How To Make Your Own Lavender Laundry Detergent

updated May 4, 2019
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Homemade laundry detergent isn’t just about saving you money (although it’s definitely a budget friendly move). In this day and age, when most of us are so far removed from the process of how our necessities are made, there’s something thrilling about making something that you need. If you’d like to try your hand at it, here’s how I made mine.

What You Need:

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

Detergent Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Borax (available at most supermarkets in the laundry aisle)
  • 4 cups of washing soda (available at most supermarkets in the laundry aisle)
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 2 bars of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castille soap (available at any health food store)
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil (or to suit; available at health food stores)
Tools and Storage:
  • food processor with grater attachment and S-blade, or a grater
  • large container for mixing
  • measuring cup
  • gloves
  • mask
  • large spoon for mixing
  • container for holding finished detergent
  • scoop for measuring out detergent
Notes: If you’re looking to make a non-toxic detergent, like I was, know that borax is a somewhat controversial ingredient. I’m okay with it for now. Notes at the end of
this article (from where I adapted my recipe) helped me feel okay about it. According to
Small Footprint Family, this batch should be good for about 200 loads.

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)
1) Chop your soap. This will help you feed the soap into the food processor. If you are grating by hand, skip this step.
(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

2) Grate the soap. Use the grater attachment first. Going straight to the S-blade with the chunks causes the blade to catch on the soap.

Don’t leave this out. Someone might grab a handful, thinking it’s cheese!

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

3) Process the grated soap. Dump the grated soap into the bowl and switch to the S-blade. Pulse until soap is as fine as you can get it. Mine looked like this.

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

4) Measure out Borax, washing soda, and baking soda into bowl. Add processed soap and stir. I thought a whisk did the job well. Use a mask and gloves so you don’t breathe in the dust or irritate your skin by touching the ingredients at full strength.

5) Mix in essential oil. I used 20 drops, and the scent is strong in the detergent, but not so much in the laundry once it’s done. Add more or less to suit your preference. Or use a different essential oil altogether! None is also fine.

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

6) Store in an airtight container. (If you label your jar, be sure to spell lavender correctly, unlike yours truly.)

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

7) Enjoy! Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. HE machine-safe. Add vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften clothes. Shake container periodically to redistribute contents.