Fresh, Bright & Clean Laundry Detergent

I am slowly replacing chemical substances in my house one at a time with more natural ingredient-based products.   I use essential oils more and more to replace toxic "fragrance" and for it's cleaning properties.  I have always used Tide for sensitive skin.   But I  was running low and when I read the ingredient list on the back of the jug, I was floored by all the things that I couldn't pronounce.   I wanted to find something fragrance free that I could enhance with essential oils.  After some trial, error, and lots of internet searching and recipe tweaking I came up with a great Laundry Detergent Recipe.  My recipe makes 5 gallons of detergent or 160 loads of laundry for about $5.... beats the pants off grocery store prices for detergent and cleans and brightens fabulously!


  • 6 oz.  Shredded Zote Flakes
  • of 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • water
  • 24 drops of Basil Essential Oil
  • 24 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil
  • 6 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • fun beverage dispenser

This 10 minute project couldn't be easier.  Seriously.

 Boil 5 cups of water.

melt zote
melt zote

Add 6 oz. of Zote shreds to the boiling water.Stir until dissolved - about 5 minutes.

Fill 5 gallon bucket 1/2 way w/ warm tap water. 

Dump Borax & Washing Soda into the mix along with the hot Zote mixture.

Now you've got everything but the essential oils... really stir to blend.  Once you feel like it is blended add your essential oil.   I made this mixture to split with a friend.  We had fun dropping oils then stirring and whiffing...   We poured lots of love into our little detergent project and came up with the perfect recipe.   I love the fresh scent of grapefruit coupled with basil and peppermint.   This blend is really fresh and "clean" smelling.   Be careful not to "over Peppermint" as it is a really strong oil and can be overpowering.   Use my recipe as a guide but feel free to experiment with your oil concentration.

Once we had our concoction smelling wonderful we added more tap water to fill the bucket.   After one more mega stir we lidded the pot and let it set to gel for about 2 days.

finished product
finished product
empty dispensers
empty dispensers

  While our $5 bucket of magical 160 load laundry detergent sat - I found us great glass beverage dispensers with spigots.   Very cute and substantial and perfect size to hold 2.5 gallons of detergent (80 loads) each.  

After a couple days of just gellin' I poured our fresh detergent in containers.   SO EASY.  Seriously.

full dispensers
full dispensers

1/2 a cup of this laundry detergent is perfect for my He front loading washing machine.

I love the fresh natural fragrance of my clean laundry and I am comfortable with it's simple ingredients.   I love my laundry detergent's cleaning & whitening power and affordable price.   This is too simple not to do...   The ingredients last for several batches - years and years worth of laundry.

Try it, you'll love it.