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DIY Vegan Laundry Detergent


DIY crafting is super-trendy these days, but did you know that making your own stuff also saves money and helps animals?

This easy “recipe” for DIY laundry detergent calls for no animal testing and no animal lard—yup, no lard, which is used in a lot of soaps.

Just three simple ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease and you’re on your way to clean clothes, the animal-friendly way.

You can find borax and washing soda in the laundry aisle at your grocery store, and Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar soap in the organic products aisle. Note: You don’t have to use Dr. Bronner’s—any bar soap will do—but before you decide on a type of soap, double-check that it doesn’t contain animal ingredients!

Vegan Laundry Detergent

1/2 bar of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint pure-castile organic bar soap
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda

  • Grate the soap with a cheese or carrot grater.
  • Combine with the borax and washing soda in an airtight container (a Mason jar or Tupperware will work).
  • Shake!

Makes 1½ cups detergent

Yep, that’s it. Your detergent is ready to go! Use 1 tablespoonful per laundry load.

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  • Cheap Washing Services says:

    Thank you for sharing this DIY laundry detergent. But I find it really hard to find alternative ingredients that do not contain animal products and were not tested on animals.

  • Valerie G says:

    Thank you, Veganomical for the info! I was not aware Borax (20 Mule Team)is owned by Dial. Thank you, Olivia Lane for recommending another brand of borax.

  • MissGio says:

    Where can I find a washing soda that does not test on animals? or what is the brand?

  • Veganomical says:

    Borax is a 100 year old company that does not test on animals. However, it has been purchased by Dial which does test their products on animals. This is a tough situation as many of our cruelty-free products are actually bought by big corporations that do test. I read something very fascinating about this topic : Borax itself is cruelty-free yet it’s owned by Dial. You can compare this to eating a Vegan meal at a restaurant that sells meat. No? So even though it’s better to support the 100% cruelty free avenue all the time, sometimes, we have to choose the lesser of the evils available.

  • Olivia Lane says:

    Great topic! I made this recipe before. It isn’t the best laundry detergent, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s great for people who can’t find vegan or cruelty-free products locally. Nicole, if wanna avoid Borax, you can just substitute more washing soda. Also, if you can’t find washing soda in your supermarket, you can just bake baking soda on a shallow cooking tray for about an hour at 400 degrees(stirring every 10 minutes or so) to make your own washing soda. You can also buy a different brand of borax (sodium borate) at Mountain Rose Herbs website.
    Happy cleaning! Xoxo
    -Olivia from Olivia Cleans Green

  • Nichole says:

    I have a fairly old, top-loading washing machine. Actually, to be entirely factual – I don’t have a fairly old, top-loading washing machine – my apartment complex does. Is this recipe safe to use?

  • Nicole says:

    Which brand of Borax do you recommend using? I see that the Dial Corporation that makes 20 Mule Team tests on animals.

  • Eleknar says:

    To all of the folks wondering if it’s ok to use this in a front-load and/or high efficiency washer: I’ve been using this exact same recipe for quite some time now and it works just fine in my front-load HE washer. HE machines simply require something that’s low-sudsing. This recipe produces a laundry soap that is very low-sudsing. Makes your clothes smell great too 🙂

  • Christopher says:

    I have extremely sensitive skin. Is this hypo friendly?

  • Somer says:

    This is great! But I do have some questions. Is this okay to use in my front load washer? And… I was under the impression that Borax was not cruelty-free, as well as most brands of washing soda. Is this wrong? Last time I looked at a box of Borax it did not carry the bunny logo.

  • Marie for Substance of Living says:

    Megan, thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve been making my own laundry soap for about a year but I like the fact that this is vegan and made with organic peppermint soap.

    I also like the idea of one tablespoon per load.


  • Teresa Murphy says:

    I have in my garden a tree called “soapstone” (Sapindus saponaria) that has small fruits that are used as soap for washing clothes, dishes, hair, pets, cars, etc ..

  • Chris says:

    Can you use this in high efficiency front loading machines?

  • lisa says:

    Can this be used in a HE (high efficient) washer?

  • Brianna says:

    I prefer using soap nuts. They’re more Eco-friendly, great for front end washers, and no fabric softener or laundry sheets are required.

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