Tips for Natural Living – Greening your laundry.

by Tanya on May 1, 2012

Thanks so much for following this new segment, Natural Living Tips which you’ll find here on Tuesday’s. My friend Rosemary Nickel (Motivating Other Moms) and I have paired up to bring you these weekly tips on living a more natural life. They will be fun, quirky and informative, just like us, ha. We hope you join us here weekly for a new Natural Living Tip! Enjoy!


Finally, I made laundry detergent, yay! Part of my delay is that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the recipes I was finding on-line. Most of them called for either a bar of Fels-Naptha, or the use of Dawn dish detergent. These products do not sit well with me. Why?  I did, in my excitement to purchase all the products, purchase two bars of Fels-Naptha. I was in and out quickly without thought (this is bad), and I hadn’t even returned home when I could smell the overbearing perfumey odor in the car. UGH! Yep, the Fels-Naptha. It says it right on the label, Perfume. Nice. Well, I knew right away that wouldn’t work for me, my head was already swelling with the ickiness of the fake chemical scent. Since then I’ve also found out that the Dial Co. says it should not be used directly on the skin, it’s an irritant. It also contains some ingredients which are known to contaminate the oceans, lakes and to harm wildlife. Not my thing. You can read more here.

The other recipe I was seeing on-line was non-grate version which calls for Dawn dish soap. Nope, can’t do it. It comes in plastic, (you know I’m trying to eliminate plastic as best I can) and is loaded with cra*, like the sulfate sisters, and It’s owned by Procter & Gamble, a company that I don’t particularly approve of (trust me, I have enough trouble with arm & hammer, still test on animals, but can’t yet find an alternative), lol. So…. Anyway, many of you won’t be quite as picky as me, ha.

Armed with this information I knew I needed to slow down and get the right bar soap. I wanted something a bit more natural. I found this soap called Verve at Whole Foods. It’s vegetarian (no tallow or other animal ingredients), cruelty free, fragrance free, no BHT, comes in planet friendly packaging, perfect, and the price was right too, $3.99/3 pack.

*No Whole Foods nearby or don’t shop there? Many of these recipes I’ve seen use Ivory Soap as well or you can use a natural herb bar soap found at many farmer’s markets.*

So, natural bar soap it is! Here’s my recipe:

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1 bar natural soap (grated)
75 drops essential oil (I used 50 drops sweet orange, 25 lavender) You can have so much fun creating new natural fragrances here.  (I did find that I didn’t smell this upon drying, so I may eliminate the essential oil all together in future batches.

Mix together, viola!

Yields about 32oz. I placed the mix in empty  Charlies Soap (a wonderful alternative to home-made) containers, my previous laundry detergent.

Use 1-Tbsp per load or 2-Tbsp for heavily soiled laundry.


Note: I have a HE front loader. This recipe worked fine, it’s low suds and no problem. I’m also on a septic line, it’s fine for this too.



Please share the LOVE:-)!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayla May 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

NEAT! A lady who regularly comes into the store I work at. She told me how she uses borax and some other stuff to make her own detergent. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the other ingredients. I am glad you posted about this.
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Tanya May 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

:-), yay! Glad I could help out. I’m really liking this blend!


Susan Burkholder August 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Found this post when I was researching where to buy Verve. Was hoping I could get it at a local grocery store. But I’ll pick it up at Whole Foods soon. I was looking into it as our bar soap for the shower.
I’ve considered making my own laundry soap. but haven’t braved it yet. Your “recipe” seems so simple. Where do you get the borax and “washing soda”? Does a regular grocery store have those? So, just stir that all together? No boiling, processing, nothing?


Tanya August 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm

HI Susan, I also found Verve on Amazon if that helps.

I generally use natural, handmade soaps for shower, I find them at local farmers markets or on-line at Etsy.

To answer your question, I get the ingredients at a grocer or local hardware store. I imagine you could also find those on Amazon as well. And yes:-) it is that easy!! No processing. Let me know if you try it out and like the results! Good luck!


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