Making my own lavender/tea tree laundry detergent

I watched a really interesting documentary last night.  It is called Chemerical and it streams live on Netflix.

The whole purpose of the movie was to point out how many volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are in our homes due to the chemicals that we  use to clean (bleach, ammonia, sulfates, pthalates, etc).

There were several recipes for things that can replace the nasty chemicals in our homes, and I decided to start with the one that I am about to run out of, laundry detergent.

Here is the recipe that I used:

Jennifer’s Lavender Tea Tree Oil Laundry Detergent

1 gallon plus 10 cups of water

1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap, grated

2 cups Borax

2 cups Arm and  Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)

20 drops of lavender essential oil

It’s really easy.  You put the 10 cups of water into a sauce pan, dissolve the grated soap by stirring over medium high heat.  Then you add the borax and soda and mix until it is dissolved.  Set off heat.

I used a three gallon bucket from Home Depot.  Into that, you add a gallon of hot water, then pour in the soap mixture and stir.  Fill to the top with water and stir again. Add about 20 drops lavender oil.

Skim the suds off the top.  Let cool.  Once cool, it will be a thin gel, and you can use it a quarter cup at a time in the washing machine, even high efficiency because it’s a low suds formula.

And that’s it.  It smells WONDERFUL.  My whole apartment smells like lavender.  I feel like I’m doing something good for the earth and for my family.  Happy Earth Day!



The next morning, I freaked out because it had basically solidified into this weird gelatinous mess, but when I stirred it, it became a thick liquid again.  No worries, I just didn’t want anyone to think they’d messed up!


About wholefoodsoulfood

Wife, mother, teller-of stories, cooker of food, liver of life, teller of truth. Welcome to my corner of the internet. Make yourself at home.
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