How to Make Natural Laundry Detergent for All Fabrics?

Nowadays, there has been a surge of interest in eco-friendly laundry cleaning solutions. In fact, many looking for tips on how to make natural laundry detergent at home! People are more aware of the detrimental impact that commercial laundry detergents can have on the environment and our health. For instance, such detergents contain harsh chemicals, like phosphates and synthetic fragrances, which not only pollute waterways but can also trigger allergies and skin irritations. This growing consciousness about the harmful effects of conventional detergents has sparked a movement towards making sustainable laundry detergent options as an inviting option.

By crafting earth-friendly laundry detergent alternatives, we can actively contribute to reducing our ecological footprint and enhancing our well-being. There are tons of benefits using homemade laundry detergent that extend beyond environmental considerations. They allow us to control the ingredients, ensuring that no harmful chemicals make their way into our laundry routine. Moreover, DIY laundry detergent tutorial often features simple, readily available ingredients, making them customizable to suit individual preferences.

But before we further discussing about how to make natural laundry detergent, we would love to dig deeper about eco-friendly laundry detergent options, including the benefits of using homemade laundry detergent and the negative effects of commercial detergents. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Natural Laundry Detergent

Natural laundry detergent has gained popularity among those who are seeking safer and eco-friendly alternatives to conventional detergents. Contrary to traditional detergents, natural laundry detergents are generally made from plant-based ingredients, like coconut oil, essential oils, castile soap that are gentle to our skin. Moreover, these non-toxic laundry detergent alternatives prioritize the use of biodegradable and renewable ingredients, making them suitable on both our health and the environment.

Speaking of the benefits of using natural laundry detergents, these products can reduce impacts on our health and well-being. Commercial detergents commonly contain harmful chemicals that may cause skin irritations, allergies, and respiratory issues. Some chemicals that potentially trigger these issues are phosphates, sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS as surfactants), brighteners, and synthetic fragrances. Hence, they are not recommended for those with sensitive skin and babies.

how to make natural laundry detergent
Understanding Natural Laundry Detergent

By switching to natural alternatives, individuals with sensitive skin can find relief. The homemade laundry soap for sensitive skin is often formulated with mild and hypoallergenic ingredients, like coconut oil and castile soap. Hence, these sustainable laundry detergent options help to minimize the risk of adverse reactions, making laundry a safer experience.

In addition to the health benefits, natural laundry detergents also contribute to a cleaner and greener planet. Traditional detergents significantly contribute in destroying our environment, with their chemicals entering water systems and potentially harming aquatic life. On the other hand, eco-friendly laundry cleaning solutions are designed to be biodegradable, minimizing pollution and reducing the ecological footprint.

Furthermore, making natural laundry detergent at home offers the opportunity for customization and creativity. With readily available ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, individuals can experiment with different combinations to achieve desired scents and cleaning powers.

Benefits of Using Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent

Made from natural ingredients, eco-friendly laundry detergent options offer numerous benefits. In addition to preventing skin sensitivities, these biodegradable laundry cleaning solutions are also more environmentally friendly as they are not made from harsh chemicals that can potentially harm the Earth.

To gain a deeper understanding of the advantages of these natural products, let us guide you through each of the following sections below.

How To Make Natural Laundry Detergent
Benefits of Using Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent

1. Environmental Advantages

One of the remarkable environmental advantages of using natural laundry detergents is significantly reduce water pollution and plastic waste. Unlike conventional detergents that contain synthetic chemicals that harm water systems, eco-friendly laundry detergent options are formulated with biodegradable ingredients.

With biodegradable materials, these detergents will easily breakdown when they enter waterways, minimizing the accumulation of harmful substances. Thus, reducing the overall impact on aquatic ecosystems. By opting for biodegradable cleaning solutions, we can actively contribute to preserving the health and vitality of our rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Moreover, natural laundry detergents often employ green laundry detergent methods, such as using concentrated formulas or packaging materials that are either recyclable, biodegradable or made from post-consumer recycled plastic. Through utilizing these materials, we can reduce the use of plastic and adopt sustainable packaging practices to help mitigate the immense plastic waste generated by the laundry industry. In addition to substituting plastics, some organic laundry detergents also opt for shorter wash cycles. Thus, conserving water used in cleaning your garments.

2. Health Benefits

Switching to natural laundry detergents can have remarkable health benefits, particularly in preventing skin irritations, allergies, and respiratory issues. Conventional detergents often contain harsh chemicals, such as surfactants, synthetic fragrances, and additives that can trigger allergic reactions and sensitivities in individuals with sensitive skin. However, opting for biodegradable and green laundry detergent methods can significantly reduce these risks.

Natural detergents are typically formulated with gentle ingredients such as plant-based surfactants, enzymes, and essential oils, which are less likely to cause skin irritations. Instead, they are typically hypoallergenic that are gentle to our skin. Moreover, essential oils with calming properties, such as lavender and chamomile, are perfect for sensitive-skin folks.

Furthermore, the absence of harmful chemicals in natural laundry detergents improves respiratory health. Commercial detergents often release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the washing process, leading to respiratory issues and exacerbating conditions like asthma. On the contrary, biodegradable laundry detergents are free from these noxious VOCs, creating a safer breathing environment for individuals with existing respiratory conditions and those seeking to prevent potential harm.

3. Cost-saving Benefits

Organic laundry detergents can offer cost-saving benefits compared to conventional ones. These detergents are generally highly concentrated. Thus, you need to dilute it before using it per load. By adopting this method, you can extend the lifespan of a single package of natural laundry detergent and eventually reduce the purchasing frequency.

And if you choose to craft your own cleaning products, homemade natural laundry detergents offer a budget-friendly recipe. The ingredients are widely available within reach, such as castile soap, borax, and baking soda, which are surely way more affordable than their commercial counterparts. As a bonus, you can easily customize your preferences in adding essential oils as natural fragrances and explore the ratios of the materials included in the formula.

Essential Ingredients for DIY Natural Laundry Detergent

With various benefits in terms of the environment, health, and allowing you to save money, natural laundry detergents have become an interesting alternative to chemical laundry soaps. While the convenience of purchasing them from the market may seem appealing, there is a growing number of individuals who opt to create their own at home.

The ingredients needed for these DIY projects on how to make natural laundry detergent are remarkably basic, simple, and readily available. Moreover, these common natural ingredients not only possess effective cleaning properties but also offer benefits that contribute to a sustainable laundry experience. Check them out!

how to make natural laundry detergent
Essential Ingredients for DIY Natural Laundry Detergent

1. Washing Soda

Sodium carbonate or washing soda is a cleaning agent that will significantly remove dirt’s on your clothes. It helps break down and remove stains from fabrics, allowing easy cleansing.

Furthermore, its alkaline nature enhances the ability of natural detergent to tackle oil, grease, and other kind of stains, making this ingredient a must-included in organic natural detergent recipes. In addition, washing soda acts as a water softener. Hence, it is particularly useful in areas with hard water.

2. Borax

Along with washing soda, borax or sodium borate serves as water softener to help preventing mineral accumulate on garments. Borax also bears stain-fighting properties. Thus, it is helpful to remove stains and odors, making it beneficial for white clothes.

Moreover, borax also enhances the cleansing power of your detergent, resulting in cleaner and fresher fabrics. And as a plus, it is a cheap ingredient. Hence, adding borax to your DIY natural laundry soap won’t strip out your pocket money.

3. Baking Soda

There’s a common misconception that washing soda and baking soda are interchangeable, but in reality, they have distinct differences. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile ingredient that serves multiple purposes in natural laundry care.

As a natural deodorizer, it tackles musty odors, leaving your laundry smelling fresh and clean. Its alkaline properties make it an excellent stain remover, effortlessly loosening and eliminating dirt and grime. Unlike washing soda, baking soda also provides a gentle softening effect on garments by helping to balance the pH of the water. Moreover, baking soda’s non-toxic and biodegradable nature ensures it’s environmentally friendly, keeping your laundry routine in harmony with the planet.

4. Castile Soap

Crafted from vegetable oils, castile soap takes center stage as a holy ingredient in homemade natural detergent formulations. With its gentle and mild nature, it effortlessly lifts away dirt and stains from clothing, boasting an exceptional ability to break down stubborn oils and greases.

Yet, its true allure lies in its skin-friendly features, as castile soap is free of common irritants and allergens often found in commercial detergents. This makes it a delightful choice for those with sensitive skin, while also being perfectly suited for the delicate fabrics of baby items. As an added eco-conscious bonus, castile soap embraces its biodegradable nature, naturally decomposing in the environment.

5. Essential Oils

You may have thought that essential oils only serve to add fragrance to your homemade detergent. However, in fact, most of them possess antibacterial and antifungal properties that are beneficial for eliminating odor-causing bacteria and fungi that may be present in garments. These features are particularly helpful when washing gym clothes and towels, which often remain damp and require an extra dose of freshness.

Additionally, essential oils are derived from plants, making them sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic fragrances that often cause allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Among the various essential oils available, lavender and chamomile are a few amazing options to consider for their soothing properties.

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Step-by-Step Guide: Making Natural Laundry Detergent

Making your own natural laundry detergent is an easy and rewarding process, especially when you consider the readily available and affordable ingredients in formulation. With their exceptional cleansing properties, these components make for a compelling reason to give it a try.

How To Make Natural Laundry Detergent
Step-by-Step Guide: Making Natural Laundry Detergent

If you’re eager to embark on the journey of DIY homemade natural laundry soap, look no further than this simple and user-friendly step-by-step guide on how to make natural laundry detergent. Check it out!

1. Prepare the castile soap

Using a cheese grater, grate the one bar of castile soap into fine flakes. This will make it easier to dissolve in the water when you use the detergent. Remember to use a container or bowl to accommodate the soap.

2. Mix all ingredients

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of grated castile soap. You can add 20-30 drops of your chosen essential oil for fragrance. We highly recommend choosing lavender, chamomile, or aloe vera if you wish to have calming and soothing sensation on your garments. Then, mix them well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

3. Transfer to storage

Once they are evenly mixed, transfer the natural detergent mixture to an airtight container for storage. You can choose a recycled detergent bottle or a jar, as you wish. But, make sure that the container is well-sealed to keep the detergent fresh and prevent moisture from entering. Moisture can lead to mold growth which can deteriorate your detergent and shorten its shelf life. We also recommend choosing non-reactive materials, like glass, to maintain its effectiveness.

4. Tips on using the natural detergent

Before adding the laundry, dissolve the appropriate amount of detergent in water. We recommend to fill a basin with warm water and add the detergent. Then, stir it until it’s fully dissolved. As non-toxic cleaning tips, use 1-2 tablespoons of detergent for a regular load of laundry. In case you have a larger load, increase the amount slightly. Keep in mind that it’s better to start with a smaller amount and adjust as needed to avoid using more detergent than necessary.

5. Wash your laundry.

Place your clothes in the detergent solution and gently agitate them to ensure thorough cleaning. Let the laundry soak for a while, around 15 to 30 minutes depending on the load, to allow the detergent to work effectively.

6. Rinse and dry.

After washing, rinse the clothes well with clean water to remove any detergent residue. Squeeze out excess water and  follow the care instructions for each garment.

Tips for Using Natural Laundry Detergent

Now you have familiarized yourself with the step-by-step guide on how to make natural laundry detergent, it’s time to get to know how to use it properly with these non-toxic cleaning tips. When it comes to the appropriate amount of detergent to use, it’s essential to consider the load size and soil level since it will influence the cleaning effectiveness of the laundry soap. It also helps you prevent wastage!

For regular-sized loads, we highly recommend to start with the amount listed on the packaging by the detergent manufacturer. However, it is typically ranging from 1-2 tablespoons. You can also apply such amounts with your homemade detergent. Then, adjust the quantity based on the dirtiness of the clothes and your water hardness. If you have hard water, you may add more as the detergent helps bind the minerals that possibly interfere the cleaning process. Remember, natural detergents are often concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

how to make natural laundry detergent
Tips for Using Natural Laundry Detergent

And in case you want to have convenient cleaning faster, you can try pre-treating stains. Having this method with natural solutions can help improve the dirts removal during the wash, especially for stubborn stains. Before tossing the garment in the machine, consider using a baking soda paste and water. Then, allow it to sit for a few minutes before laundering. You can also apply a mixture of vinegar and water directly onto the stain and do the same procedure.

Moreover, if you have high-efficiency washing machines, you can follow this guide knowing most natural laundry detergent also generally compatible to HE washers, knowing it has low-suiding features. Nonetheless, it is better to check on the packaging and instruction to ensure its compatibility.

Storage and Shelf Life of Natural Laundry Detergent

Despite having cleaning and antimicrobial properties from the essential oils, baking soda, borax, and other ingredients, it doesn’t mean that natural laundry detergent safe from storage issues. Generally, this kind of detergent deals with moisture that lead to clumping, reduced cleaning power, even mold growth. Besides moisture, direct sunlight also becomes a problem if you keep them in a transparent bottle or jar in a bright area. UV rays can break down the components of detergent and eventually reduce the effectiveness of the soap.

That’s not all you need to take into account, but the short shelf life of natural detergents compared to commercial ones is also a problem. In general, commercially purchased natural detergents typically have a shelf life of around one to two years when stored properly following the instructions. On the other hand, homemade natural detergents tend to have a shorter shelf life due to the absence of preservatives. They commonly last for several months to a year, depending on the recipe and storage conditions.

How To Make Natural Laundry Detergent
Storage and Shelf Life of Natural Laundry Detergent

Considering these facts, choosing the right containers for storing homemade detergent is important to maintain its effectiveness and prolong its shelf life. Opt for airtight containers from non-reactive materials, like glass. Such container will prevent exposure to air, moisture, and sunlight, which can degrade the detergent over time. Ensure the containers are clean and dry before transferring the detergent to avoid any contamination.

After that, store the natural laundry soap in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prolong its effectiveness and shelf-life. If possible, choose a storage location with a consistent temperature to preserve the detergent’s quality. And in case you are about to formulate your homemade natural detergent, it’s recommended to make detergent in smaller batches to ensure freshness and efficacy. 

In addition to the storage are, avoid high moisture when storing and using homemade natural detergent which also typically comes from the scoop. Make sure you use a dry and clean one to add the soap to your garments.

Best of Natural Laundry Detergent Products

While some individuals enjoy engaging in DIY activities and seek tips on how to make natural laundry detergent, others find it challenging. This is particularly true for those who have limited time due to work and daily activities. They often prefer something more convenient, such as purchasing natural laundry detergent products.

For these folks, we have compiled a list of the best natural laundry detergent products that can serve as alternatives to clean their clothes while remaining environmentally friendly. Let’s take a closer look!

1. Miracle Made Liquidless Laundry Detergent Sheets

Our first list starts with this laundry sheet! For those of you who are lazy to prepare a dry and clean scoop to take powder laundry, Miracle Made Liquidness Laundry Detergent Sheets is the best choice. It offers a hassle free experience since you only need to take one or twos, depending on the loads, and add them before laundering.

Miracle Made Liquidness Laundry Detergent Sheets
Miracle Made Liquidness Laundry Detergent Sheets

Apart from that, this eco-friendly detergent also doesn’t require a lot of water to dilute, conserving water and saving your water bills. In addition, it is also formulated with safe ingredients for babies and those with sensitive skin. For just $14.95, you can get 32 sheets!

Why We Love It

It is a handy product for those with high mobility, knowing the sheets are dry and easy to add to the laundry. The detergent is also baby-friendly, making it a convenient, all-in-one package product.

What To Consider

The sheet shape is sometimes tricky to pick. And if you accidentally drop it on a damp surface, it will become sticky.

2. New Dr. Suds Natural Laundry Detergent Powder

While previously we have a type of detergent for those who choose comfortable living, this one is a product that is suitable for people with limited budgets. New Dr Suds Natural Laundry Detergent Powder is a pretty affordable clothes cleaning product. You can get it for $17.95 or only need to spend $0.16 per load!

New Dr Suds Natural Laundry Detergent Powder
New Dr Suds Natural Laundry Detergent Powder

In addition, this natural detergent is also safe for sensitive skin, thanks to its gentle formula containing a blend of baking soda, soda ash, Epsom salt and sea salt. You can also use it on various types of machines, be it top or front load. Amazingly, it is also suitable for a high-efficiency washing machine.

Why We Love It

It is a cheaper option, where you can have 100+ loads for one bag. The product also has natural fragrances, a blend of peppermint and eucalyptus to offer a soothing scent.

What To Consider

It is a powder product where you need to be careful not to use a wet or damp scoop when taking the detergent. Otherwise the detergent will get clumpy or even moldy.

3. Lazy Coconuts Laundry Detergent Sheets 

Introducing Lazy Coconut Laundry Detergent Sheets, another option for those seeking a hassle-free laundry experience! These sheets are specially designed by Lazy Coconut to be gentle on sensitive skin and baby clothes. They are unscented, sulfate-free, and hypoallergenic, ensuring safety and comfort for the users.

Lazy Coconuts Detergent Sheets
Lazy Coconuts Laundry Detergent Sheets

With their sheet form, they are also travel-friendly options that can easily fit into your travel bags. Moreover, they are quite affordable compared to previous choices in the same format. You can get 480 sheets for just $15.95! What a tempting option to consider!

Why We Love It

The sheets are easy to carry everywhere, making it a travel-friendly product. It also has no fragrances that often become triggers to sensitive skin.

What To Consider

Similar to the previous product, the sheets will stick when exposed to moisture. Those who favor scented products will probably not interested in buying this detergent.

4. Dreft Baby Laundry Liquid Detergent

Unlike some previous products, this detergent is specifically formulated for babies and newborns. Hence, its hypoallergenic and unscented formula ensures gentle and safe use for the delicate skin of newborns.

Dreft Baby Liquid Detergent
Dreft Baby Laundry Liquid Detergent

Although Dreft Baby Laundry Liquid Detergent may have a higher price tag at $21.49 or $0.22 per load, the detergent is worth buying due to its formulation. Additionally, it is also ultra-concentrated, which means it lasts longer and is cost-effective since you need to dilute it with water before use.

Why We Love It

It is an ultra concentrated product that is easy to use. Besides, such formula also reduce the frequency of purchasing a new one which eventually save your money.

What To Consider

The product has no refill options. So, you have to buy them in bottles. Luckily, their packaging’s are biodegradable.

5. Ecoegg Laundry Egg Spring Blossom

If you think that laundry detergent sheets are the most practical option, you should give this product a try. This Laudry Egg Spring Blossom by Ecoegg offers a different laundry experience by providing laundry tablets in egg-shaped containers with perforated holes.

Ecoegg Egg Spring Blossom
Ecoegg Laundry Egg Spring Blossom

You just need to toss it to your laundry and close your washing machine and that’s it! And the most fun thing is, it is refillable so it is more economical and efficient. In addition, this concept is also environmentally friendly knowing you can use one for 70 washes.

Why We Love It

It is a convenient way to wash garments, with only one egg-shaped container and refillable tablets. The price is pretty cheap, only $11.77 for 70 washes.

What To Consider

It may be handy only for those with washing machines. For those who prefer hand-washing method will be better to use powder or liquid ones.


Homemade natural laundry detergents offer many benefits, such as being safer to use for all purposes, especially for those with sensitive skin. They are also safer for the environment because they are made from natural ingredients which are mostly derived from plants. Not only can we rest easy knowing that we are making a positive impact on the planet, but we can also experience the satisfaction of using and crafting a gentle, effective, and personalized non-toxic laundry detergent alternative for our cherished fabrics.

With these various benefits, it will be unfortunate if we don’t opt for a more sustainable lifestyle, which we can start with by switching commercial detergent to homemade organic one. By using such products, we have contributed to maintaining ecosystem sustainability and environmental health for future generations.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

Where can you find the ingredients for making natural laundry detergent?

When it comes to creating your own homemade laundry detergent recipes, sourcing the necessary ingredients is easier than you might think. Many component for the natural laundry soap recipes and organic laundry detergent ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, specialty stores, or even online.

For a truly eco-friendly and gentle alternative, seek out ingredients such as baking soda, washing soda, borax, grated castile soap, essential oils, and oxygen bleach. These natural laundry soap ingredients not only effectively cleanse and freshen your clothes but also reduce the use of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrance.

Besides, chemical-free laundry detergent recipes use organic ingredients that are sustainable and earth-friendly. They are also relatively cheaper, making the non-toxic, homemade detergent a budget-friendly option.

Can you use natural laundry detergent for washing cloth diapers?

We all know that a baby’s skin is susceptible to chemicals, including those included in laundry detergent-making. Not to mention those laundry detergents also generally contain synthetic perfumes, which trigger allergy reactions, especially for those with eczema and hives. Therefore, having natural, chemical-free laundry soap alternatives is very beneficial for parents to choose non-toxic products for their children. In fact, such all-natural laundry detergent alternatives work great to clean baby cloth diapers.

However, as a parent, you should still check the organic laundry detergent ingredients listed on the packaging. One of the popular natural laundry soap ingredients that is suitable for babies is castile soap. It is made of vegetable oils with gentle properties, making it the best one to include in chemical-free laundry detergent recipes for babies. Apart from that, homemade soap nuts laundry detergent or those with coconut oil, chamomile, or aloe vera are also suitable for babies with sensitive skin.

Can you add essential oils for fragrance to homemade laundry detergent?

Yes! Essential oils are popular organic laundry detergent ingredients often added to homemade laundry detergent recipes. These oils provide a refreshing natural fragrance that makes your clothes smell good even if you keep them in your cupboard. Some fragrance options for natural laundry soap are lavender, tea tree, lemon, peppermint, sweet orange, and eucalyptus oils.

However, be cautious when adding those essential oils to homemade laundry soap for sensitive skin because they can trigger an allergic reaction. Hence, when you follow the DIY laundry detergent tutorial, diluting these sustainable ingredients properly with a carrier oil like coconut oil to reduce the concentration is essential. Add only 3-5 drops to the homemade detergent so it’s not too overwhelming. Also, choose baby-friendly essential oils, such as chamomile and lavender, which have soothing properties.

Can you use natural laundry detergent in a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine?

Yes! You can use all-natural laundry detergent alternatives in a high-efficiency machine known as HE washer. In fact, many organic laundry soap recipes, be it powder or liquid, are generally formulated to be compatible with the HE washer. HE machines principally use less water and feature different agitation cycles compared to the conventional washer, making it a budget-friendly option for your water bills.

Nonetheless, you should look at the labels’ directions and choose those chemical-free laundry soap alternatives designed for HE machines because they are typically low-sudsing. This is important, considering that high-sudsing can disrupt machine performance.

Are there any specific natural laundry detergent recipes for hard water?

Hard water can pose a tricky challenge when it comes to cleaning your laundry effectively. It is because the mineral contents in the water, such as magnesium and calcium, can interact with detergents and soaps. This interaction can lead to a reduction in cleaning power and leave potential residue on your clothes.

Luckily, there are organic laundry soap recipes specifically formulated for handling hard water issues. Among all of the earth-friendly laundry detergent alternatives, you can add borax and citric acid to the recipe. Borax functions to bind the minerals, helping to soften the water.

Meanwhile, citric acid helps prevent the hard water minerals from interfering with the cleaning process by adjusting the pH of the detergent. Hence, the detergent can work efficiently in different water conditions. With the combo, you must also add baking soda as a cleaning agent. To add scents, some fragrance options for natural laundry soap you can try are lavender, chamomile, tea tree, and eucalyptus. If you love soothing sensations, lavender will be the perfect pick.

Can you use natural laundry detergent for hand washing clothes?

Yes! You can use all-natural laundry detergents at home, be it powder or liquid, for hand washing clothes. This method is preferable for cleaning delicate items and fabrics that need special care. In fact, natural laundry detergents typically have mild and gentle formulation. Thus, they are suitable for hand washing.

They can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odors while being less likely to cause skin irritations. When hand washing with all-natural detergents at home dissolve the appropriate amount of detergent in water, soak the clothes, gently agitate them, and rinse thoroughly. Follow the instructions provided by the detergent manufacturer and consider any specific guidelines for the fabrics being washed.