DIY laundry detergent tabs recipe

Sharing is caring!

DIY low waste laundry detergent tabs and regime. All you need to make these laundry tabs are a few simple ingredients. They will not be detrimental to our water when we wash our clothes with them. They will not contribute to the plastic pollution problem our world is facing. And you will not need to worry about toxins being absorbed through your skin!

photo of baby wool sweater on a clothes line with homemade laundry detergent tabs and wool dryer Valls

Reasons to make DIY low waste laundry detergent tabs and regime

Raise your hand if you've ever wanted to make your own all-natural cleaning supplies, but worried that they wouldn't be as effective as the store-bought chemical filled ones? I know I had this concern for a long time before making the switch. Changing up the laundry routine is a soft spot for many people. For years I worried that the laundry soap I was using wasn't good for us. But, I adored that "fresh laundry" scent. I associated it with cleanliness and comfort. I recall thinking that there was no way I would give up scented laundry detergents.

And then we began cloth diapering our baby. I couldn't handle thinking about his body absorbing harsh chemicals from what we were washing his diaper in. I also didn't want to use single-use disposable plastic diapers. We had already invested a lot of time into research and money so we were determined to use our cloth!

I needed something that cleaned REALLY WELL, because ... cloth diapers. Throughout the last year and a half, I have tried many different laundry detergent recipes, and this is the one I use all of the time now. I have no problems with our soiled clothes becoming clean with each wash, and thanks to the use of baking soda in this recipe - our washing machine stay clean as well!

woman's hands holding homemade laundry detergent tab


The best ingredients DIY low waste laundry detergent tabs and regime.

ingredients in homemade laundry detergent tabs including bottle of Castile soap, washing soda, baking soda, and essential oils

Castile soap:

Castile soap is my secret miracle worker. I use it to clean any and everything.  It is a vegetable-based soap that is eco friendly and gentle on your skin, you do not have to worry about harming your health or the planet. We also use castile soap to pretreat our stains. The soap linked at the bottom of this post is from Taylor's naturals and can be purchased in a glass without the plastic pump, making it 0 waste!

Baking soda:

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and cleanser. It has mild alkaline powder that slightly raises the pH of water, which softens the water, and helps keep your laundry machine clean. I'm amazed at how clean our washer remains with all that goes in there. It is also an antiseptic that discourages bacteria growth. Baking soda is also prized for its ability to keep your clothes whiter and brighter. If you buy in the store and recycle the cardboard, this item is also zero waste.

Washing soda:

Washing soda was used as a boost to assist in removing stubborn stains from laundry. With two children (and who am I kidding, MYSELF) this part is a must! If you buy in the store and recycle the cardboard, this item is also zero waste.

Essential oils:

I have used many different essential oils in my laundry pods. My favorite to use is lavender by young living because it smells amazing. I also love lavender combined with rosemary for a super fresh scent and have occasionally used the citrus fresh blend. Either way, our clothes come out clean and smelling amazing without the artificial fragrance! Essential oils come in small glass bottles but have plastic caps.

If your essential oil supplier does not have a recycling program, you can recycle the glass with ease, but you should save and separate your caps and save them for local drives that are collecting them. If your community doesn't have any cap drives, you can mail them to an organization like A Bench For Caps. Organizations like this recycle plastic tops into functional benches or wheelchairs, giving something that would sit in a landfill for hundreds of years a new life!


How we dry our clothes in a low waste way:

Whenever possible, we hang our clothes in the sun to dry to save electricity and preserve their quality. Cloth diapers also get the benefits of sunning when we hang our clothes outside in the direct sunlight. But during the winter months we dry some of our clothes and linens in the dryer. Instead of using toxic dryer sheets (did you know they are the MOST toxic thing in most households?) we actually do not add additional essential oils to our dryer balls to prevent the risk of fires from their flash point.

DSC_0393.jpg[slide-anything id='4772']

Looking for more earth friendly ways to clean? You may be interested in:

Citrus, rosemary and lavender herbal and essential oil infused cleaner

DIY lemon + mint thieves disinfectant wipes recipe using paper towels for fresh and clean surfaces

wool sweater hanging on a clothes line next to glass jar of homemade laundry detergent tabs and wool dryer balls

DIY effective laundry detergent tabs and regime

Yield: 20 tabs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Estimated Cost: $10


  • One and a half cups baking soda
  • One cup washing soda
  • One cup liquid castile soap
  • optional: essential oils


  • small mold of choice. Silicone Ice cube trays work well.


  1. Measure and pour your baking soda and washing soda into a large bowl
  2. Slowly add in your castile soap
  3. Mix until well combined
  4. Transfer into mold of choice (I like silicone ice cube trays to create a "pod". If it's a large mold, you may want to cut in half before using.


The mixture will feel soft and easy to handle but will harden up after a few hours. I like to put mine in my freezer overnight before using.
Store in an airtight container.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Do you want to know more about the essential oils we use in our home? Head to this page here!.

I hope you try these laundry pods in effort to protect your three homes:

Your body, your household, and our planet.

Follow me on instagram for more frolics + fare