Oh My Balm
Two Moms Making it REAL!

Oh My Blog

DIY All-Natural Laundry Powder

The other day, the littlest OMBer developed a rash under her underpants, so we started brainstorming about things we have changed in our home. Then it dawned on us, a couple of days before, we were out of home-made laundry detergent and had piles of laundry that had to be tackled. So, we punted and used the store brand, which we hadn’t done in quite some time.

Most leading laundry detergents are a cocktail of harmful chemicals that leave a chemical residue on clothing, which is in turn absorbed by our skin and inhaled into our lungs. The fragrances added in present their own special mix of chemicals.

Not only are these chemicals bad for us, but they are also terrible for the environment. Detergents don’t completely biodegrade and they contaminate our water supplies, rivers, and oceans with toxic heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic. If we don’t have time to make our own, there are detergents like Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Products that are derived from plants and are environmentally friendly.

After trying quite a few recipes, this is our favorite powder, and it works well even in cold water and is cost pennies per load


Borax - many people confuse Borax with boric acid and they are not the same thing. Mule Team’s Borax is completely safe but should be not be inhaled and caution should be used when touching because it can irritate skin.
Washing Soda (Soda Ash) - a natural water softener and cleaner, and is really good for stubborn stains. Arm & Hammer is the brand we use.
Baking Soda - works as a natural booster for your detergent, fights odors, and acts as a fabric softener.
Bar Soap - most of the time, we use Ivory because it is easy to find at our grocery store.




4 Cups Borax
4 Cups Washing Soda
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Cups Grated Bar Soap (around 4 bars)
Essential Oils
Scarf, Dust Mask or Banana
Large Metal Bowl
Wooden Spoon
Large Container with Lid (5lb coffee can works well)


Grate the soap with a cheese grater.

Pop the grated soap in a food processor and let run until soap turns into a powder. Grab a scarf, bandana or a dust mask, let the dust settle a bit, and pour slowly into a large metal bowl.

Measure the borax, washing powder and baking soda, mix in with grated soap, and stir gently with your wooden spoon. Use gloves or wash hands well if you come into contact with borax, as it can irritate your hands.

Add 20 drops of essential oil. Our favorite is 10 drops each of tea tree and lemon. The tea tree oil is strong, yet gentle and the lemon has antifungal, antiseptic and astringent properties. Another one we like is 10 drops juniper, which can help remove body oils from clothes and 10 drops oregano, which helps to sanitize clothes.

Pour into a large coffee can or bucket, put on the lid and give it a good shake.

Turn the water to “hot,” and pour in ¼ cup of powder, when the soap is dissolved, switch to the desired temperature.

Don’t forget to add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften your clothes - you will never want to go back to regular harmful detergents and fabric softeners again.

Want to the recipe for a liquid detergent?  Stay tuned! You can get these tips and more by subscribing to our email list on the home page.

--Two Moms Making it REAL!