What’s really in your laundry detergent? How to make your own with this DIY recipe

Make your own natural laundry detergent

We often don’t think too much about what kind of chemicals go into our clothes. The usual laundry detergents in the market today may smell nice but are packed full of toxins that will actually absorb into our skin through wearing our clothes.

Deja Cronely

This week, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Deja Cronely who has put together fantastic information about how the toxins in laundry detergent can effect our health!  Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about organic, non-toxic living at DejaVuOrganics.com. She has some awesome recipes for natural living, health and wellness!

Have you ever looked at the ingredients of traditional laundry detergent? I never even thought about it until I stumbled across a book on Mastering Your Metabolism while I was trying to lose weight a few years back.

Now I know you are probably thinking “What does a weight loss book have to do with laundry detergent?” but stick with me for a moment.

While reading Mastering Your Metabolism, the author points out that everything we come in contact with affects our bodies. This includes things you smell like air fresheners and things your skin comes in contact with like laundry detergent.

The author figured this out when she decided to do a deep dive and realized part of the reason she could never keep weight off was because her hormones were imbalanced. There are several factors to hormone imbalance but one critical reason is a class of chemicals that can affect the endocrine system known as endocrine disruptors.

Unfortunately, endocrine disruptors are just one class of the many harmful chemicals that can be found in products we use daily. Reading that book opened my eyes and encouraged me to take a closer look at the products I brought into my home and hopefully this article will do the same for you.

Chemicals Chemicals Everywhere

Just like a lot of other conventional cleaning products, laundry detergents are full of chemicals which can cause everything from endocrine disruption to infertility. A lot of laundry detergents even have ingredients often linked to cancer. Some of the ingredients include:


Once I became aware of the dangers of chemicals I was in constant contact with,my next question was “So, what can I use?”

Cleaner Alternatives

More and more companies are coming out with cleaner, less toxic options but the flip side of that is some aren’t as “clean” as they claim.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to see the risks of any cleaner you use or are thinking of using. The Environmental Working Group, also known as EWG, provides a database that lists product ingredients and their effects.

Simply go to EWG.org/cleaners and type in the product in question. You will be able to see the products ingredients as well as their effects. EWG also assigns a grade from A to F for each product for easy visual reference.

If you are looking for new, cleaner products but not sure where to start, you can also search EWG for a generic product (i.e. “laundry detergent”) and the site will list all the products it has reviewed from cleanest to most toxic.

An Even Better Alternative

I have tried many natural laundry alternatives and have been pleased with my experience overall- except for the cost. Unfortunately, non-toxic laundry detergents do tend to cost more which is why I eventually decided to look for cheaper, homemade alternatives and then eventually made my own simple laundry detergent which consists of:

20 drops lavender essential oil*
20 drops tea tree essential oil*
1 cup liquid Castile soap*
1 cup baking soda
2 cups warm water
⅓ cup salt

*If you prefer, you can choose a scented Castile Soap (which includes essential oils) instead of adding your own essential oils.

To make, dissolve the baking soda and salt in the 2 cups of warm water. Add your mixture and the rest of the ingredients to a gallon container then top off with water until filled. Use ¼ cup per load.

This recipe probably saves us about $10 on laundry detergent every 3 weeks (about $175 a year), works well, and is non-toxic. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Are you ready to start living a healthier, non-toxic life? If so, changing your laundry detergent is a simple first step you can take to decrease your chemical exposure and a great first step to detoxing your life.

Thanks again, Deja!

I wanted to give one last shout out to Deja from devavuorganics.com for providing such healthful information for us to benefit from. It’s truly benevolent to be able to share the gift of health and wellness. Thank you Deja! You’re awesome! 🙂 Blessings!