How to: Make your own natural laundry detergent

Make washing days a breeze with this easy, squeezy natural laundry detergent, thanks to Green Goddess Wendyl Nissen.

Every time we go overseas, we have to rely on commercial laundry detergent, which does the trick but I find the heady fragrances are overpowering and they linger in my clothes for weeks afterwards.

I’m always happy to get home and whip up a batch of my detergent, which is nice, natural and delicately scented.

Laundry Detergent

  • ½ bar Castile, Sunlight or vege-based soap, grated

  • 1.5L water

  • ½ cup washing soda

  • 50g borax

  • 6L hot water

1 Place the soap in a saucepan with the first quantity of water and heat on low until the soap is dissolved.

2 Add the washing soda and borax. Stir for a few minutes until thickened, then remove from heat (if you’re using Castile or vegetable-based soap, it won’t thicken straight away, but don’t worry, it will overnight).

3 Pour 1L hot water into a large bucket. Add the soap mixture and mix well.

4 Fill the bucket with remaining 5L of hot water and mix well.

5 Pour into clean plastic milk bottles or similar containers and set aside for 24 hours or until mixture thickens.

6 Use ½ cup of mixture for each washing load. It is easy to squeeze from the bottles as it is quite gluggy.


  • You can use Borax Substitute instead of Borax which has a similar pH, otherwise, soda crystals (harsher) or bicarbonate soda (very gentle) work too.

  • For a nice fragrance, add about 20 drops lavender oil to the detergent at the end before pouring into the bottles, or try eucalyptus oil, which is great for woollens.

Super soaker

My family and I never wear new clothes without soaking them first to get rid of any formaldehyde or chemicals that may have been used in their preparation.

I submerge the garments overnight (the soak setting on the washing machine is good for this) and throw in ½ cup washing soda.

This also works if it has a funny smell from pesticides or anything else that may have been added.

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