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How to make Zero Waste Laundry Detergent

There are many different recipes for homemade zero waste laundry detergent. You can find powder or liquid types with different bases. Place like Pinterest can provide a lot of great info when starting to get into the trend. Here are my two favorite recipe! (I will share in the future powder recipe, but everything on their own time.) Regarding the smell to give to your laundry, I recommend you change it based on the season and use different essential oils or blends for extra benefits.

For fall, I would suggest boosting citrus oils like sweet orange, lime with a little stronger oils like sage that will help will the slower paste of the season. Here’s a link to aromaweb page that has greatly detailed info on essential oils and several variation of blends to use during the fall (not specific for laundry). 

1/ Baking soda based zero waste laundry detergent.


  1. 2 cup of Savon de Marseille (ideally your want to make shreds from bar soap or use liquid Castille Soap)

  2. 1 cup of Baking Soda

  3. 1 cup of Washing Soda

  4. 1 gallon of Warm (ideally distilled) Water

  5. 15/25 drops of essential oil(s) – I personally use grapefruit essential oil that you can find here.


Have a container ready. I usually use the old container with previous detergent but you can get a Mason Jar or even better, the “Mason Fountain.” Warm your water and integrate all the ingredients. The warmth of the water will help the baking soda to mix more easily with all the ingredients. If you have a container that can hold more than 1/2 gallon, use this tool to adapt the quantity of ingredients needed.

Wait until the detergent has cooled down. And get your machine started!

2/ I-Prefer-Powder-Laundry-Detergent Option


  1. 1/2 cup of ideally shreds from bar soap or use liquid Castille Soap)

  2. 3 cup of Washing Soda

  3. 2 cup of Borax (here’s a link to a combo I found for Washing Soda and Borax)

  4. 30 drops of essential oil(s) (if grapefruit doesn’t appeal toy try lavender!)


Shred your soap. I would recommend using a mixer to make it easy on you but if you don’t have one, I started with a shredder and it takes a little bit but it works perfectly. Once this part is done, get your container ready to host your ingredients. Combine all dry ingredients and mix them well… You are done. Yes, really. If you would like to add a special smell to your clothes there are different options: 1. use a scented bar soap, 2. you’ll add a sent you like though your softener 3. check the “Little Extra” section below!



I felt a little “ridiculous” to create an entire page related to softener recipe, as it’s the easiest thing you can “make” today. The greatest (price and health wise) ingredient we can find to use for softening purpose is… white vinegar! Yes, as simple as that. I am no lover of the smell of white vinegar so I found two ways to make the smell go away (though, I must say, your clothes won’t smell like vinegar after a wash). For friends who chose option A in the making of their laundry, you don’t need to make your white softener.

Simply put some drops of essential oil in it, citrus ones or lavender are my favorites. They will take the smell away and offer your clothes an amazing smell. A great ultimate zero waste option is to put your lemon or orange skin (wash them vigorously first) in your white vinegar. Let it sit for a few days and you’ll have a great nice smelling white vinegar 😀

Little Extra

Finally, I couldn’t finish without sharing my favorite new drying part routine! I recently came across this great wool ball that is the alternative to drying sheets! It can be used for a very long time, is (obviously) very eco-friendly and you can put a few drops of essential oil if you like on it. It will give an extra nice smell to your clothes! Here’s a great brand I found:

Do you have a recipe that you love to take care of your laundry? Do you prefer powder or liquid? Share in the comment section about your favorite ways to make laundry detergent! And for more recipes click here!

This post uses affiliate links, they don’t cost you a thing but help us offer you natural alternative options and grow the greener movement. Read more in policies and disclosures.

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