoon


First, grate the bar of castile soap using a regular old cheese grater. Next, put the soap shreds into the container you will be using, and add the baking soda and borax. Place the lid on the container and shake it up to evenly distribute the ingredients. Use 1 tablespoon of powder per load of laundry. For particularly dirty loads, add a little more and let clothes soak before closing the lid to enter the wash cycle. The soap will separate from the baking soda and borax over time, so be sure to shake the container well before each use.

TIP: To help preserve colors, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar directly into the wash with your clothes.

Wondering about those balls?

Those are wool dryer balls! They help cut drying time (and so your energy bill!) and act as a natural fabric softener. To add extra scent to your clothes, add a few drops of essential oils to your dryer balls with each load.

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Disclaimer: The content of Body Unburdened either through this website, social media pages, or any other materials distributed by Body Unburdened is intended to provide helpful and informative material. I am not a doctor or a “registered dietitian,” and I do not provide medical advice or treat diseases.

Share Your Thoughts

  1. Will this work for a front-load and high-efficiency washer?

    June 25, 2013 • 9:25 am •
  2. Amy Haley

    I have an HE washer, but am dying to try a DIY laundry soap. I can’t use powdered soap in the dispenser. Suggestions?

    June 25, 2013 • 10:22 am •
  3. Nadia

    Of what little I know about high-efficiency washers, they require special detergent that is concentrated since the washers use less water. You might try mixing the powder with a cup of water to dilute the mixture and throwing it in with the clothing – a little experiment of sorts! Sorry I don’t have a definitive answer.

    June 25, 2013 • 3:50 pm •
  4. I think from what I understand HE laundry soap is low sudsing. Kind of like trying to use dish detergent in your dishwasher. Not sure how “sudsing’ this homemade version would be.

    June 26, 2013 • 8:49 am •
  5. elise

    I am allergic to borax, could unjust double the washing soda?

    September 18, 2013 • 12:02 am •
  6. Borax is not available in the EU without special permission. I do have access to baking soda and washing soda though. Could I use a combination of these? I assume the purpose of Borax and baking soda is to soften water? Or does it actually help in the washing part?

    February 5, 2014 • 10:05 am •
  7. Rebecca

    Hope this is not a stupid question but I’m reading that a lot of people put essential oils in their homemade laundry soap or right in the washer…could that leave a greasy mark on clothes?

    March 19, 2014 • 7:07 am •
  8. Carol G

    Get a PureWash – no detergent needed. Uses cold water and works for high efficiency or regular machines. Works great – I have had mine for 3 years.

    June 24, 2014 • 10:06 am •
  9. cheryl

    I use this recipe for HE washer and put the soap directly in the washer. Works great!

    June 24, 2014 • 12:32 pm •
  10. Surpriya

    I’m thinking of using the liquid castile soap instead of the solid bar.

    Pros – can mix up easily with the borax and baking soda.
    can be used with machines that only need liquid detergent.
    Cons – dont know any at the moment (any thoughts ?? )

    July 29, 2014 • 12:48 am •
  11. Nadia

    Yeah, why not? It may just be harder to store and use since it will probably be a really thick mixture with the baking soda and borax mixed in.

    August 7, 2014 • 9:06 am •
  12. Deirdre

    has anyone had issues with excessive lint remaining on clothes after washing with this?

    September 29, 2014 • 5:39 pm •
  13. celestine arnette

    need a gray water safe laundry soap, plant safe.

    August 19, 2015 • 8:18 am •