Homemade Laundry Powder- DIY

Some things are worth doing yourself, and some… well maybe not. Making my own laundry powder hadn’t been high on my DIY priority list, but a conversation with a friend turned into an inspired comparison between two different homemade powders – mine and hers (which we then had to get to making).

I never thought much about laundry powder until I had to wash cloth nappies and needed baby-safe washing powder that didn’t clog the (super absorbent) nappies with detergents. Also, I needed something that was safe for baby’s sensitive skin.

I think we’ve agreed that at R60+ for 1kg (exclu essential oils and vinegar) this might be one of those things I outsource – it does seem a tad expensive. But for a green brand… maybe not? Next one I want to try is the Nu-Eco. I do like Better Earth one, and it comes in a 1L and 5L (which works out to be R75 per L). There are a number of good green brands making washing powder, but it’s up to you if you’re wanting the satisfaction of making your own. It is pretty satisfying.

Righteo, so here is the Homemade Laundry Powder I made (by Mommypotamous).


Additional items handy to have on hand:

  • non-GMO white vinegar
  • food processor


Firstly, you have to turn your bicarb of soda into baking soda, and here’s how:

Pour your bicarb onto (clean and dry) baking trays and bake in the oven on 200 degrees C for about 30min, giving it a little juggle/mix around midway so it all bakes evenly.

When you take it out, it should have changed from a powdery substance (which you can clump together) into tiny individual grains… like this…


1. Cut your castile soap into small chunks and add it to the food processor along with the washing soda.

2. Blend until you have a fine powder. You may want to lay a dish towel over the top of your food processor to prevent a fine mist of powder from floating into the air. Also, let it settle a bit before opening the container or the powder will float onto your kitchen counter.

3. Pour into a clean container (keep the essential oil next to the jar and add 5 drops with each load)

To Use:

These instructions are for a top loader.

  1. Add 2-3 tablespoons laundry detergent per load. If you are washing in cold water, dissolve it in hot water before adding it in.
  2. If desired, add about five drops of lemon (I used lemongrass) essential oil as a degreaser.
  3. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the fabric softener compartment.

And, a side note: all of the ingredients in this recipe are considered septic system safe.

I enjoyed making this. And I enjoyed using it (despite dissolving in hot water and adding essential oil and vinegar separately – which I’ll admit requires extra effort). I still need to pre-treat stains, but my linen smells beautifully lemongrassy-fresh.

I guess the jury is still out on if this is something I’m going to add to my day-to-day. What have you tried, which you think might be better store bought? Or is homemade always better?


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