Aug 9, 2010

DIY laundry detergent: So green, so cheap!

Here's how I did it with help from There are no less than 10 recipes for DIY laundry detergent on this nifty site.
For recipe #10, take 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap. I love essential oils, so the plan was to add a few drops of rosemary oil.

My new Ganesha, riding a 3 headed elephant, is observing and removing any obstacles in my path. :)
Suggested mixing order: first liquid soap, then washing soda, then baking soda, and then vinegar in small amounts, as it foams up. Just like the DIY volcanoes I hope you have made at some point! Crush any chunks in the baking soda prior to adding it. The first 3 ingredients mix together nicely. I made a video of the vinegar inclusion. Heh. Watch out at the end when I can't remember how to stop the camera. The more little movies I make, the better I'll get.

The mix ended up looking like this:
Rather chunky. Probably because I could not restrain myself with the vinegar! Next time, I will add it in little dollops, and I bet I get a smoother result. So I put about half a cup into a smaller vessel.
Then I added about 4 drops of rosemary oil. As I mixed this in, I crushed the chunks with a fork. I had hoped for a lovely scent, but it smelled terribly like eucalyptus. How has my rosemary turned into eucalyptus? I may have aromatherapy fae in the house. I used the rosemary/euc. batch on the first load of clothes. Second batch I added tangerine oil...mmmmmmm....hope the scent doesn't get destroyed in the dryer, but it probably will.
Ganesha approves of my endeavors!
I will let you know about the actual cleaning power of this substance in another post.


  1. I am eagerly awaiting the next post. This just might come in handy the next time I have to buy (make!) laundry soap.

  2. I used to make my own laundry soap. The recipe was almost the same but instead the vinegar was added seperately to the washer where you would add fabric softener and I used bar castille soap that I shredded in the cuisanart. I loved that it was so green....but I hope your recipe cleans better than mine did. I have a young child who spills ketchup on himself as a hobby and after a couple of months of washing with my recipe...I had to go back to my expensive ECOS detergent.

  3. Sydnii: Go for it! Recipe #10 is a good one.
    Inannasstar: Maybe if you try a recipe with "20 mule team" borax in it? I understand it does some serious cleaning.
    Walk: It was fun. Shooting with my left & mixing with my right was not the easiest for me, though!