Homemade {All Natural} Liquid Laundry Detergent

I’ve made powdered laundry detergent in the past, but I have been wanting to experiment with a liquid recipe.  I found this one and revised it to my liking.   Here is what you need:
Homemade {all natural} Liquid Laundery Detergent
An empty (around 1 gallon) container (I used an old detergent jug)
1 cup liquid Dr. Bronner’s Soap
1 cup baking soda
30 drops essential oil (optional)
I started off by taking the spout off the old detergent jug to make pouring and mixing easier
voila! It will go back on later.
Break out the Dr. Bronner’s Soap and measure 1 cup.
Pour it in.
Add 1 cup baking soda
Add about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil.  I already had tea tree oil on hand, so that is what I used. This step is optional…it’s just for nice smelling laundry!
Now, fill it up with warm water (if you use warm, the baking soda will dissolve better)
After you shake it up, you are done! You can use the cap to measure out about 1/4 cup per load!
So, this was an experiment for me…here are my thoughts.  I think that the powdered detergent is much cheaper.  This takes quite a bit of liquid Dr. Bronner’s soap which is much pricier than just one bar of natural soap for the other recipe.  But, the powdered is a little more labor intensive as you have to grate the soap up.   Both clean pretty well and the liquid recipe ends up smelling better because you can add the essential oils which you can’t do for the powdered kind. So, either recipe would be great, just whatever floats your boat, I guess!!


  1. 1


    thank you thank you thank you!
    just found (and love) your blog and have been curious about natural laundry soap for a long time.

    Would like the recipe for the less expensive version too. We use a special laundry soap for cloth diapers, exclusively for our cloth diapers and normal detergent for the rest of our things. Do you think this could work with the diapers?

  2. 2


    Thank you for the recipe. I have heard of people using lemon juice for cloth diapers then hang them out on the line… I dunno about disenfcting but the lemon juice gets them whiter without bleach.

  3. 3


    Thanks for the comments! The powdered version is linked up above. I also use cloth diapers and I was using the powdered homemade detergent on them, but noticed that they started to not be absorbent and didn't smell so good. I did some research and found out that homemade detergents cause buildup on cloth diapers. So, it's probably best to stick with Charlie's soap or something like that for the cloth diapers and use the homemade detergent for everything else. Hope that helps!!

  4. 4


    WOW you are one talented girl! Way to go! I might have to try this. Thanks for your sweet comments! I actually made those curtains…got the fabric from home fabrics! I am your newest follower!

  5. 5


    I realize this comment is late, really late, but white vinegar used in place of fabric softener will remove any soap residue that prevents the diapers from absorbing. Noticed vinegar was mentioned, but perhaps the amount needs to be increased a tad in order for all the residue to be removed. 1/2 Cup per load is a frequent recommendation.

  6. 6


    Thanks, Blessed Mama! Good to know. Like I said earlier, I usually don't use the homemade detergents for cloth diapers. But, maybe I will give it a try with the vinegar. Thanks!!

  7. 7

    Sarah says

    Have you used this liquid detergent with kids' really dirty clothes? I like natural and inexpensive but I also need my kids clothes to come clean, which can be hard!

  8. 8

    Sarah says

    Also, to make it a little more cost effective, some organic/natural stores have castille soap in bulk that you can put in your own bottle and buy.

  9. 9

    Frugalaunder says

    Used your soap solution and my clothes smell awesome! Loving the fact i can switch up scents anytime i want. I'm a bit of an essential oil collector so this is just way too convenient ^_^…Thank You Much

  10. 12


    yes, you can use castile soap for shampoo, actually. It's what I use on my girls. I don't care for it for myself just because my hair is super thick, so I need something a little more moisturizing. But you could definitely use it!

  11. 14


    Sarah, I have used it on my kids super dirty, spit up-y nasty clothes and it has worked really well! Sometimes if an item is really stained, I will soak it in some really concentrated soap for a few hours and then throw it in with the wash.

  12. 20

    Anonymous says

    I have heard of people melting their bar of soap i the microwave instead of grating it for the liquid version. I adore the liquid version but agree its much more time consuming, think I will have to try the melting method! Hope this helps! :)–ps, cuz with the melting method, you can add your oils too! 😉

  13. 25


    Check on Jill's "onegoodthing" and you can find a very inexpensive liquid soap. You do have to grate a bar of fels napa and use a cup of borax and a cup of WASHING SODA but that makes three gallons, I just use maybe an eighth of a cup in my HE machine, it smells good and last forever. You do cook the bar soap and you do have to stir it up the next day because it gels up but then shake and use it in four to six months then make another batch. Love your blog. Great info

  14. 26


    I've heard that Borax can fade clothing/ burn holes in clothing so I'm a little reluctant to use it. Anyone know about that?

    I just grated a bar of Dr Bronners, added about 2/3c baking soda and enough hot water to fill up an old detergent container. I like the mild peppermint smell of the Dr Bronners alone. How much vinegar would I add to that and do I need to add it separately or can I mix it up with the rest of the stuff?

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