melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker

Homemade washing powder

Homemade washing powder

What are the benefits of making your own laundry powder?

Since switching to the below recipe from brands like Earth Choice I've found a radical increase in the cleanliness of my clothes, and my whites are definitely whiter!

  1. It's almost always cheaper when you cut out the middle man
  2. You can choose zero waste ingredients, reusing your own packaging
  3. You know what's in it, so you can avoid unecessary toxins
  4. You can customise the detergents effect and scent to your preference
  5. It's safer for sensitive skin
  6. Powders are considered far better stain removers than liquids

// You'll see in the below photo that I haven't yet found a zero waste source of washing soda - I'm working on it! Until then, I'll be posting my plastic in a cardboard postage bag to a group that recycles soft plastics. \\


  • Baking soda ($3.70/kg)
  • Washing soda ($4.40/kg)
  • Castile soap ($6/bar)

My recipe is a ratio of 1.5 cups baking soda to every 1 cup washing soda. Baking soda is less powerful than washing soda so more is required. At this ratio I use 1-2 tablespoons of powder for a wash.

Washing soda is great for a deep clean to remove stains while baking soda brings your clothes out of the wash brighter and more refreshed. I also use lavender soap for that extra "laundry" smell and a deeper clean.

To make, simply grate the soap using a cheese grater and mix the 3 ingredients together by hand in a mixing bowl before transferring to your jar or container. Alternatively, put them all together and give it a good shake. No fancy equipment required.

To demonstrate I made this small jar of 1.5 cups baking soda, 1 cup washing soda and 1/3 a bar of castile soap which will last about a month.

This equals out to be approximately $2.80 for every 20+ washes.

To make more at once for convenience you would scale up the ratio. You might use a ratio of 9:6 baking soda and washing soda for a 6 month batch. The beauty of DIY is you can totally fiddle with this until you find the amounts and ratios that you think work best!

While this doesn't work out as the cheapest washing powder on the market, it is typically cheaper than many of the ethical, eco brands. You know what's in it, you know what waste you're producing, you can make it exactly how you like it and you can save money along the way.

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