How to Make My Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe?

natural laundry detergent recipe

I’m going to give you my natural laundry detergent recipe in a minute but first I want to talk about why you should be switching to using natural laundry detergents.

The truth about laundry detergents and washing powders is alarming. While clean clothes are essential for good health, traditional laundry detergents do more harm than good. The detergents sold in supermarkets are not soap, but rather chemicals made from petroleum sources. During WWII, the fats and oils used to make soap became scarce, leading to the discovery of detergents as an alternative cleaning agent. While we associate these detergents with cleanliness, they can contain harmful synthetic chemicals such as fragrance, phthalates, artificial colours, and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs).

The use of detergents is widespread due to their low manufacturing cost. However, the majority of these products have never been tested, with only a few tested by the manufacturer alone. The ingredients used in these detergents are not legally required to be listed on the label, and many contain lethal toxins known to cause serious health problems such as asthma, infertility, allergies, and even cancer.

What is really in the detergents you are washing your clothes in?

Fragrances used in detergents contain phthalates, which harms reproductive health. To preserve fragrance, petroleum-based synthetic chemicals are used rather than natural essential oils. Artificial brighteners are used to give the illusion of whiter clothes. Optical brighteners stick to your clothes and bedding, and can trigger allergies, skin irritation, and cause photosensitivity. Moreover, they harm aquatic life and are non-biodegradable.

Chlorine bleach, a common ingredient in laundry detergents, is dangerous to your lungs and can create organochlorines in the water supply. Most detergents contain nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), another petrochemical that imitates the hormone estrogen, leading to hormonal balances that severely affect physical function and fetal development.

Greenwashing is prevalent in the industry, with companies marketing “natural” products while still using cancer-causing chemicals such as SLS, a commonly used foaming agent, in their products. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.

We are the gatekeepers to our homes. The power to remove toxic products from our lives is ours by studying and reading all labels and doing our homework to research the ingredients used in the products that we use. By making the right choices, we can remove toxic products from our lives and accomplish a safer and healthier environment.

What if I am not into making a natural laundry detergent recipe?

Thieves Laundry Soap is a great alternative to toxic laundry detergents for those who don’t want to DIY a natural laundry detergent recipe. It is free from the aforementioned harmful chemicals and is only 78c AUD per wash for a front loader.

Save money on your laundry

Here are two different ways to get more washes for your buck with the Thieves Laundry Soap. 

Double your Thieves Laundry Soap and bring the cost down to 46 cents a load

Divide your Thieves Laundry Soap in half. I pour half into an empty Thieves Laundry Soap that I have saved for this purpose. 

Add 3 capfuls of the Thieves Household Cleaner to each bottle plus 20 drops of Citrus Fresh essential oil blend

Make 4 Litres of Laundry Liquid – use a 4 litre glass drink dispenser


¼ cup bicarb soda

¼ cup washing soda

½ cup borax

¼ cup Thieves laundry soap

1 cap (10mls) Thieves household cleaner


  • Start by pouring 1/4 cup washing soda into your dispenser and dissolve this in around a cup of boiling water.
  • Once your washing soda has dissolved, add 1/4 cup bicarb soda, and ½ cup borax. Stir until dissolved.
  • Fill the water container with warm water until it is around 4/5ths full.
  • Add the ¼ cup Thieves laundry soap and the cap of Thieves Household cleaner.
  • Stir to combine and top up with more warm water. 

Distilled water does help to ensure no bugs are going to be in the laundry liquid but that will add a little extra to the cost of this natural laundry detergent recipe.

Now for my Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe

My Grandma used to make homemade laundry liquid. Now, while I don’t have her exact natural laundry detergent recipe, I know mine is similar as I remember her saving all her left over bits of soap to use when making it. Back in her day a pure soap was easy to come by. These days even the soaps labelled “pure” in the supermarket are not always pure. Why is it that companies have to scrimp on costs to make a product that is less effective and bad for us?


  • Grate 1 cake pure soap (I love to use the Thieves bar soap) into a 10 litre bucket with lid 
  • 1 cup washing soda 
  • 1 cup white vinegar 
  • A capful of Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 5-10 drops of a Young Living Essential Oil you like the smell of. 


  • Grate the soap into the bucket and then pour a kettle full of boiling water over the soap. Stir with a wooden spoon until the soap has dissolved.
  • In the laundry tub, fill the bucket up half way with hot water from the tap.
  • Add the washing soda, vinegar, Thieves Household Cleaner and essential oils.
  • Stir well. 
  • Fill bucket to almost full with hot water.
  • Stir. 
  • Use immediately or leave to set into gel-like consistency. 
  • Use ½ to 1 cup of the homemade laundry liquid for each load of washing. More for heavily soiled clothes.

Want to make more of your own cleaning products?

Check out my FREE Ultimate Green Cleaning Guide which contains 27 recipes for natural cleaning products including:

  • Kitchen products like Dishwasher Powder and All-Purpose Spray.
  • Bathroom products including Tub & Tile Cleaner and Toilet Bombs.
  • Polishes and a Deodoriser for your Loungeroom.
  • plus more natural products for your Laundry and the Outdoors.

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