homemade peppermint HE laundry soap {powdered}

I’m continuing to try to reduce the chemicals in our home. My husband rolls his eyes a lot, but I figure if I do one small thing at a time he’ll adjust and soon each step will become a new normal.

When he saw the new crystal mineral salt deodorant that I bought his eyes rolled so far back in his head that he saw crazy.

On Sunday I made laundry soap. I’ve seen different recipes for the liquid and the powdered stuff floating around the internet, so decided to give it a try. Less chemicals for our bodies, less for the septic system and therefore slightly greener household. That’s more of an accidental side benefit, but I’ll claim it was the original reason if questioned.

I found this recipe on Soule Mama and modified it somewhat to match up with some other recipes that are out there (read: I didn’t read all the way through the instructions first and only purchased one bar of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap). I made the powder in the morning, washed 4 loads with it and everything came out smelling and looking clean.

Homemade Peppermint HE Laundry Soap Powder

  • 1 bar (finely) grated peppermint Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (I ordered it on-line)
  • 1 cup borax (found in the laundry aisle)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda (found in the laundry aisle)

Mix everything together. My grater didn’t grate the soap very small, so I put everything in the food processer and whirred until it was reduced to a fine powder. Then I put it in a jar. You use 1 – 2 tbsp per load, depending on the size and dirtiness of the load. One scoop seems to work just fine.

**I added in a few drops of peppermint essential oil afterwards to give it a bit more peppermint scent.

Soule Mama says that depending on your water, you might need to adjust the sodas a bit, and the amount used per load. I use 1/8 cup per load. You may need to give the jar a shake once in a while to prevent the soap flakes from settling to the bottom.

So far its working for me. I have an HE washer, so I  just put the powder in the drum with the clothes. It’s a low-sudsing detergent because if its ingredients, which makes it safe for HE machines.

And because Sunday was such a beautiful day, I spent some time outside hanging it all out.

Linking to A Pinch of Joy, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Skip to My Lou, Mod Vintage Life, Cozy Home Scenes, Frugally Sustainable, Bringing Beauty, Our Delightful Home, Like a Mustard Seed, Our Simple Farm, Cheerios and Lattes

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37 thoughts on “homemade peppermint HE laundry soap {powdered}

  1. Sally says:

    Thanks for your comment on my blog 🙂
    Your husband rolls his eyes? Mine too! Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come on our journey towards simple living and although my husband is somewhat indifferent to the whole endeavour he is supportive that it’s what I want.
    Do you have any concerns about using borax? I’ve read somewhere that pregnant women and newborns shouldn’t be exposed to it. It also shouldn’t be used if you have a grey water system as the boron builds up in the soil and affects the plants in your garden. Although, I don’t hear these warnings very often I can’t help but feel like it should be used with caution.

    • I suppose I could worry about it, but I’m going to view it as the lesser of the evils. Nobody in our house is pregnant or newborn and we won’t be ingesting it.

      The husband rolls his eyes, but is supportive of the things I try and comes up with ideas of his own too. Sometimes he provides the more pragmatic approach.

  2. I’ll bet that smelled like heaven!!

    • The soap smelled terrific, but the laundry just smelled like line dried laundry. I love the that smell anyway – if I win the lottery, I’ll hire someone to wash and hang dry my sheets every day..

  3. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics. I too worry about chemicals, especially since I have highly sensitive skin. I use Dr. Bronner’s soap on my face, but luckily two grocery stores where I live carry it. Maybe someday I’ll have enough time to make this laundry soap.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe on my blog. Don’t worry your husband isn’t the first man to roll his eyes at change. My Dad has said many times that he dreaded leaving the house because he always comes home to a different one. They all get used to it sooner or later.

  4. I love anything with Dr. Bronners! I use the peppermint soap and water as my laundry detergent with soap nuts so they smell like peppermint!

  5. Making laundry detergent is on my list to do. I was going to use fels naptha soap, but I LOVE peppermint so I orded Dr Bronners to make is smell good.
    Thanks for this wonderful cleaning recipe!
    Yvonne

  6. […] Dr. Bronner’s Organic Body Care  from Australia, followed the link, and found a picture of my laundry soap  and a link back to me. They labeled it “it’s not weird to make your own laundry […]

  7. HappyMrsBass says:

    Thanks for linking up! I make a liquid laundry soap, however it can be a tad messy! For my next batch I may try powdered laundry soap. I love Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castile soap…I actually have a new, in package bar in my lap as I type! 🙂 I never thought to use it in my laundry soap recipe! Great idea…

  8. […] Here is a powdered laundry detergent recipe shared by a fellow blogging friend – great for HE washers […]

  9. Four Sisters says:

    What a fabulous recipe – I never would have thought about peppermint for laundry detergent! Thanks for sharing at Beautify It Monday!

  10. Hey LC serendipity2000 here. Nice post and love the idea of peppermint scented laundry. I think I’ll give your recipe a go as we have all the Dr Donner’s products in our local health food shop. Some kind person gave me some soap nuts for Christmas. They’re quite big here in Australia. I tried out a laundry wash with them and it was pretty good but the shampoo recipe just didn’t cut it so I’ve given that a miss. I’ve got an awesome recipe for a simple hair conditioner though which I’ll be posting soon. By the way what is a HE washer?

  11. Jennifer says:

    If I don’t have an HE washer, will it still work for me?

  12. My mom and I made a few batches. I love love love this stuff! Leaves everything very clean and bright. I have to make another batch today so just returning to get the recipe (next time I’ll write it down!). Thanks!

  13. Jennie Barnard says:

    Hi, what does HE stand for when talking about washing machines? Jennie

  14. LubbyGirl says:

    I made some powder detergent last year for my HE washer, but nobody told me to put it in the drum with the clothes! LOL I’ve been putting it in where I usually put the liquid. I sure hope I haven’t ruined my machine!! But now I’ll do it this way and probably be happier for the whole experience. 🙂
    I had found a different recipe that used Zote as one of the ingredients, along with the castile soap and other stuff in this one. I don’t know as I’ll use it again, as it’s an animal base product. But I LOVE the idea of the peppermint!! Thanks for this – I found it in my usual random way, going from blog to blog and checking out all the folks who liked what I liked.

    • April says:

      Out of curiosity, what happened when you put the powder where liquid detergent is normally put? Did the clothes come out clean?

  15. […] perfect. And it’s easy, and made for High Efficiency (HE) machines. Heidi at Lightly Crunchy shows you how. You may also […]

  16. I’m totally trying this and I love what you say about integrating natural alternatives in baby steps until they become the new normal. Brilliant! i’m in the same boat 🙂
    Can’t wait to try the soap and the mojito body scrub looks scrumptious! Great stuff…

  17. Donna says:

    I’ve been making my laundry soap for a couple of months now and at first my husband was skeptical too – but since he hasn’t seen me have to shop for laundry detergent the entire summer (when for some reason my laundry load TRIPLES!) he’s fast becoming a believer. I will have to try this peppermint variety – I love that smell and peppermint is known to increase mental alertness…I’m thinking my son and I BOTH could use that this coming school year! LOL
    Donna
    anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com

    • The soap does smell really good, but your clothes come out unscented. If you want to keep the scent in the laundry – if you use a dryer, you could add a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cloth or rag and put it in the dryer with the wet load of clothes.

  18. I have been enjoying making powdered laundry detergent for a while now. It cleaned my clothes just as well as the brand name one I had always used.
    A couple of months ago, I trialled making liquid laundry detergent. This took just a little more time, but it makes a lot more ( 10litres) and the proportion of borax used in the finished product is significantly less.

  19. Wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting my site. You have some interesting info here.
    Veronica

  20. Hannah says:

    This recipe sounds great! Please consider linking it up to our Eco-Kids Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/11/friday-afternoons-and-ecos-kids-tuesday.html

  21. Mary Jane says:

    I wanted to try this recipe but didn’t have Dr. Bonner’s on hand so used Kirk’s Coconut Castile soap instead and grated it with a micro planer cheese grater and also tried my Zylex cheese grater. Both worked fine. Used lavender essential oil for fragrance. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Tanya says:

    can I use regular soap instead of castile? And how can I make my clothes scented when they come out of the machine? I don’t have a tumble dryer but hang up all my clothes indoors to dry (radiators and over the bath!). I really like strongly scented powder (sorry!)

    • You could use a regular laundry soap bar instead – but it won’t be scented. The scent doesnt stick with the clothes after they are washed – you could add some essential oil drops, but I don’t know if they would last either. I was trying to get away from the chemicals when I made this – so the scent isn’t really that strong.

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