DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

Since our son now enjoys cleaning, I became SUPER aware of the chemicals being using around the house. Therefore, I have been slowly converting our home to have a focus on using natural products with an emphasis on incorporating essential oils. There are so many benefits with using essential oils and they are so widely available form suppliers such as Rouh Essentials that it really is a no-brainer. I decided that an easy first switch in converting our home to be more natural based was to tackle the laundry room cleaners and begin incorporating products derived from my beloved essential oils. Being someone who has used these types of oils for various reasons, it is pretty easy to buy essential oils. You’ll be amazed at how many you can find on the market. Once you buy your first one, you won’t be able to stop. Trust me.

Since I absolutely do not have the time or patience to grate soap (as so many DIY laundry detergents ask of you), I immediately sought out to create a DIY liquid laundry detergent recipe option that incorporated essential oils. We have been using this DIY liquid laundry detergent that I created for a few months now and I will never go back. Plus, it only took me 20 minutes to make! Aside from avoiding chemicals we previously used, and the fact that this is super quick to make, I am excited that we are also saving a ton of money!

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe with Essential Oils

Making DIY liquid laundry detergent could not be more simple and you only need a handful of ingredients! You will end up with about five gallons of laundry detergent but feel free to cut the recipe in half.

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe with Essential Oils

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Supplies and Ingredients

Here is what you will need to make your own DIY liquid laundry detergent:

– Clean and empty 5 gallon bucket
– 1 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda
– 3 cups Baking Soda
– 1 1/2 cups Liquid Castile Soap
– 25 drops Thieves essential oil (fights bacteria)
– 25 drops Purification essential oil (fights odor)
– 15 drops Lavender essential oil (helps calm this momma down while she’s doing endless amounts of laundry)
– 80 total cups of water

Here is what I suggest for storing and using your DIY liquid laundry detergent:

– 10 Half Gallon Mason jars
– Wide mouth white plastic storage lids (to store detergent you aren’t using right away)
– Wide mouth green measure and pour lid (for the jar of detergent you are currently using)

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe with Essential Oils

Making DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

First, to emphasize, this recipe yields about five gallons of laundry detergent. I do not have the time (or patience) to grate soap for traditional DIY laundry detergent and I do not have the time (or patience) to make laundry detergent every month or so. You will use about 1/2 cup of this DIY liquid laundry detergent in every load. I average about one load of laundry a day and there are approximately 160 loads worth of this DIY liquid laundry detergent per batch. Therefore, I will need to make a batch up about twice a year which is not too shabby.

Step-by-Step Directions with Notes

1. Start with a clean 5 gallon bucket. Or any clean, dry, empty vessel that can hold that amount. I was too lazy to go and get a 5 gallon bucket from our shed when I made this (again, no time or patience most days), so I ended up mixing this in our 25 quart pressure canner since it was right in my pantry.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of Super Washing Soda into the empty bucket. Then pour enough hot water into the bucket to allow the Super Washing Soda to dissolve. This took me about 16 cups (about one gallon) of water. Stir until the Super Washing Soda is completely dissolved and add more hot water as necessary.

3. Add 3 cups of Baking Soda and stir it up a bit. I bought a larger quantity of baking soda on Amazon and am so glad that I did – it saved me so much money plus there are SO many uses for natural cleaning around the home using baking soda, therefore I will definitely get good use out of it.

4. Add the remaining water.

5. Add in the essential oils. I use Thieves essential oil for its bacteria fighting properties and I also add in Purification essential oil as it has odor fighting capabilities. Therefore, when I accidentally leave a load of laundry in the washer overnight, I do NOT have to rewash it. Along with the laundry not having an odor, I’ve noticed our front load washing machine hasn’t been smelling “gunky” as much as it used to. I also add in Lavender essential oil because it has a soothing and calming effect on me since laundry is not my fondest task to complete.

It is definitely worth noting that your laundry will NOT have a smell after it is dried. You are not going to be walking around smelling like Thieves or Lavender. By the time you dry your clothes, they just smell clean (and that is the point of doing laundry, right)!

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils
6. Add 1 1/2 cups liquid castile soap. We use the Unscented Baby Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile soap, mainly because of our little boy and we feel it’s the most gentle without an overpowering scent, but there are other (scented) options to choose from.

7. Let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, you will have glorious white chunks floating at the top – this is the sign that your laundry detergent is ready to use!

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

Storing DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

After sitting overnight, I give my DIY liquid laundry detergent a gentle stir to distribute the white soapy chunks and then ladle the detergent into 12 half gallon mason jars. Be careful not to stir those white chunks into oblivion, you just want to get some in each jar.

I then use these white wide mouth mason jar lids to store the jars I am not using. You could also just leave the detergent in the five gallon bucket as long as you cover it with a lid and then use a 1/2 cup ladle to do your laundry.

Tips for Using DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

I keep one of my half gallon jars out on top of the washing machine at all times. As I mentioned above, I use about 1/2 cup per load in the detergent dispenser of my front load HE washing machine. Basically just use this detergent like you have used any other regular liquid laundry detergent.

I use these green wide mouth mason jar pour and measure lids (the inside of the cap has convenient 1/2 cup markings). When my “laundry detergent” jar is empty, I pour one of my other stored jars into it. This way it breaks up the white chunks a bit and is ready for me to use.

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

If you do not do laundry for a few days, break up the white chunks with a butter knife a bit before pouring out the detergent.

Labeling your DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

I highly recommend using some sort of vinyl or waterproof sticker to label your DIY liquid laundry detergent. I have had really good luck with custom labels purchased from essentialgypsymoma on Etsy. In fact, it really is the only place I order essential oil related labels from now as I know the quality is good and she ships them out super fast. Both the “laundry detergent” and “baking soda” labels you see in my pictures are custom 16 oz. bottle labels from her shop.

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils

The Cost Breakdown for DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

This recipe yields about five gallons of detergent and cost about $9 to make (using ingredients that are commonly used around the house and/or can be used in many other DIY cleaning options). I figure to get about 160 Loads out of this batch which means it costs me only $0.06 per load.

Get the Essential Oils

Order Young Living Essential Oils Here

You can order the essential oils mentioned in this post here.
Any retail order can be placed by anyone at anytime. If you would like to become a member and receive the wholesale member pricing (which is 24% off the retail price) plus take advantage of a few additional membership perks, you can purchase a premium starter kit here. There are no purchase or selling requirements when becoming a member, you can simply take advantage of the wholesale pricing on all future orders for yourself!

Please join my Facebook group THE NATURAL LIFE WITH JEN CASSELLIUS to learn more about essential oils and to see how I use them in my every day life!

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DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe with Essential Oils
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Blog Disclosure: Any products reviewed in this post were purchased by me, with my own resources unless otherwise noted. All opinions are always my own and are not influenced in any way. Affiliate links may appear in this post. If you decide to purchase a product shown, and do so through one of the affiliate links, you help support this site. For more information, view my Disclosure Policy.
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Blog Disclosure: Any products reviewed in this post were purchased by me, with my own resources unless otherwise noted. All opinions are always my own and are not influenced in any way. Affiliate links may appear in this post. If you decide to purchase a product shown, and do so through one of the affiliate links, you help support this site. For more information, view my Disclosure Policy.

  1. Mother of 3 says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and great tutorial with us at Love to Learn. PInned!

  2. Brittany says:

    I really love this idea! We have a large family and man do the costs of purchasing laundry detergent really add up fast. Five gallons would go a long way, even for us! Plus, I already love to add a little bit of essential oils since I have to use the ‘free and clear’ detergents due to some skin sensitivities around the house. I like the idea that it’s still free and clear and we know exactly what’s in it! Thank you for sharing- I will definitely be pinning this one! #wineddown

  3. Teresa says:

    Thank you for sharing the tutorial at The Really Crafty Link Party. I’ve never made my own detergent before, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to try.
    Pinned.

  4. This is great! I love to dabble making laundry detergent but I can’t stand grating my soap bars. I have so many essential oils in the house that I can use for this. It makes me happy when I can use my products for more than one purpose. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. […] DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils from The Hollow Road […]

  6. Thanks, Jen, for the recipe for detergent. it sounds wonderful and I plan to make it.
    I really like the scent of Eucalyptus Oil and use it to keep moths out of my wool containers. Rodents hate the scent also. I hope you come up with some unique ways to use Eucalyptus Oil and share your innovations!

    • Jen says:

      Let me know how you like the detergent, Aunt Bonnie! We are still loving it here in Wisconsin. I am with you on Eucalyptus, I love the scent. However, my understanding is that until Emmons is 10 years of age, it is not the safest oil to use around him, so I have been avoiding it. But I will certainly find ways to use it for myself!

  7. Maria James says:

    Thank you for your helpful feedback

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