Monday, April 11, 2011

Laundry Powder Tutorial

What do you get when you combine handmade soap, washing soda, vinegar, and an old t-shirt? The beginnings to a wonderfully natural laundry regimen of course! It’s easy, cost effective, and better for you and the environment. It's also extremely gratifying to create something with you own hands. Here’s what you need to make a 2 lb batch of laundry powder.


Box grater
Large bowl
  • recommended: food processor, dust mask


1 lb handmade, cold process soap
  • many soap makers offer soap chunks or pre-grated soap
8 oz borax ($2.35 for 76 oz)

8 oz washing soda ($2.21 for a 48 oz)
  • optional: 1 tsp essential oil

To Make Laundry Soap:
  • Grate Soap with box grater on smallest shred into large bowl.
  • Measure powders into bowl by weight.
  • Wearing gloves, mix powders by hand. I also recommend wearing a dust mask as the mixing process can generate a lot of excess dust.
  • If you desire, add up to 1 tsp essential oil of your choice and mix thoroughly.
  • Also, if using essential oils you should always wear gloves as they are highly concentrated and should not be used on skin in their undiluted state. All essential oils should be used with caution if you are pregnant, nursing, or have heart related illnesses or epilepsy. Always research any essential oils you may use and consult your physician regarding any concerns.
  • I really love lavender, but in the winter months I lean toward tea tree oil or eucalyptus. Citrus oils like orange and lime are also excellent choices for laundry powder.
  • I suggest running your powder mix through a food processor to get it as fine as possible. This helps combine the ingredients and also dissolves better in your washing machine.

Before Food Processor

After Processing
  • Store the powder in an airtight container.
To Use:
  • In wash water add 1 Tbl per regular load or 2 Tbl for heavy and large loads. A batch this size should give you a hundred plus loads.
  • Handmade laundry soap does not create foam and bubbles like commercial detergents. This makes it perfect for HE machines. And because it is made with natural ingredients it is safe for babies clothes too!

Of course if all that grating sounds too daunting for you we offer pre-made laundry powder in Unscented and Citrus Fresh in our Etsy shop.

Stay tuned to find out how you can get your clothes soft without the use of commercial softeners and dryer sheets!

**UPDATE (6/25/15):  For best results use soap that has NOT been super-fatted.  I like 100% coconut oil soap.  Additional oils in your soap can create issues in your laundry including oil stains and build-up in your machine. Be sure to check out the Dryer Sheet tutorial to make a coordinated laundry.


Mary Cat Gill said...

So what is the vinegar for?

Life Soap Simple said...

Mary, the use of vinegar is in the next natural laundry post. You can find it here fully explained:

Creating Cleanliness....Gals! said...

Can melt & pour soap be used for this laundry soap recipe? Thanks, Michelle

who am I????? said...

i know i am bit late on this blog just want to check the dosage amount it says Tbl now is that a table spoon or something else just want to be sure thank youx

Life Soap Simple said...

Yes, Tbl= Tablespoon. Hope that helps. And sorry for my delayed response....I've been on maternity leave.

Life Soap Simple said...
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