Borax Free Laundry Detergent

I have been making laundry detergent for over two years now. I remember when I was first looking for recipes, I found borax as an ingredient in nearly every one. It was completely foreign to me. What is borax? I didn’t know. And I figured, just because it’s handmade doesn’t make it natural. I immediately went into research mode. Through my research I found that borax is listed as a poison, pesticide, and a fungicide. I found I wasn’t the only one who grew concerned about if it was the best thing to mix with my clothes, what I wear every day. So I excluded it and my detergent works as well as any other I’ve tried in the past.


1 cup soda ash (aka sodium carbonate – aka washing soda)
1/2 cup baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate)
1 bar Kirk’s Castile Soap
Essential oil (optional)

A note about the ingredients
: Sodium Carbonate is a natural ingredient pulled from the ashes of plants and when made in bulk it is made from table salt. It is called washing soda because of its ability to remove stains, oil and grease spots from clothes. Sodium bicorbonate works as a great exfoliating agent, which is why it is so often used in cleaning. All of the ingredients I buy on Amazon but I did stumble on an article saying that you can turn baking soda into washing soda/soda ash simply by baking it.


Grate your soap with a cheese grater. Then mix and store all ingredients. Only one tablespoon (two if really dirty) is needed for a load. Also, I recommend putting the detergent in first, then the clothing. It mixes better that way.

I went with a dry detergent, versus liquid, for two reasons. One, I’m a natural born spiller. Give me a liquid, I will spill it. So I figured I rather spill something dry. Second, dry weighs less and I want to talk a bit more on weight in the future. I did the math a while back and it ended up being cheaper than any other calculation I’d found. I also don’t buy Arm & Hammer because they are well known for testing on animals and I prefer my products to be cruelty free, so I’ve found other brands online and in stores.

I’m currently working on making my own bar soap and can’t wait to share those results! It’s been something I’ve been interested in for a long time coming.


8 thoughts on “Borax Free Laundry Detergent

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been thinking about making my own laundry detergent so this post is really great! I had no idea Arm & Hammer tested on animals! A product to avoid from now on for sure.
    Oooh and I can’t wait for you to make soaps and read all about it!

    • Aubrey says:

      It really bummed me out when I found that out about Arm & Hammer. I don’t get why but I also am rather opinionated when it comes to animal testing. I’ve seen too much that breaks my heart regarding that topic.

    • Aubrey says:

      You are so welcome Kenzie! I hope you love it just as much as I. It’s so quick and easy to make. I normally quadruple this batch and make a bunch. I now have six full jars of it and love having it handy.

  2. Linda @ Notes from the arena says:

    Yay, thanks for posting this recipe! Do you have a top loading machine? I read somewhere that the front-loaders are different. May have to research that! :)

    • Aubrey says:

      You are so welcome! That’s not actually my machine. A few years back we used to own a front loading washer and dryer because the front loading washers use less water and are more eco-friendly. But we made the decision to go washer free and now I just use my apartment’s washers. Though I have hand washed before and I’m looking into another washer free method for cleaning my clothes.

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