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Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

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Are you looking for a DIY non toxic laundry detergent? If so, then you've come to the right place! In this blog post, we will share with you a simple recipe for making your own liquid laundry detergent. This detergent is made with natural ingredients you can purchase at the store. Plus, it's affordable to make! So don't wait any longer – give this DIY laundry detergent recipe a try today!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Pinterst - Best laundry detergent

Best Laundry Detergent- Using Natural Ingredients

I try to make natural living choices with my household products when possible. Of course this means I often purchase natural and organic things from the store. I always look for detergents that either avoid or reduce toxic chemicals. If possible, I look for plant-based ingredients and of course look at the ingredient lists for things I can pronounce!

When we are talking about natural or “Chemical Free”, be sure to note that we are referring to those unpronounceable chemicals that come in a lot of commercial detergents. Going back to those high school science lessons, many chemicals are found naturally in the earth. Technically even vinegar you cook with is a chemical, but you get the idea! We are looking more at using a detergent that avoids those long lists of chemicals that you want to avoid. Many people feel that using simple ingredients you can pronounce is the best option for their family.

Other Reasons to Choose a DIY Laundry Soap or Natural Detergent

You may be wanting to get away from traditional detergents due to a tight budget. Often, the main detergent brands and even big box store brand detergent pods can add up in price over time. For best results we don't use bargain brand detergents. They often don't have the best scents. Our favorite brands are of course on the more expensive side, so we wanted to have backup for all those loads of laundry. Laundry doesn't stop just because the budget may be tight now and then!

Availability of brands that will work for your family may also be an issue. If artificial fragrances aren't your thing, you may have a difficult time finding the right product when choosing from conventional laundry detergents on the market.

Many people decide to take a closer look at their laundry detergent due to sensitive skin issues. Important disclaimer- if you are having any sort of reaction, be sure to seek care from your health professional first. Internet articles such as this are not meant for health advice!

Reducing our impact on the environment is another advantage to making our own detergents. It ends up with less waste and less plastics consumption over time (think about all those laundry detergent containers). It also skips the process of comparing product labels and deciding if the product is eco-friendly or offers plant-derived ingredients as they claim.

If you are already to the point of switching out laundry room products for DIY ones for various reasons, check out the instructions below!

Getting Started Making Your Own Nontoxic Laundry Detergent

Making your own detergent using natural products really isn't difficult, and you don't need a lot of special tools you have to purchase ahead of time. I know when I very first considered making my own detergent and cleaners for around the house, the price I invested was important to me.

Before you get started, think about these questions in preparation:

  • Do you have to purchase specific measuring tools?
  • Need any Jars and lids which you don't have already?
  • Do you need to special order any ingredients?
  • What's your budget in your region? Will it outweigh any savings you will see over a commercial detergent?
  • Can DIY laundry detergents work in HE washing machines?

All of these factors are important to consider. In the United States, we have a lot of variation in price for groceries and household items. Always take this into consideration if you see an online DIY. The author may claim it costs 10 cents per load, but that's where he or she is located! It may be a bit more in your region. Be sure to price ingredients in your location to see how your homemade laundry detergent compares to the typical commercial pricing. Chances are, it will save some money!

The good news is that with this DIY laundry detergent, you don't have a lot of expensive things to purchase ahead of time. Yes, you do need to find the ingredients for the recipe itself.

You can calculate the cost ahead of time if you're concerned with how much the total will add up to, or if you're comparing it to something you already buy and use at home.

Family Friendly Laundry Detergents:

You will notice we didn't use Borax. Borax is marketed as a green product but it contains phosphates and chlorine and can irritate the skin. We decided we just didn't want those chemicals going on our skin. So we wanted something that was safer. EWG does not recommend using Borax to clean your home.

One thing you may find you want to invest in, however, is a nice pretty container to store your detergent in.

Always invest in a childproof container if you have your own DIY nontoxic laundry detergent. They are powerful ingredients, so accidental exposure or ingestion would still result in a call to the poison control center.

Washing Soda and Baking Soda:

First, you need Washing Soda as pictured above. This differs from baking soda, so do not substitute. Then you will need baking soda too! I recommend a large pack which can be found in the cleaning aisle. 

Castile Soap:

Next you will need castile soap. They have this at Walmart and most drug stores, and also Amazon. I like the unscented but scented is fine if that's all you have available. Soaps are alkalai ingredients, and are commonly found in cleaners. You can get the Dr. Bronner brand or an off brand– it does not matter.

Safety and Mixing Equipment:

The one thing you may not have around the house is a large bucket. I would highly recommend using a dedicated bucket for this purpose. You want to limit the possibility that your laundry detergent ingredients do not mix with dirt and grime (like from a mop bucket) or other chemicals and cleaners.

Use safety gloves, and googles and mask when mixing up your DIY detergent, especailly if you have any health concerns. We mixed this up with plenty of ventilation and avoided having pets nearby.

Essential Oils for Scent:

I use Essential Oils for this recipe. For my first batch I used lemongrass but you can use lavender, purification, Thieves and more. Use an Essential Oil you love and don't mind on the entire family's clothing and towels. Remember, dad may love the essential oils but may not want his work clothes to smell like roses! 😉 

I use Essential Oils for this recipe.  For my first batch I used lemongrass but you can use lavender, purification, Thieves and more.

It's always important to use Pure Essential oils. Do your homework and always do a test with what you use. I use Young Living essential oils because I know for a fact they are pure and I have even been to their farm to see for myself how they are made. Remember the FDA says companies are only required to have 5-10 % pure oil to be able to state PURE on the bottle so always research what you use like I did to make sure there are no harsh chemicals in your oils.

Remember, when you're comparing prices, always check against how much detergent is required per load. Think about how many measuring cups you are getting out of your current store-bought detergent, and then compare to the DIY.

Hopefully this will save you a lot of money! Of course, prices vary by region so it's important to do your own price comparison. I hope this ends up being a detergent recipe you love and use long term! Let us know how you like it!

Print Your Liquid Laundry Detergent DIY How-To Here:

Yield: 2 gallons

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap (1 of 1)

This easy DIY detergent is frugal and uses no unpronounceable ingredients!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • 5 gallon bucket
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  • 2 gallons distilled water
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 3/4 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 20-30 drops essential oil: Recommended- Lemongrass
  • 2 Gallon Glass Jar- glass is important for anything containing essential oils


    Add your washing soda and baking soda to a 5 gallon bucket.
    Fill to the 2 gallon line with water.
    Add 3/4 cup castile soap (liquid).
    Stir gently with long spoon
    Add Essential Oils
    Stir gently again.
    Pour into glass container with spigot.


Use 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup per load. Do not add dyes or food coloring to detergent as these may stain clothing!

Safety: As with all household products, Keep away from children, and label to identify this detergent if it may be mistaken for another product.


Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional, I am in no way trying to represent myself as a health care professional. I am only sharing my personal experiences. Always check with your doctor before trying anything new! ~ Melissa. See below for more-


Disclosure: This content has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any product {or products} mentioned is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please note I am not a healthcare professional and this post is for sharing product information or our own experiences only. Please seek health advice from a qualified professional, rather than online.

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    1. Yes it’s normal to have to stir it after sitting for a couple of days. You have to remember you are using less chemicals (all those chemicals that keep store bought laundry detergent from separating) I know it’s a tiny inconvenience but just think about how much money you are saving and better ingredients on your skin. I hope this helps and I am so glad you loved it!

  1. I made your liquid laundry detergent and it was really easy and came out fine. The dispenser I put in has a lid but it is not sealed. I haven’t used it for a few days and it seems to have separated, there was white floaty, strings in it. I stirred it up and am using it on a load so I hope it comes out fine. What I am wondering is if this is normal or does it need a sealed lid? That was my intention to begin with but at the time I made it I did not have one and I have just not been able to get one yet. Let me know what you think and if you think I should throw it out and start over or go ahead and use it.


    1. Yes it’s normal to have to stir it after sitting for a couple of days. You have to remember you are using less chemicals (all those chemicals that keep store bought laundry detergent from separating) I know it’s a tiny inconvenience but just think about how much money you are saving and better ingredients on your skin. I hope this helps and I am so glad you loved it!

    1. Yes, the one thing you have to remember is natural stuff doesn’t have all the chemicals in to make it gel like etc. It’s crazy how much stuff they put in our detergents that we don’t even need. You may also that you will need to stir this often as it could settle to the bottom.

      You should also try our Homemade dish detergent, it’s my favorite. I will also be sharing a powdered version soon as well.

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