Laundry Detergent Recipe

laundry detergent recipe

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase through these links.  There is no cost to you. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

Liquid Laundry Detergent
home made liquid laundry detergent from natural ingredients
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0 calories
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
459 g
60420 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
459g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 0
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 60420mg
2518%
Total Carbohydrates 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup baking soda
  2. ½ cup washing soda
  3. ½ cup liquid castile soap (note 1)
  4. 5-6 drops each lemongrass, lavender, tea tree oil (note 2)
  5. enough water to equal 12 cups/96 oz/ ¾ gallons
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat about 2 cups water in a glass measuring cup or bowl that has a capacity of at least 3 cups. I microwave about 2-3 minutes.
  2. 2. Add baking soda and washing soda to hot water and stir until completely dissolved. You can put the whole mixture back in the microwave to heat if the baking and washing sodas do not fully dissolve.
  3. 3. Pour the water-soda mixture, castile soap, and enough water to equal about 96 ounces (3/4 of one gallon) into a large container. Stir gently. Add essential oils and gently stir again.
  4. 4. Pour your laundry detergent into whatever well-sealing container you have chosen to store it. I used old glass bottles because they seal well, pour well, and I had them laying around.
Notes
  1. 1. I used some of my liquid soap made from bar Kirk's Castile soap, but recommend using a liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronner's or my potassium hydroxide liquid soap for better cleaning power
  2. 2. Provides VERY mild scent and antiseptic properties.
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calories
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carbs
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As with most things, I have had sensitivities to laundry detergents for much of my life.  I finally found one commercially available detergent that didn’t make me itch – All Free & Clear.  For a while I was ok using that.  Until I started finding strange stains on my clothes that I could not remove.  It was mostly in cotton shirts, and they got a splotchy slight color discoloration.  What really got me searching for something new was when I washed my jacket and it ended up with one of those stains very prominently in the front on the chest.  I was not pleased that my year old winter coat was permanently stained.  Plus, this makes it look like I spilled something down my jacket.  I know I am a mega klutz, but I rarely spill on myself, I don’t need my laundry detergent making me look guilty of this!

laundry detergent recipe
stain from commercial laundry detergent

I took this opportunity to find something not only better for my clothes but better for me and for the environment, too.  I perused the internet (ok, Pinterest…) and found a liquid laundry detergent recipe from Coconut Head Survival Guide that I liked.  Simple ingredients that I already had on hand, and use in my other natural cleaning products.  I also liked liquid versions better than dry because I almost always wash with cold water and was concerned that the dry detergent may not dissolve well enough in the cold water.  I modified the recipe to make it more concentrated (but not too concentrated, high school chemistry taught me that water can only be saturated so much with solvents), and to use essential oils that I already had.

My Laundry Detergent Recipe
Ingredients

½ cup baking soda

½ cup washing soda (Penniless Parenting explains how to turn baking soda into washing soda, in case you can’t find washing soda)

½ cup liquid castile soap – I used some of my liquid soap made from bar Kirk’s Castile soap, but had better results (better cleaning power and less separation) with liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s or my home made liquid castile soap

5-6 drops each lemongrass, lavender, tea tree oil.  For VERY mild scent and antiseptic properties.

enough water to equal 12 cups/96 oz/ ¾ gallons

Instructions
  1. Heat about 2 cups water in a glass measuring cup or bowl that has a capacity of at least 3 cups.  I microwave about 2-3 minutes.  
  2. Add baking soda and washing soda to hot water and stir until completely dissolved.  You can put the whole mixture back in the microwave to heat if the baking and washing sodas do not fully dissolve.  
  3. Pour the water-soda mixture, castile soap, and enough water to equal about 96 ounces (3/4 of one gallon) into a large container.  Stir gently.  Add essential oils and gently stir again.
  4. Pour your laundry detergent into whatever well-sealing container you have chosen to store it.  I used old glass bottles because they seal well, pour well, and I had them laying around.
Use

I use 1-2 tablespoon per laundry load – this should be roughly the same amount of the cleaning agents per load as the blog I originally found.  For extra large loads, such as washing sheets and towels, I use 2-3 tablespoons.

laundry detergent recipe
Alternate Ingredients

I put the detergent in the washing machine before adding laundry.  I have been using this detergent for several months.  My clothes get clean, and are left with pretty much no scent, but it smells clean.  I have had no skin sensitivities, and no stains on any of my clothes!

laundry detergent recipe
My finished laundry detergent

I found some old glass bottles to store my detergent.  Easy to pour, and cute!

Natural Moisturizer, Solid Lotion Bar & Lip Balm Recipe

natural moisturizer

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase through these links.  There is no cost to you. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

My body is super lame when it comes to allergies and skin sensitivities.  Many, many times I have played the game “what caused those hives?”  with answers varying from a cat scratch or dog “kiss”, to the stainless steel back of my watch face, to fragrance or other chemicals in soaps, body washes and lotions.  

natural moisturizer
coconut oil

After realizing that some of my skin irritation was caused by topically applied products, I started making most of the products I put on my skin from real, natural ingredients.  The first necessity was an everyday soap and body wash which I wrote about here, and the second was a moisturizer.  After a quick google search, I found that coconut oil alone can be used as a skin moisturizer.  Considering I haven’t died from eating coconut, I figured it would be safe to put on my skin (this time I was right…almonds seem to be another story).  I found this coconut oil at Trader Joe’s:

Moisturizer

I love coconut oil as a face and whole body moisturizer.  It works really well for my skin, makes it glow witohut looking oily, and has the added benefit of naturally being about SPF 4.  However, to survive the dry New England winter, I noticed my skin was still peeling on my face.  I did a little research and found in this Red and Honey Post that because coconut oil absorbs quickly (which is good for not making skin look greasy), it doesn’t moisturize deeply.  I found many excellent reviews for argan oil as a skin moisturizer, and have friends who have told me how great it is.  I have been using certified organic, 100% pure & natural Radha Argan Oil.  I first apply coconut oil to my face, then use just 2-3 drop of Argan oil for my entire face.  This leaves my face silky smooth and glowing.  

natural moisturizer
argan oil

While I love my coconut oil and Argan oil regime, I sometimes need a heavier moisturizer.  By combining coconut oil with cocoa butter and beeswax, I made a moisturizer with a higher melting point that seals in moisture better than coconut oil alone.  Plus, lotion in solid form is great for air travel 🙂

Due to variability in the form of the ingredients, and how sensitive this recipe is to the ratios of each ingredient, I used a kitchen scale to weigh the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax.  Too much beeswax and the lotion will not melt on skin; too much coconut oil and the bar will melt in your hands before you can apply it to your body.

After some trial and error, this is the recipe I like

natural moisturizer
ingredients for solid lotion bars and lip balm
Ingredients

37 grams beeswax

55 grams cocoa butter

55 grams coconut oil

15 drops liquid vitamin E (or 2-3 vitamin E tablets, pierced and liquid squeezed out)

Optional: red raspberry seed oil (I used 10 drops)

Optional: essential oils for scent and additional skin benefits (I omitted)

Yields: about 3/4 cups lotion, which resulted in about 17 mini bars, about 0.3 ounces each.

Instructions
  1. Weigh the beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a microwave safe glass container.  

    natural moisturizer
    measuring ingredients for lotion bars and lip balm
  2. Microwave on 50% power for 5 minutes, stirring every 30-60 seconds.  If the wax isn’t completely melted at this point, microwave for an additional 30 seconds on full power, then stir.  Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds, until the wax has completely melted.  

    natural moisturizer
    melting the butters/oils for lotion bars and lip balm
  3. Add the vitamin E, red raspberry seed oil, and essential oil(s), if using.  Stir to evenly distribute.
  4. Pour into molds.  

    natural moisturizer
    lotion and lip balm hardening in their molds
  5. Let cool and solidify for several hours or overnight.

    natural moisturizer
    solid lotion bars

I use silicone ice molds to make mini lotion bars.  Any silicone or plastic mold, or even ice cube molds, should work.  

Tip from my friend at Dry Creek Soaps: If you have trouble removing the lotion from a plastic mold, freeze for a few hours, “crack” the mold like an ice cube tray, and flip the mold.  If any lotion bars remain in the mold, firmly smack the mold upside down on the counter.  

This lotion is also a good consistency for lip balm; it can be poured into lip balm tubes as well.  I reused some empty tubes I had (because yes, I actually manage not to lose chapstick before it’s gone). 

Ingredient Information

In case you want to know more about what is in these bars, here’s some information about each of these ingredients:

coconut oil – great overall moisturizer, natural SPF 4, moderately high comedogenic*

cocoa butter – moisturizes, seals in moisture, moderately high comedogenic* 

beeswax – seals in moisture to protect skin, moderately low comedogenic*

vitamin E – antioxidant, moderately low comedogenic*

red raspberry seed oil – SPF 40 in pure form, in this lotion adds minute SPF

*comedogenic ratings from Beneficial Botanicals 

I found all ingredients for this recipe on Amazon.  You may also be able to find them at natural food stores.  I typically buy my coconut oil at Trader Joe’s or BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Beeswax – be sure to purchase unfiltered unless you’re prepared to filter your wax.  I like the small pellets because it melts easier than a block.  

Cocoa Butter

Coconut Oil – Trader Joe’s, BJ’s, Amazon

Vitamin E

Red Raspberry Seed Oil