DIY: Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Alternatives |

DIY: Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Alternatives

Sarena-Rae Santos May 6, 2023

When I started down the path of non-toxic cleaning, I was baffled by the lack of transparency from mainstream companies. The fact that I needed to go to a third-party website to find the ingredients in their products spoke clearly about their quality. I refused to buy anything readily available in the store. Instead, I started with washing berries. They worked amazingly; the only downfall was they couldn’t be used for cloth pads (or diapers), so I had to find an alternative. That’s where Earthley’s Laundry Detergent came in. 

As time passed, I started making more things myself. I soon learned how simple (and cheap) it was to make my own effective laundry detergent, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned. First, let’s discuss laundry-safe essential oils.

Laundry-Safe Essential Oils 

Did you know essential oils are highly flammable and shouldn’t be added to laundry detergents or even dryer balls? I didn’t know this until recently and am grateful to have never experienced an issue. 

Nonetheless, essential oil safety is a must, so let’s discuss Plant Therapy’s Sparkling Laundry Essential Oil Blends, which are carefully formulated blends that will help your laundry smell fresh and clean while remaining safe to use in both the washer and dryer.

Plant Therapy’s Sparkling Grapefruit Laundry Blend combines Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime SD) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, and Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil to naturally freshen and scent your entire family’s laundry without the use of synthetic or artificial fragrances.

Plant Therapy’s Sparkling Lavender Laundry Blend combines Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, and Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract to naturally freshen and scent your entire family’s laundry without the use of synthetic or artificial fragrances.

Plant Therapy’s Sparkling Peppermint Laundry Blend combines Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf/Stem Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil,  and Linalool (Isolate) to naturally freshen and scent your entire family’s laundry without the use of synthetic or artificial fragrances.

Note: These essential oil blends are not recommended for use with commercial dryers or older model dryer settings that heat above 135° F or 57° C.

Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Alternatives

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Ingredients & Materials:


Step 1: Place 4 cups of hot water in a saucepan and grate the bar of soap into it.

Step 2: Stir over medium-high heat until the soap dissolves.

Step 3: Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot water.

Step 4: Add the soap mixture, baking soda, and washing soda.

Step 5: Stir well until the powder dissolves.

Step 6: Fill to the top with hot water and let it sit overnight to thicken.

To use: Add 1 cup of liquid soap for extra large loads. Washers hold different capacities, so experiment and adjust the amount for your washing needs.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

Ingredients & Materials: 


Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. 

Step 2: Store in an airtight container.

To use: Add 1-2 tablespoons to the load depending on the dirtiness of the wash. 

Laundry Detergent Tablets

Ingredients & Materials:

  • 1 cup washing soda (I like Sky High Suds)
  • 1 cup non-iodized salt (I used pink salt)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup liquid castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s or Quinn’s)
  • 2 tsp. laundry-safe essential oil (optional)
  • 0.5 oz. silicone mold (I used this)
  • An airtight jar or bag for storage

Step 1: Add all your dry ingredients (washing soda, salt, and baking soda) into a mixing bowl. Combine well.

Step 2: Add your wet ingredients (liquid castile soap and essential oil) into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Combine well, ensuring everything is evenly moist.

Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the silicone mold (there should be enough for 60 tablets) and let sit until the tablets are hardened and completely dry.

Step 4: Remove the laundry tablets from the mold and store them in an airtight jar or bag. 

To use: Add 1-2 laundry detergent tablets into the drum of your washing machine before adding your clothes. This will allow the detergent to dissolve and become soapy.

What’s your go-to laundry detergent alternative?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos
Sarena-Rae Santos' journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.
  1. I’ve been hearing lately that Borax actually does pretty poorly according to the database thing that rates stuff like that (skin deep? environmental working group? – you know…..the database….thing…..). I know it’s a traditional laundry booster, but is _it_ safe?


  2. Can this be used on cloth diapers?


  3. Does this work with hard water? I’ve got major repelling issues with my cloth diapers, and I’ve read that its because the hard water doesn’t allow the detergent to rinse clean. I’m looking for calgon to add to the water but I live in a remote area and haven’t found it. Any suggestions?


  4. Have you used these for cloth diapers, have you experienced any build up or wear of elastic?


  5. […] Laundry Detergent — I like my soap nuts a lot,  so I see no reason to do something new!  Since everyone's water is different, homemade detergent may be a good option for you. […]


  6. […] DIY Laundry Detergent […]


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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