December 28, 2016

Eco-Friendly Laundry Powder and Dishwashing Powder

One of my favourite tips for a greener home is to make your own laundry powder and dishwashing powder. For a fraction of the cost of environmentally safe detergent, you can make a HUGE amount of green detergent.

This is something I make in bulk and love to use. Everytime I make a new batch I mix up my essential oils so I have a new scented wash. It is only mildly scented but I like it when I pour the powder into the machine!

Also remember that white vinegar in the “rinse” section of your washing machine will be your best friend for life. It will help prolong the life your machine and keep your clothes extra fresh. I have a bottle of vinegar mixed through with some mandarin essential oil (bought only because it was 80% off!) and add some to each wash. Lovely!

What you will need:

  • 1 bar of plain soap. Avoid antibacterial, Dove bars, soaps that have harsh fragrances or dyes. I use a bar of my own homemade soap, but you can also use SARDS Wonder Soap which can be found in the laundry aisle.
  • Borax. Look for this in the laundry aisle of most of the big supermarket chains.
  • Washing Soda. This is also found in the laundry aisles.
  • Salt. This is used for the dishwashing powder.
  • Grater or a food processor.
  • Airtight container or jars.

How to make your own Laundry Powder:

Step 1: Grate the bar of soap into as fine a powder as you can manage. You can also chop the bar of soap up into chunks and whizz up in your food processor (I usually borrow a food processor when making this to save myself the hassle of grating).

Step 2: Put the grate soap into your container and mix in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda. The measurements for soap, borax and washing soda are all 1:1:1 rations so you can easily size up your mix if you have the ingredients on hand.

Step 3: Put lid on and shake well until completely combined. To use, add 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry. You can keep your old powder scoop and use that to reduce the plastic landfill!

How to make your own Dishwasher Powder:

Step 1: Mix together 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda, and 1 cup of sea salt.

Step 2: Store in an air tight container.


Tip 1: If you want your detergents to have a scent, add a few drops of essential oils

Tip 2: For the best results with your dishwasher, put vinegar in the spot where rinse aide should go – your dishes will sparkle!


Let us know how you go with your laundry powder and dishwashing powder.

I have been using this method for laundry powder for over 6 months now and I love it. I also use vinegar and essential oil as my fabric softener with amazing results. I love the smells I pick so it adds so much to my laundry experience (which is normally quite awful, since doing laundry is a pain!)

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  1. What a fantastic idea I didn’t think of making up your own laundry powder. I must give it a go sometime. It sounds creative with all the different scents you can use.

    • It is really quite fun to do, but if you are low on time, you can simply make your own laundry rinse with vinegar and essential oils. This way you can have a nice clean machine and wonderfully scented clothes!

      Thanks for your comment lisa! If you do give it a go, let us know!


  2. Making my washing detergent right now – and daughter pointed out that I bought baking soda not WASHING soda!!! Soooo….just googled the difference & found a site that said I could bake it at 200C & that converts it from baking soda to washing soda!! Doing that now THEN will finish making my laundry powder! Fingers crossed I get it right :-)

    • I didn’t know you could make your own washing soda! That is a great tip to know!

      I hope your laundry powder works well. I have been using my own laundry powder for well over a year and never had any problems at all. I just finished a batch of my own laundry soap today! Letting it set up for a few days before grating it into my laundry powder.

      There is a way to make your own washing soda out of regular baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

      Difficulty: Easy
      Time Required: 1-2 hours
      Here’s How:

      Preheat your oven to approximately 390° – 400° Fahrenheit. (200° C)
      Pour a box (or a few cups) of baking soda (not baking powder) onto a baking sheet, and put it in the oven.
      Bake the baking soda from 30-60 minutes. I’ve seen reports of people baking it as little as 30 minutes – and people baking it as long as 2 hours. It doesn’t appear that over-baking it is a problem…so I’d recommend 45-60 minutes just to assure that the chemical reaction is completely complete.
      After pulling the baking sheet out of the oven and letting it cool, store the washing soda in aclearly labeled airtight container. The washing soda can “convert” back into baking soda if it’s exposed to air.
      Use your washing soda in your homemade laundry soap!