Liquid Homemade Essential Oil Laundry Detergent

doTERRA Essential Oil Recipe

Liquid Homemade Laundry Detergent

You need a 5 gallon bucket for this homemade laundry soap recipe.

Somebody on one of the forums suggested asking a restaurant for their empties (fat for deep frying comes in huge buckets.) I got mine from my local bulk food store for a dollar


  • 4 cups hot boiled Water
  • 1 natural Soap Bar (see the directions below for tips)
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/4 cup Borax
  • 30 drops doTERRA Lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops doTERRA Lemon essential oil
  • 30 drops doTERRA Grapefruit OR Clove essential oil


Grate the soap bar using the coarse side of your cheese grater… Suggestions are  clear vegetable glycerin or olive oil soap bars  or doTERRA Essential Oil Citrus Bliss or Serenity Bath bars.

  1. Combine the soap flakes and hot water in a large saucepan. Stir over a medium-low heat until the soap is melted.
  2. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of very hot water. Add the melted soap mixture, the washing soda and the borax. Stir until all the powder is dissolved.
  3. Fill the bucket up to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
  4. Next morning, stir the essential oils into the laundry soap mixture.
  5. Transfer your homemade laundry detergent to a bunch of clean used laundry jugs.

To Use

Shake the bottle before each use to dissolve any lumps of gel that might have formed while it was sitting. Use 1 cup per load for top-load washing machines, and half a cup for front-load washers.

This recipe makes enough homemade laundry detergent for 45 top loads or 90 front loads. If that seems like a lot, reduce the recipe by half (although it’s not going to go bad – it’s soap!)

Note: Washing soda is made from Sodium Carbonate and is not the same ingredient as baking soda. You can usually find washing soda in the laundry area of your grocery or department store (I got mine at Walmart) or ask for it at a pool store. It will be in the water softeners section. You can also buy washing soda online  at



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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] ShareEmailPrintMoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Can you leave it in the 5 gallon bucket if I only have one empty laundry soap container?

  3. […] 11. Liquid Homemade Laundry Detergent […]

  4. Hi, I’m making the liquid laundry detergent, but I had a question. I have a he washing machine. Do I need to modify how much I use? And is it even safe to use in the he washer? Thank you.

    • I’m not sure of a HE modified option.. but I’ll keep a look out

  5. Another question: I was told not to use doterra oils in plastic containers due to the oils breaking down the plastic. So how do you store your soap? In glass? Or have you not had this problem once it gets thicker? Thanks again. I’m excited to try this!

    • Great question, the essential oils in the soap are diluted enough with other ingredients that the storage of the soap hasn’t been shown to be an issue.

  6. Is this recipe safe for HE washers?

  7. I made this laundry soap recipe last night. Total cost of the ingredients (minus the essential oils) at Wal-Mart was about $7.75. But if you divide that by the 7 cups the washing soda box contains and the 12 cups the Borax box contains that comes out to about $1.57 per recipe. And one recipe made 10 gallons of laundry detergent. I’ve washed 2 loads so far and I adore it. I put in a few drops of tea tree oil, as that is my fav scent. Thanks so much for the idea!

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