Essential Oil Alternatives: Laundry Soap DIY

January 24, 2017

Pulling a fresh load of laundry from the dryer is one of life’s simplest pleasures. But before you sprinkle or pour store-bought laundry detergent over your load, spin that bottle around and read the back. Instead of a list of ingredients, you are likely to find cautions and worrisome warnings about the safety of the product.

It’s no secret that what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. According to the EPA, ⅓ of all scented laundry detergents contain at least one possible cancer-causing chemical. Wearing clothes drenched in toxic chemicals is not only unsafe, it’s alarming.

Chemicals of concern

When it comes to the most harmful chemicals in household products, there may be none more troublesome than 1,4 dioxane. A number of conventional cleaning brands include 1,4 dioxane in their products to be used as a solvent and laboratory reagent. The International Agency for Research on Cancer named the chemical as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Studies done by the EPA prompted the organization to name 1,4 dioxane as a chemical likely to cause cancer.

Artificial coloring agents are also often added to laundry detergents. Think of the blue laundry liquid featured in tv commercials. The sad truth is research shows that coloring agents can cause skin allergies and irritations and may even cause cancer. Furan and imidazole are coloring chemicals that are known to cause cancer according to CA Proposition 65. Coloring agents may also be responsible for organ damage and genetic defects.

Formaldehyde is another chemical ingredient packed into many over-the-counter household products. The EWG found that the chemical not only irritates the skin and respiratory system but is likely to cause cancer. The International Agency for Research On Cancer names formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

The natural way

Every drop of EG’s essential oils are 100% pure and undiluted. Although you can use almost any essential oil you like for a DIY laundry detergent, we suggest our Purify Synergy Blend. It is an all natural disinfectant and neutralizer. Purify is an uncomplicated mixture of Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass and Lime.

A safer alternative to traditional laundry soaps, borax is a sodium tetraborate or sodium borate, which are naturally occurring minerals. Borax should be used with some caution because like some essential oils, it can irritate the eyes or skin when applied directly. Borax should always be diluted. The baking and washing soda in the DIY dilute and help deodorize.

Natural laundry detergent DIY

Create a detergent all your own! Avoid toxic chemicals as you refresh your laundry the natural way.

What you need:

Washing soda

Baking soda

2 bars of unscented soap

Purify Synergy Blend (or your selection)


Cheese grater

Mixing bowl


Airtight container

How to:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add 3 cups of borax, 3 cups of washing soda and 3 cups of baking soda. Mix together.
  2. Grate the 2 bars of soap with cheese grater into fine pieces.
  3. Add the grated soap to the large mixing bowl and blend together.
  4. Add 30-35 drops of Purify Synergy Blend to the large bowl and mix together.
  5. Per load, use 1-2 tablespoons of the detergent.  

Note: Store the laundry detergent in an airtight container. Recipe should make close to a gallon of detergent.

 DIY Laundry Detergent with essential oil

To read more about our GO CLEAN IN 2017 CHALLENGE, click here


  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Katie! You can mix by hand, but it will not have the same consistency.

    On May 30, 2017

  • Katie says...

    Hello! Does this need to be mixed in a food processor? I do not have one so I would be mixing this by hand. Would it still be effective? Thank you!

    On May 29, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Beth! It’s true that, although natural, Borax may be questionable. As a substitute, replace Borax with double the washing soda.

    On April 01, 2017

  • Beth says...

    Not to sure about Borax. I’ve read that it’s not safe considered a toxin.

    On March 31, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Kristy! Washing soda is a non-toxic cleaner, and was popularly used back in the day. You can find it online and sometimes in stores. There are also tutorials online one how to make washing soda using baking soda.

    On March 24, 2017

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