Where healthy meets thrifty, with just a splash of crazy

Leave a comment

Grate-Free DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

You know that ‘fresh laundry’ smell? The one that’s so familiar? The one that so faithfully greets you as you scoop a warm fluffy load from the dryer?

Do you know where that smell comes from?

From any combination of about 25 VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your laundry detergent, 7 of which are classified as hazardous air pollutants. Unfortunately, even ‘fragrance-free’ detergent options, marketed as hypoallergenic, contain petrochemicals and synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are cancer-causing, make your body toxic, and often trigger allergic reactions.

Worst of all, laundry detergents (as well as fabric softeners – but those are a whole different story…) leave residue in your clothing. This means that all of those toxic chemicals sit next to your skin all day for you to breathe and absorb. Yuck! Chances are, you could be experiencing a symptom of this toxicity and have no idea that your laundry detergent is to blame!

So, after we discovered this, we tried purchasing ‘natural’, ‘green’ detergents, thinking we were detoxifying this aspect of our homes. But, after some time, we discovered that these still had funky stuff in them.

It’s scary what you can discover when you read the labels of some ‘healthy’ products.


Not to mention, laundry detergent can become costly, especially the ‘natural’ kind.

At this point, we knew we had just been prolonging the inevitable: making our own. Of course! With each passing year, we head closer and closer to crazy (though really, if we got much closer, we’d be smashed up against it…). There was not much left in our households that we didn’t make, so why not add laundry detergent?

But alas, many recipes called for less-than-natural ingredients, and most demanded the messy, laborious, sticky, sanity-sucking task of grating a bar of yellow soap. And heaven knows we didn’t need any more of that… the sanity sucking, that is…

THEN, we stumbled across a soap-grating-free recipe, and, as always, tweaked it a tad to make it our own!

It is super easy, super cheap, and works fabulously!

Ready to try it for yourself? Here ya go! This is definitely our most requested recipe.

soap in bucket


5 gallon bucket (you can find them cheap at the hardware store, use empty grain buckets, or grab one on Amazon here)
1 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda (you can order it online here or find it at Wal-mart)
3 cups Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Liquid Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronners – which you can find online. I think other Castile soaps are available in stores.)
1/2 cup Thieves Household Cleaner (This is a Young Living essential oils product. I haven’t tried substituting anything for it, but you might be able to try some extra essential oils, and extra Castile soap. I can’t vouch for the cleaning power without it though.)
10-15 drops Lemon (or other citrus) Essential Oil
5 gallons hot water


Pour the washing soda and baking soda in the 5 gallon bucket. Add in about 1 gallon of hot water.
Stir until the sodas are dissolved.
Add the Castile soap, Thieves Household Cleaner, and Lemon Oil.
Stir again.
Add the rest of the hot water until the bucket is almost full.
Stir well.

Leave it to sit overnight. Don’t worry if it looks separated and chunky in the morning. This is how it it supposed to look!

Use about 1/2 cup or so per load of laundry!

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below!  Happy washing!




*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.