Monday, March 28, 2011

Lavender Laundry

My laundry has had a strange smell of late.  Jeff's shirts come out of the dryer with a musty smell.  I have been using All Free and Clear, and it has not been working.  No I'm not overloading the wash, my water has a lot of debris in it.  I started adding some borax and that helped, which gave me the idea of making my own.  It took a lot to get my laundry smelling like lavender but boy was it worth it.

It all started with this little blog post I found over at The Cottage Grey.  Breanna gave me (and the rest of her readers) the recipe for homemade laundry detergent

As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to try it, but my husband was not as convinced.  Now Breanna  warned me that the cost of the ingredients was $20, but when my husband found out that he had to buy the big glass jar (an extra $15) and the only soap we could find was not cheap either he was not  happy.  In other words, this was going to cost much more then $20 and we were not even sure it was going to work.

This is where I get all mushy about how great my hubby really is, because with all the expense and running around trying to find Castile soap he let me get the ingredients and even bought me the big glass jar too (with only minor teasing).

Alright here are the ingredients, they are the exact same as Breanna's, but I have saved you some trouble by adding the number of boxes of the various ingredients.

16 cups of baking soda (eight 16 oz boxes)
12 cups of borax (one large box)
8 cups grated Castile soap (24 oz of soap, I grated it in the food processor, next time I will use Dr. Bronner's, now that I know how much is needed)
3 tablespoons of lavender essential oil (it took a whole bottle of lavender, 1 fl oz)
I grated the soap.  As I said I used the food processor and it worked like a charm.  Brilliant if I do say so myself. 

Then mixed all the ingredients together.  I didn't have a bowl big enough so I just mixed them in the glass jar.  Typical to my life, the jar was not very good for mixing so I was up to my elbows in the detergent.  In the end I was covered in detergent, but I smelled good.  

I just did a load of dedicates and they came out smelling amazing.   The lavender was great and the laundry smelled really fresh and clean. Goodby smelly clothes, hello fresh clean clothes.

Oh and the best part is that you only need an eighth of a cup, so this batch will last a whole year (not so expensive after all.).
The glass jar makes it just perfect!!!  (Thanks hun!)

The DIY Show Off



  1. I LOVE this! Would liquid Castille work? I have a lot of Dr Bronners I could use. Or do I need to do the grated castille bar? I have almost all the ingredients here, I just need the lavender. :)

  2. I love the idea of making my own laundry detergent ... I'll have to try this out! Total satisfaction in making your own and the glass jar - super important 'cause it has to look good too! Great job!

  3. I just posted a very similar recipe for homemade washing powder over on my blog. I absolutely love it and I'm amazed at how it's getting out the hard stains that normally I work and work at. I also have discovered Borax is my new best friend. It is making my house sparkly because I'm using it for all kinds of cleaning duties. Doesn't the lavender just smell awesome. You should make homemade carpet powder too--I posted that recipe as well.

  4. What a fabulous idea!!! Thanks for the recipe! =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  5. That is great you are making your own laundry detergent! I started making my own last year and love it!

  6. How fresh and wonderful that sounds! And I love lavender. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Chandeen! Thanks for mentioning my blog and for trying the recipe!

    P.S. Using the food processor was genius! I'm going to remember that the next time I made a load!

  8. I love the smell of lavender! I'll have to try this out. We have hard water you know if that will make any difference in how much we have to use?

  9. Does anyone know how well this works in HE machines? I get so worried about using the wrong type of detergent because it can ruin your machine. EEEEKKKK!

    1. It works great in all washers, I also have a HE. I make one slightly different and smaller batches.

  10. I too would love to make my own but own a HE machine-..:[...

  11. You can find Castille soap inexpensively at horse and tack supply stores. Here's one online that is reliable.

    I haven't yet done this, but a girl friend said she had no problems with her front-loading HE machine.

  12. In your picture above, it shows the olive oil soap. Is that from Hobby Lobby? And is that castile soap? I've been searching my area for castile and haven't found it, but did see the olive oil soap at Hobby Lobby.

  13. Do you know if this is safe to use on newborn clothes?

  14. where can i find the glass jar? I made some detergent todayusing fels naptha . grating is a time zote flakes

  15. I use an antique Tom's Snack jar. If you dont want it to set out any sealing container will do(unless you want to scent the air with lavender!:)

  16. Really love this idea, but like you it's a bit expensive. Using Walmart I can't get the ingredients for less than $25! I too have a HE machine and since you brought up Dr. Bronner's they have the Lavender Castile Magic Soap that you can use as laundry soap (as well as everything else) and you can buy that 32-fl-oz bottle for $9 online.

    The official site has a 'cheat sheet' that tells you how much to use for laundry (to include for HE machines, so yes it's safe) Of course, that gets pricey too since it's about 1/3 c. for each load (half that for HE). :( This means you'd get 12 loads off a $9 (32-fl-oz) bottle (double the loads for HE), if my math is correct.

    It's too bad that natural things are more expensive, isn't it?


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