Do it Yourself Laundry Powder

We were running low on our usual natural biodegradable laundry liquid, so I figured hey, let’s drive to Buffalo and get some ingredients that we can’t get in Toronto to make dirt cheap laundry powder. US friends, be very thankful that you have such items on hand at your local stores. We had to travel 2 hours, cross the border just to hunt this down. All in all, a four hour trip to find these items. Insane isn’t it? Worth it? YES!

Here’s what we bought:
$3.24 – 3 boxes of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster & Household Cleaner, 55 oz/3lbs = $1.08/lb

$3.38 – 3 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax All Natural Laundry Booster, 76 oz/4lbs = $0.85/lb

$5 – 3 bars of Vals Soap (I don’t have the packaging, so I can’t recall the size) =$1.66 each

When you break down the cost per load, it’s incredibly cheap and you can’t beat the satisfaction of having made your own cheaper AND eco-friendly laundry soap.

Where did I get the idea for this? I found this recipe from PETA and here’s their instructions:

1/2 bar of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint pure-castile organic bar soap
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda

  • Grate the soap with a cheese or carrot grater.
  • Combine with the borax and washing soda in an airtight container (a Mason jar or Tupperware will work).
  • Shake!

Makes 1½ cups detergent

Yep, that’s it. Your detergent is ready to go! Use 1 tablespoonful per laundry load.


Now, I used a bar of Val’s because I could not justify buying 1 bar of soap for $6. Dr. Bronner’s is pretty expensive and Val’s is just as nice. I grated the soap into a really fine powder, I used the second smallest side of the grater. The super small is just painful, I find it’s just too easy to hurt yourself, and I have done so easily before. I use industrial washers at laundromats, so my portion is 1/4 cup seeing as the loads I wash are bigger than the average machine. As the article suggests 1tbsp should do the trick.

Here’s what I ended up with. I couldn’t find the lid to the mason jar, so I used plastic wrap, but I would suggest a cloth, even thick paper towel as plastic wrap will tear easy.

lLaundry soap

I’ve used the soap twice now and I really enjoy it. Now that it’s winter we use a towel to clean off Mardi’s paws when she comes back in from being outside and it gets pretty darn dirty. This soap cleans those dirt stains right out! Due to the non-fragrance nature of Val’s original soap there isn’t a heavy perfume. If you’re a scented kind of person, I would suggest a few drops of your favourite essential oil during the load. I am out of Val’s soap, so for my next batch, I probably will be using Mountain Sky.

I would love to hear if anyone makes their own and the recipes used. Please feel free to drop a line.










by | December 17, 2013 · 9:06 pm

4 Responses to Do it Yourself Laundry Powder

  1. I’ve been using homemade laundry detergent for a little while now and I love it! I’m going to try your “recipe” for my next batch as I like the idea of adding the castile soap. Heading to Whole Foods tomorrow (2 hour drive for us…) to stock up on pantry items – perfect timing!

  2. I also add in Oxiclean; I buy the huge box at Costco.

    I use 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup Oxiclean, and one bar of soap.

    You can also use Fels-Naptha or Zote soap. The latter makes it a pretty pink, and if you add in scent boosters that are pink, it looks great and makes a great gift!

    I use my Kitchen Aid mixer’s grating attachment and it makes grating the soap so much easier!

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