Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

We know that a big part of “eating clean” means keeping potentially harmful chemicals out of our bodies. So isn’t it weird that the stuff that we use to literally clean the homes and clothes that we live in can be so full of nothing but chemicals?

That’s why we asked Audrey Smit of This Little Street to share her eco-friendly homemade laundry detergent recipe. With holiday hosting season around the corner, it’s time to start cleaning-up.

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

“I used to not think very much of laundry soap before. But since having my little girls, that all changed. I love making my own laundry detergent because it is so affordable, it’s eco-friendly and washes dirty clothes like a charm.” – Audrey Smit

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Homemade Laundry Detergent

    1 bar all-natural castile soap
    1 cup borax
    1 cup washing soda
    30 – 40 drops essential oil of your choice – get creative! Lavender, grapefruit, juniper berry, or sandalwood are just a few ideas.

1. Grate your bar of soap.

2. Bring 2 quarts (about 8 cupes) of water to boil, add the grated soap and stir until all dissolved in the water.

3. Once the soap is all melted, reduce heat way down and slowly add the washing soda first, then the borax.

4. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with 4.5 gallons of hot tap water. Carefully add your soap mixture to your bucket.

5. If you wish, add essential oils at this point – you can skip if you want your detergent to be odor-free.

6. Cover and let the mixture sit overnight.

7. After sitting overnight, your mixture will become a gel-like goop – it’s perfectly normal! Transfer the liquid to any empty bottle/container so that it is easy to use on a daily basis.

8. Shake the bottle before each load. Use ¾ to 1 cup of liquid per load.

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Homemade Laundry Detergent | west elm

Audrey Smit is a maker, mom, and finder of hidden treasures, all of which she shares on her This Little Street blog. You can follow Audrey on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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October 25, 2014

Can this be used in high efficiency (front loading) machines as well?


October 27, 2014

Could you use a liquid castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s instead of grating a bar?


November 5, 2014

Not sure why mine didn’t become a “gel-like goop” but I think I would have preferred it a little thicker. It does clean well, just don’t know about the thickness or lack thereof. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara, I’m using it in a HE front load just not as much.


November 21, 2014

What is washing soda?

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