Ooh La La Lavender Laundry Soap

laundry soap3

Hello Kitty and Sanrio haven’t in any way given permission for their likeness to be on my label. I just like Hello Kitty… 😀

I am going to make an admission: I have never made my own laundry soap. Like ever. Like never ever.

Before anyone gets twitchy at me for sharing a non-food recipe, I am going to tell you now that what you put into contact with your skin is as important as what you put into your body. Skin contact matters. Harsh chemicals matter. Perfumes and fragrances matter. And, hey. There’s always the fun of making something yourself!

Why? In short, I thought I had too many other things to do to fuss over laundry soap.

1. Tell the dog to stop chewing my bras.
2. Have a staring contest with the cat.
3. Try to perfect a bread made from chicken paste.
4. Make pirate faces in the mirror.
5. Answer emails, pay bills, do taxes, other stuff.

Benefits of the laundry soap

  • Easy to make
  • It’s less expensive.
  • It smells just as pretty
  • So many scent options
  • My clothes are soft
  • Clothes don’t get moldy when forgotten
  • Clothes aren’t fading fast
  • Products used can be applied directly to the skin

Disclaimer: The product is not in any way, shape or form Sanrio-approved. I just seriously love Hello Kitty. I am a high-bling girl when it comes to my homemade stuff, so Hello Kitty had to adorn my bucket.

I like my laundry soap super-scented, so I make sure all of my products have the same smell, from the Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap to the bar soap, to the essential oil. You can go with Jojoba, Hemp, Fresh Cotton, or even mix and match scents. I love lavender, and for my first foray into the world of scented products, I went 100% lavender. I based my process and recipe from these amazing peeps, so visit their site!

What you’ll need

  • Find a 5-gallon bucket. I bought mine from WalMart because I wanted a white bucket, but you can buy yours from anywhere, from Home Depot, to Lowe’s, to Target.
  • Mod Podge. This is like random, but seriously, mod-podging the instructions right to the container you plan to use is an important tool for not losing the instructions and for protecting them on the container itself. I use Mod-Podge to first glue the instructions to the container. Then I brush Mod-Podge over the top of the instructions to seal them from water damage. Don’t have Mod-Podge? Use Emler’s white glue instead to glue and to protect.
  • A stir stick. It doesn’t matter if you grab one of the taller ones Home Depot offers for free in the paint department or you use a clean dowel you have laying around.
  • Borax: I bought mine at a local big box seller. You can also check out the Borax site and locate stores.
  • Washing Soda. This was the hardest for me to locate, and it was cheapest to purchase online. I think Ace Hardware also sells it.
  • Dr. Bronners: I found mine at Walgreens, but it’s also sold everywhere, from Krogers, to Sprouts, to Super Target. You can also buy it online.
  • Essential Oil: Buy this anywhere essential oils are found. I typically shop online at amazon.com, but I’ve seen it at Sprouts, too. Sometimes soap suppliers also sell it (I’ve seen it at the larger craft stores in the candlemaking/soap supply aisle).
  • Water. It’s essential.
  • A large stock pot. I use one that is vastly huge and holds a spankload of water.
  • A 1/2 cup measuring device. I typically use a leftover liquid measuring cup from other laundry detergent products.
  • A container for easy dispensing is optional. I use a leftover laundry dispenser that allows you to press a bulb to release liquid into the cup. It works well, has a handle, and is easy to store in the cupboard. You can also use milk jugs, soda bottles, old bleach bottles (just be sure to obviously mark your bottles so people know it’s laundry soap. A ribbon tied around the neck or through the handle is a good indicator that your once-time bleach bottle is no longer bleach.


Ooh La La Lavender Laundry Soap

2 cups Borax
2 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/3 Cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap
20 drops Lavender essential oil
½ bar Shredded Dr. Bronners Bar Soap

Fill a stock pot ¾ full with water. Dissolve Borax and Washing Soda in the water. Add Liquid soap, lavender and bar soap. Stir occasionally until almost at a boil. Remove from heat. Pour into a 5 gallon bucket. Add hot water to the bucket until the 5-gallon bucket is nearly full. Stir. The mixture will gel overnight.

Use ½ cup detergent per load.

As a fabric softener, add ½ cup white vinegar + enough water to the center fabric softener receptacle to fill it.

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  1. Good for you! I have been making my own detergent and fabric softener for about two years now and I have saved a fortune since I have twelve children and it also cleans the clothes so much better .

    • I haven’t tried fabric softener, since I’m worried that it wears down the clothing fibers. Do you find that to be an issue?

      • No I don’t but then again I use a different recipe for that. I use white vinegar with coconut hair conditioner ( just cos we love the smell lol) and mix it with6 parts hot water and it leaves the clothes lovely and soft and smelling nice. I don’t add any oils tony detergent as I tried that once and don’t like it as much.

  2. Judy Dane says

    I’m going to try this. If I like it I’ll never buy detergent again. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I wonder how this works with high efficiency washers?

  4. What a fantastically easy idea. I have to admit I’m intrigued. We did a science project on cleaners a few years back and found that not all of them clean the same. Since then we’ve been buying the expensive stuff b/c it saves money in the long run, but I’m totally interested in this idea. Does the vinegar really help soften? Admittedly I only use fabric softener for towels.

    • I don’t use fabric softener on anything these days and I feel like it still is coming out pretty nice. I wonder if standard detergents make the fabrics more stiff, so the fabric softener becomes a necessity? With this, the clothes come out quite nicely.

      • Another thing is if you have hard water. Hard water and regular laundry detergent and not good together – the soap does no rinse out as well and consequently you have soap leftover in your clothes and they doesn’t feel as soft and the towels don’t absorb as well.
        That said this might well solve that problem for me. I am going to source out the stuff and make me some laundry detergent Yeah!

  5. I did a powdered version of this a couple years ago and gave as Christmas presents with a set of dryer balls. It went over big, but I had to stop using it as I discovered an allergy to castile soap, LOL. But I’m a big fan of vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser and my beloved dryer balls. I even made my own from felted wool yarn (yes, I’m a serious geek)

    • Geek away! I love reading what worked for you!

    • If you look in your stores, in the liquid soap section they have liquid Ivory. If you have a problem with the bronners, try this. It is a natural soap like bronners. I have made the liquid version of this soap and the powdered version. they are both wonderful. I have a high efficiency washer and it works great. I also use vinegar for my fabric softener. It doesn’t leave any film on your clothing so it absorbs, but also no static cling.

  6. Interesting. Thanks for the report. I will keep the recipe.

  7. I have a front load HE washer and would love to know if this would work! Also…I use vinegar in the bleach dispenser (abt 1/2 cup) and liquid fabric softener half diluted with water (abt 1/8 cup each) and my clothes come out great

  8. amanda butler says

    I just looked at the link and it says high efficiency safe. Yay! Since I have one too. Also, they don’t use the shredded bar in their recipe, what kind of difference does that make?

  9. I make my own laundry soap using natural rosemary scented soap. Love it, it’s cheap & works better & of course smells fabulous!

  10. ScarlettOHare says

    Dear sister,

    It is imperative that you remove the Hello Kitty from your label. Without permission, we break the law when we use it on our product. God does not need us to break the law in order to bless our work.

    Yours in the Lord.

    • Your Lighter Side says

      Good thing it’s not a product, then! I agree. It’s just for personal, private use on my container at home, and I thought I stated that in the article. If I didn’t, I am now.

  11. Rishara says

    I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for about a year and love it. I find the washing soda at Walmart (Arm & Hammer brand). I’m not sure where you are in the Denver area, but I am in Littleton.

  12. amanda butler says

    Would this be considered organic?

  13. Jessica Rivas says

    I made this and it appears to be watery and not very gel like. Is this the correct consistency or did I add too much water?


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