Easy, Effective, Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent

Want an easy, effective laundry detergent recipe? Look no further:

Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent


  • 4 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • 3 Tablespoons washing soda (Easy recipe here)
  • 3 Tablespoons Borax
  • 15 drops essential oil of choice (I like lemon*)


  1. Pour everything except the water into your detergent container
  2. Boil the water
  3. Add the boiling water and mix until dissolved
  4. Let cool
  5. Use 1/4 Cup per load of laundry

Laundry Soap

*A Note on Essential Oils

I use lemon essential oil. You may be thinking- Oh, no! The acidity of the lemon will neutralize the effectiveness of the alkaline washing soda to help remove dirt and grime in the wash! But don’t worry- that isn’t the case.  You aren’t squeezing lemons into the wash.  Essential oils have a neutral pH, so they aren’t acidic. The washing soda will still be super effective in getting stains out and cleaning your clothes well. But really- use any essential oil that smells nice to you!

Isn’t Borax Toxic?

There has been a lot of hype about this and confusion on the internet. Borax (Mule Team Borax) is sodium tetraborate or sodium borate, NOT Boric Acid (hydrogen borate). Borax is a naturally occurring mineral (I know, I know, arsenic is, too…) that is used in the process of making boric acid. The two are chemically very different. Boric Acid is much more toxic.

Borax has a toxicity rating of 1, which is the same as table salt or baking soda. The largest concerns are:

  • Prolonged contact to the skin in undiluted form
  • Contact to the eyes
  • Ingesting in large quantities.

I definitely would not recommend rubbing it in your eyes (I wouldn’t put table salt or baking soda in my eyes for that matter). And I wouldn’t recommend rubbing it on your skin or ingesting it (or baking soda or salt) in large quantities.

There is lot of information you can read about it (Like this Safety Sheet), but if someone is claiming Borax and Boric Acid are the same, pick a different, more legitimate source of information.

I don’t have any concerns about using it in diluted form to clean my clothes.


This blog is all about freeing you to engage in those relationships that matter the most to you, be able to give your whole self to them (not just a distracted glance), and to truly enjoy the macro and minutia of life.

This simple, inexpensive recipe has freed our family to keep a little more money in the bank. It is also so easy to remember that I never have to look it up. I also use my own homemade washing soda to keep costs low.

Hopefully this keeps your nose and wallet a little less in the laundry and a little more in other things that matter to you. Enjoy!

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