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Make Your Own Washing Powder & Fabric Conditioner

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
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Making your own washing powder and fabric conditioner is preferable to using commercial products for a number of reasons. You may not realise that many of the dirt-busting washing powders that promise your whites will be whiter and brighter, are actually brimming with toxic chemicals. So you may be doing much more harm than good when you select the most powerful washing powder formulas.

These and other household cleaning products may seem too good to be true - and sometimes, they are. These so-called tough washing powders and fabric conditioners are laden with chemicals that are deemed to be irritant and hazardous. When you consider that your family will be wearing clothes washed in these industrially produced chemical substances (high production volume, or HPV chemicals), and that these chemicals are then released into the environment, you can begin to understand why they're not all they're cracked up to be.

If you're concerned about the financial and environmental cost of using commercial washing detergents and fabric conditioners, there is an alternative. A safer and cheaper option is to make your own washing powder and fabric conditioner. The more bulk ingredients you can buy, the more economical your home detergent and fabric conditioner will be.

Fabric Conditioner Recipe

Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar) can be added to normal fabric conditioner as a deodoriser and brightener, but you can also make your own complete fabric conditioner replacement. All you need to do is substitute ½ cup of baking soda into the machine instead of your usual fabric conditioner during the rinse cycle. People with sensitive skin will benefit, as the baking soda is so much more gentle on skins that are easily irritated.

You can also make a slightly variation on this simple baking soda recipe. Just take equal quantities of bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and water and combine and store in a large bottle. As needed, you can then replace your normal fabric softener with ¼ cup of your home made fabric conditioner to your wash. However, take care as the combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda causes a reaction that results in a lot of fizzing and foaming!

Make Your Own Washing Powder

There are a few different recipes for making your own washing powder. Some contain borax, which when used in large volumes can be damaging for aquatic life. Therefore for the purposes of this article, an alternative washing detergent recipe has been provided. The ingredients used in homemade washing detergent include:

  • Environmentally-friendly vegetable oil based unscented soap
  • Washing Soda Crystals
  • Essential Oil

This recipe is really best for use straight in the washing machine drum. You will need a plastic storage tub to contain the washing detergent.

Using a large pan or stock pot, empty in around 1 pint of water and bring to the boil. Whilst the water is being brought to the boil, completely grate the bar of soap. This can then be added to be dissolved once the water has boiled. You must make sure that all the soap has been completely dissolved before taking off the heat.

It is at this point that you can then add 250 mls (made up to around 1 pint with water) of the washing soda crystals and around 20 drops of your chosen essential oil. Bear in mind that lavender essential oil has been linked to hormone disruption in young boys and possibly pregnant women.

This recipe not only cuts out many of the unnecessary chemicals in commercial detergents, but when used in conjunction with an energy efficient appliance, makes for a more ecologically sound alternative.

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Hi, When you have made the washing powder how much of it would you put in the machine for an average load?I'm trying to battle an unknown allergy right now and this site was super helpful.Thanks
JB - 12-Jul-20 @ 1:48 PM
I have been making my own washing powder for about four years now and I use DriPak products, but the availability of the Borax Substitute is rare. Having it delivered is too costly and so when we go on holiday, via Devon, we always call in at Trago Mills and buy up many boxes of it, enough to last a year. I use a 1kg bag of Soda Crystals, a 500g box of Borax Substitute, 2 tablespoonsful of Laundry Boost and 2 tablespoonsful of Liquid Soap Flakes - all by DriPak. No, I do not work for them! All this time I thought that they were the only suppliers, but since doing a search I see that there are many other ways to do it. Thank you very much for this website. Best wishes to all.
Thrifty - 30-Sep-18 @ 7:24 PM
Estelle - Your Question:
What are the ingredients for making Washing powder

Our Response:
The details and ingredients are in the above article.
MakingYourOwn - 13-Aug-18 @ 12:49 PM
What are the ingredients for making Washing powder
Estelle - 12-Aug-18 @ 10:13 PM
Show me formula organics detergent power making process organics show please
Diparsat - 27-Mar-18 @ 7:51 AM
Jo - Your Question:
I would like to know how much gram of soap do you use?Thank u

Our Response:
An average sized bar of soap is recommended - this is usually around 100g.
MakingYourOwn - 3-Jul-17 @ 2:19 PM
I would like to know how much gram of soap do you use? Thank u
Jo - 2-Jul-17 @ 5:11 PM
I like making washing powder.
Tissa marasinghe - 8-Feb-17 @ 9:47 AM
Plz let me know who conducts detergent powder practical classes in reasonable cost If poss. Nearby borivli to bhayander.
sas - 5-Jan-17 @ 2:51 AM
Fine detergentpowder recipe required to suggests.
chain - 29-May-16 @ 4:36 PM
After adding the essential oils, do you "just" let the mixture dry out or does it remain a liquid? How much would you use per load?
Emma - 29-Feb-16 @ 8:16 PM
I have made my own washing powder the ingredients you need are House hold soap 4 bars you need(I bought mine from amazon the green soap). £6 for 8 bars Borax (amazon) £2a 500g box ( 3 cups) Washing soda crystals ( from any super market for 65p( 3cups) Baking soda ( from any super market) ( Bicarbonate of sod) (1 cup) Oxygen cleaner (any cheap ones) (1cup) (Optional You can add fragrance crystal (1cup) any) Method . Great the soap with cheeses greater Add and mix everything If you want to make more powdery just put it in your blender. And it's ready Just 1 table spoon for half load and 2 table spoon for heavy load.
Zam - 1-Feb-16 @ 3:40 PM
patawari - Your Question:
I want and looking for the name of ingriedents use in the washing powder

Our Response:
The ingredients are in the article above. (vegetable oil based unscented soap, washing soda crystals and essential oil).
MakingYourOwn - 22-Jan-16 @ 2:24 PM
I want and looking for the name of ingriedents use in the washing powder
patawari - 21-Jan-16 @ 5:31 PM
revu - Your Question:
I want to know the ingredients used to make detergents made in home.also their weights

Our Response:
Hope this article helped. Let us know how you get on.
MakingYourOwn - 6-Jan-16 @ 10:53 AM
i want to know the ingredients used to make detergents made in home .also their weights
revu - 5-Jan-16 @ 12:41 PM
hi. i want make and sele washing powder. plz send me formula.. thanking you
salman - 27-Dec-15 @ 1:21 PM
Charlie- Your Question:
Wow Helen sounds a fun girl to be around! Dipping my toe into the world of homemade washing powder due to the huge amount of my patients having serious allergic reactions to laundry powder

Our Response:
Let us know how you get on with it Charlie!
MakingYourOwn - 23-Nov-15 @ 10:37 AM
Wow Helen sounds a fun girl to be around! Dipping my toe into the world of homemade washing powder due to the huge amount of my patients having serious allergic reactions to laundry powder
Charlie - 20-Nov-15 @ 2:57 AM
Rahim - Your Question:
Hi, hope you're doing great. Can you please send me the formulation of washing powder because I wanna make it for sale, can't find any job please if you can help me. God bless you. Thank you.

Our Response:
The ingredients and proportions are given in the above article. Make sure you comply with any safety legislation etc if you decide to sell products that you've made yourself.
MakingYourOwn - 19-Aug-15 @ 2:15 PM
Hi, hope you're doing great ... Can you please send me the formulation of washing powder because I wanna make it for sale, can't find any job please if you can help me ... God bless you. Thank you.
Rahim - 18-Aug-15 @ 7:45 PM
Sir please send me washing powder for mula easy making in pakistan
Abdul - 11-Aug-15 @ 11:47 AM
Nice information i have liked it so much
Aasi - 13-Dec-14 @ 11:51 AM
@deepu. Great we hope you give it a go after reading this article.
MakingYourOwn - 3-Nov-14 @ 12:45 PM
Iwant to know making the washing powder
deepu - 2-Nov-14 @ 3:45 AM
@helen. It would actually be cheaper to make your own especially if you bought the ingredients in bulk. And you have the added advantage of knowing what's gone into it (great if you have skin complaints). Also - don't know where you live but in the UK, the decent quality soap powders are quite expensive.
MrsGoggins - 30-Oct-14 @ 2:08 PM
Why don't you save you money and buy some actualwashing powder from the store, all these ingredients will end up costing you more and you have to factor in the time. washing powder is relatively cheap as it is and works better than this recipe But if you have a lot of time on your hand and you want to keep yourself busy because you have nothing else going on in your life then making your own washing powder is for you.
helen - 28-Oct-14 @ 1:37 PM
Hi there, I read the recipe as: 1 pint of water to boil and dissolve the grated soap. The next step is to mix 250mls ( 1 cup ) washing soda into some water until you have a pint, which would be adding approx. 250mls of water and then adding that mix to the original mix of 1pint of water and soap mix. Hope that helps ! :)
shaz - 3-Jul-14 @ 2:19 AM
exactly for 1 kg detergent powder (washing powder)please tell the ingredients to mix i have lot of confusions
peddhoda - 1-May-14 @ 2:03 AM
hi Lucy...i h've just read your recipe for making your own washing powder....i donot understand totaly for weight..pls totle information by mail send me..i make OWN WASHING POWDER for markeet sale.. thanks
aju - 7-Feb-14 @ 7:42 AM
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