The chemicals, fillers, fragrances, etc., in many mainstream washing powders are not what you want sticking to your clothes and touching your body all day. Nor are they the kind of thing we want washing into our waterways.

It takes about 5 minutes to get over the fact your clothes will smell less like a vanilla bean cross frangipani tree cross musk stick, and more like, ah, clothes.

There are so many reasons that I love using this washing powder recipe:

The natural ingredients are superstars in the land of cleaning and washing, with grime-fighting, water-softening, stain-removing capabilities.

One batch makes over 100 loads so the average person who does 5x loads a week will only need to make washing powder every 5-6 months.

You’ll save money. For an average load, I use 1 tablespoon of powder. I priced it up using supermarket ingredients, and bulk suppliers. The price per load varied slightly, between 14c (for supermarket-sourced ingredients) and 10c (for bulk supplier-sourced ingredients – get suggestions here). Not a bad way to save your weekly bill and the environment, hey!


Makes: 3.3 kg Prep time: < 5 min.


• 4 cups | 1040 g sodium carbonate (washing soda)
• 4 cups | 880 g borax
• 3 cups | 840 g fine salt
• 3 cups | 420 g fine soap powder (see recipe notes)
• ½ cup | 140 g sodium bicarbonate (bicarb)
• 2-3 drops of essential oils (optional, per use)


My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lemon and eucalyptus, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.


1. Add all ingredients to a large bucket and mix until combined.
Transfer into container of choice.

To Use

If you’re using essential oils, add drops to 1 tablespoon of washing powder and add directly to washing machine (best added to designated compartment). Wash on your usual setting; warm water is only marginally more effective than cold. If you have a particularly large or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons of powder. Check out my Fabric Softener recipe too.

Recipe Notes

I recommend sourcing the purest laundry soap you can find – check the ingredients panels and watch for fragrance especially. I use pure coconut soap powder, or castile soap powder. If you are buying soap in a block, make sure it is milled to a very fine consistency.
While I am comfortable using natural borax for cleaning applications (check out this blog post), you might prefer to avoid it. If so, just leave it out – simple. I don’t notice a difference in cleaning results.
Less is more. Don’t go adding too much of this powder to your wash as it won’t make a difference. Occasionally you may need to spot treat stains, or soak clothing, but you would have to do that with regular commercial powders too.
If your machine can only take liquid, check out my Liquid Laundry Detergent recipe.
I trust that you will make the decision on whether this formula is suitable for your washing machine. I cannot take any responsibility if your washing machine doesn’t agree with this recipe.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger


Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 80,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This