Sunday , 20 September 2020
What do you get when you combine handmade soap, washing soda, vinegar, and an old t-shirt? The beginnings to a wonderfully natural laundry regimen of course!

Laundry Powder How-To

Citrus Fresh Natural Laundry Powder 3 oz sample

What do you get when you combine handmade soap, washing soda, vinegar, and an old t-shirt? The beginnings to a wonderfully natural laundry regimen of course! It’s easy, cost effective, and better for you and the environment. It’s also extremely gratifying to create something with you own hands. Here’s what you need to make a 2 lb batch of laundry powder.
Equipment:Box grater
Large bowl

  • recommended: food processor, dust mask

Ingredients:1 lb handmade, cold process soap

  • many soap makers offer soap chunks or pre-grated soap

8 oz borax ($2.35 for 76 oz)

8 oz washing soda ($2.21 for a 48 oz)

  • optional: 1 tsp essential oil

To Make Laundry Soap:

  • Grate Soap with box grater on smallest shred into large bowl.
  • Measure powders into bowl by weight.
  • Wearing gloves, mix powders by hand. I also recommend wearing a dust mask as the mixing process can generate a lot of excess dust.
  • If you desire, add up to 1 tsp essential oil of your choice and mix thoroughly.


  • Also, if using essential oils you should always wear gloves as they are highly concentrated and should not be used on skin in their undiluted state. All essential oils should be used with caution if you are pregnant, nursing, or have heart related illnesses or epilepsy. Always research any essential oils you may use and consult your physician regarding any concerns.
  • I really love lavender, but in the winter months I lean toward tea tree oil or eucalyptus. Citrus oils like orange and lime are also excellent choices for laundry powder.
  • I suggest running your powder mix through a food processor to get it as fine as possible. This helps combine the ingredients and also dissolves better in your washing machine.

Before Food Processor
After Processing
  • Store the powder in an airtight container.

To Use:

  • In wash water add 1 Tbl per regular load or 2 Tbl for heavy and large loads. A batch this size should give you a hundred plus loads.
  • Handmade laundry soap does not create foam and bubbles like commercial detergents. This makes it perfect for HE machines. And because it is made with natural ingredients it is safe for babies clothes too!

Of course if all that grating sounds too daunting for you we offer pre-made laundry powder in Unscented and Citrus Fresh in our Etsy shop.

Stay tuned to find out how you can get your clothes soft without the use of commercial softeners and dryer sheets!

How-to by :  Life Soap Simple 

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  1. i shall give this a try… thanks

  2. i have been making my own Laundry soap for a few years now but used purchased bar soap to grate up! I recently made my own bar soap for Laundry and can’t wait to make it into powdered soap! Making your own is so cheap and time saving in the end cause I make big batches of soap and then I am good for at least 6 months and it takes less time to make the soap than it does to go to the store to by commercial laundry soap! If everyone only knew how easy it was they wouldn’t all look at me with such an amazed look on their faces when I tell them I make my own!

  3. When does the vinigar come into this receipe ?

  4. I tried a liquid recipe once, which was rather messy and not very effective.

    This one looks a whole lot simpler – thank you for sharing it with us. I will definitely give it a go :)

    Is the vinegar for the rinse cycle? I heard it makes a good conditioner substitute.

  5. I was also wondering where the vinegar comes in…and the old T-shirt. I too have tried the liquid version of this, the wonderful part was that the laundry didn’t need fabric softener at all.

  6. Awesome!!! Love this and would love to try it…now to find the time!

  7. Been making my own for quite some time, too, except I was using a liquid version. I’ll give this a try–seems easier. Also can use 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1 packet of kool-aid lemonade (for the citric acid) for the dishwasher. Use vinegar in the rinse-aid spot.

  8. I don’t know where the vinegar comes in in this recipe, but I use vinegar when I make my homemade fabric softener and it is wonderful!

  9. i love tutorials and recipes!!! thanks a lot!!

  10. This looks so simple to make, i wonder if once i start it stays as simple as it seems

  11. Thank you! Such a helpful post!

  12. Along with the homemade detergent, I use 1/8-1/4 cup cheap white vinegar in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener/refresher/static reducer–just add it to the fabric softener dispenser of the machine :)

  13. I’ve heard mixed reviews about homemade laundry detergent with whites. I dislike using bleach, but I wonder how this would work with the hydrogen peroxide based whiteners?

  14. Anybody have approximate measurements for this rather than weight? I like this recipe better than others I have found but I don’t have a scale…

  15. Hey- I’ve been making liquid detergent for awhile now, but I’d prefer dry. Can I grate up a ‘regular’ bar soap to do this, or must I use fels-naptha or the like? I’d prefer to use soap I already have on hand, but certainly don’t wanna ruin my appliances. Thanks!

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