#1 A DIY Laundry Room: How to be Green & Healthy

DIY all things Laundry

Cleaning the whole house with DIY cleaners room by room

I use the same items in my laundry room as I do in my other DIY green cleaning around the house..

Remember measurements do not need to be exact, that’s part of the beauty of DIY cleaners there is no exact science just mix it the way it works best for you.

Some of the things you need for DIY laundry are:

Make sure to check out my series of articles How to be Green & Healthy: Room by room, I will be adding articles on how to clean each room in your house, DIY, natural & frugal.
All things DIY for the whole house, Green cleaning, subjects being added: laundry, bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, kids bedrooms, nursery, office, floors, walls, ceilings, vehicles, & Pest control.


A DIY laundry room How to: Green & healthy, but is DIY as effective as commercial laundry products?
In my home they have been put to the test time & time again & the DIY products never fail us & as an added plus do not bother any of my sensitive skinned family.

To pin this blog post on Pinterest

My husband is a metal fabricator in a factory where he gets almost totally black & DIY products do an awesome job getting them clean, before this job he worked for 5 years changing oil & DIY worked like a charm. And with 6 kids I have removed every stain imaginable using DIY, I have a few times been referred to as the stain removing queen lol, I don’t know about that but I do get many even set in stains out. All these recipes are used in my HE machine. Store all recipes in seal tight containers.

As I have pointed out before when you wash with commercial toxic laundry products they get on your clothes then absorb into your skin & weaken your immune system as a result of the toxins. Go here for more info on commercial products vs DIY for a better immune system.

To keep liquid mixtures fresh longer & to add sanitizing power add colloidal silver

For recipes that call for Washing soda you can cheaply make your own here

Spot treaters 

Spot treat (in a spray bottle):

  • 3 parts water
  • 1 part lemon juice,
  • 1 part peroxide.
  • what I do for most stains is just spray them as I see them, I let sit 20 minutes to over night, then wash as normal.
  • So far I have never had this fade any clothing, but if you are worried do a spot check. Store in dark spot because of peroxide in mixture.

Spot treat (paste):

  • 1 box baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbsp. natural liquid soap
  • 5 drops each Lemon & Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Enough water to form a paste while mixing

Store in container with seal tight lid, just simply rub on tough greasy stains & scrub in with a toothbrush, allow to sit or even dry then wash as normal. Sometimes this mixture starts drying out, we just simply add more water & mix again.


Stain cheats:

  • For stains a toothbrush & sponge can be your friend.
  • Blood: use straight peroxide & rinse with cold water or use a peroxide baking soda paste.
  • Ink & Makeup: wet spot with rubbing alcohol & keep dabbing more on & rubbing with clothe, or making a baking soda rubbing alcohol paste & scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Ring around the collar & Sweat: Make a white vinegar & baking soda paste with a couple drops of eucalyptus essential oil, scrub with toothbrush.
  • Coffee: White vinegar with a sponge & blot
  • Gum: put rubbing alcohol on back & freeze, pull off, then get sticky residue off with rubbing alcohol.
  • Grease & oil: Liquid soap, baking soda & corn starch in a paste rubbed in, or when dry sprinkle on & press in corn starch & let sit & soak up spot before washing
    Unknown stains: try Zote Jelly

Laundry soaps

With DIY laundry soaps, powders can be made into liquids by adding to simmering water on the stove & stirring until dissolved, & adding more water to thin as needed (example recipe one would be 2 to 3 gallons of water total once made)

Also amounts are subjective & can be different for each person depending on washer brand, HE machines & types of water, so it may take a bit of trial & error to get the right amount for you & to not add to much.

To much soap actually cleans the clothes worse than to little does & too much gives clothes a dingy look as well. So start off with a very small amount of soap rather liquid or powder & build up to what works best.

A great test to know if you are adding too much soap to your laundry loads is to add about 3 to 4 towels on a large load with the normal amount of soap you use for a large load. Let the washer run through all the cycles until done, then restart the washer on a small load with no soap, during the wash cycle when water is agitating check to see if any soap bubbles are forming, if they are you are using to much soap. Towels are great for this test because they are absorbent.

fels naptha soap

Shaved Fels Naptha soap

Laundry soap #1 (powdered):

  • 2 cups Borax
  • 2 cups Baking soda
  • 2 cups Washing soda
  • 1 bar grated or shaved soap
  • 1 cup Epsom salt (optional, but works great to help soften to help stop fading & removes some stains)
  • Mix well,
  • use 1 to 2 tbsp. per load, adjust up or down to your need

Laundry soap #2 (powdered):

  • 4 bars of  grated or shaved soap
  • 1 -78 oz. box of Borax
  • 6 cups. baking soda
  • 8 cups Washing soda
  • 2 tbsp. of lavender essential oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon essential oil
  • Mix together breaking up any clumps, store in large airtight container,
  • use 1 to 2 tbsp. per load. (if you do not want to add the bar soap leave it out & use 2 to 5 tbsp. per load.

Laundry soap #3 (powdered):

  • 2 bars of grated or shaved Zote
  • 2 bars of grated or shaved Fels Naptha
  • 6 cups baking soda
  • 6 cups washing soda
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Mix together
  • use 1 to 2 tbsp. per load.

DIY liquid LandryLaundry soap #4 (liquid):

  • 3 Tablespoons Borax
  • 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
  • 1 cup natural liquid soap
  • 20 drops eucalyptus or lavender essential oil
  • Dissolve the borax & washing soda in 3 cups of warm water,
  • then mix with soap in gallon jug 
  • fill all the way with water.
  • might need to shake to mix before each use.
  • use 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load.

Fabric softeners

Avoid DIY softeners that use hair conditioners, conditioners have questionable ingredients
 Some people toss tennis balls or other rubber balls into the dryer with clothes.  I’m not a huge fan of this method since the heat of the dryer can cause the rubber to off-gas onto your clothing.  If you have an allergy to latex, this is definitely not the method for you.  Plus, I wouldn’t choose this method if you’re drying delicate clothing items. (8 Toxins Lurking in Your Fabric Softener & 6 Natural Alternatives)
Fabric softener #1 (rinse cycle):
  • Choice of one or more of the these
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup peroxide
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup borax
Fabric softener #2 liquid (rinse cycle):
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 20 to 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Add to gallon jug
  • fill the rest of the way with water,
  • add 1/2 to 1 cup per load

Fabric softener #3 liquid (rinse cycle):

  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 1 cup salt
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oil
  • Add 5 cups of water to a sauce pan
  • gradually add salt & baking soda,
  • bring to simmer & stir till clear,
  • you may need to add another cup or 2 of water.
  • allow to cool & add to gallon jug,
  • add essential oils
  • top of with cool water.
  • add 1/2 to 1 cup per load.

Fabric softener #4 powdered (rinse cycle):

  • 2 boxes baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oil
  • Mix together breaking up any clumps,
  • store in air tight container,
  • use 1/2 cup per load

Fabric softening crystals:

  • 2 pounds of Epsom salt
  • 30 to 40 drops of your favorite essential oils
  • Mix up
  • use 1/4 to 1 cup per load.

Fabric softening for dryer:

  • After clothes are almost dry as dryer starts cooling down or on a cool settings take a dry washcloth & add about 5 drops of your favorite essential oils & leave in until dryer is done.


Bucket or tub Soak

  • Natural Laundry pre-soak, stain remover, brightener, & to remove odors
  • First fill bath tub half full of hot water,
  • before adding the clothes
  • add 1 cup of baking soda (whitener, stain remover, odor remover)
  • 1/2 cup of salt (for stains)
  • 1/2 cup for colors to 1 cup for whites of peroxide (whitener, brightener, stain remover, odor remover)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of lemon juice (whitener, brightener, stain remover, odor remover)\
  • Now add the clothes & make sure that they are wet
  • soak 4+ hours or overnight,
  • then drain & wring out (do not rinse)
  • add to washer as normal.
Options to add to mixture:
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar (whitener, brightener, stain remover, odor remover)
  • 1 cup of Borax (whitener, brightener, stain remover, odor remover)
  • 1 cup of Lime juice (whitening, brightening)
  • 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil (odor remover, adds more germ fighting power)
  • Any other essential oil
  • You can also add more baking soda, lemon juice &/or peroxide for really bad stains, odors or dingy clothes
  • Can be done in the washing machine (presoak) if you prefer.
I have never had this mixture fade clothes, but if you are concerned about fading, do a color check & use warm water instead of hot
DIY Color safe Bleach alternative:
  • 2 cups peroxide
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate
  • Add them to an empty gallon milk/vinegar jug & fill the rest of jug with water.
  • A Color safe bleach alternative that disinfectant. sanitizer, is antibacterial, odor remover, & also can be used as fabric softener.
  • For white loads add 1/2 cup to 2 cups
  • for colors add 1/2 cup to 1 cup.
  • Store jug when not in use in dark spot because of the peroxide in it.
  • Options: *I sometimes use 1 cup each peroxide & lemon instead of 2 cups *I sometimes use some lime juice to make it lemon/lime
*You can also add 20 drops lemon essential oil to mixture for a more lemony scent & more disinfectant power (or other essential oil) What I do is add it to the bleach cycle & the rinse cycle on towels. whites etc for extra brightening/whitening & softening power plus odor eliminator.
DIY oxy clean (oxygen bleach):
  • 2 parts boiling water
  • 1 part baking soda (or washing soda)
  • 1 part peroxide
  • Mix together the amount you need & will use within the same day.
  • Use less liquid for a damp crumble, for a liquid version add more peroxide &/or boiling water.
  • Apply to stains & scrub in & let sit then launder as normal.
  • Add 1/2 cup to 2 cups of combined mixture to wash water & mix in, add clothes & allow to soak over night then wash as normal.
To set the colors in towels or new clothes:
  • Add clothes to washer on small load
  • run cold water with
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • Let soak overnight then run washer as normal
Comment below & let me know what DIY laundry recipes you use, or about trying one of my DIY ideas.

  • Get Washing soda, Borax & Fels Naptha in one listing here
  • Get Washing Soda & Borax in one listing here
  • Get Washing soda, Borax, Baking soda, Fels Naptha & Zote all in one listing here

Check out these blog posts:

Cleaning the whole house with DIY cleaners room by room


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10 thoughts on “#1 A DIY Laundry Room: How to be Green & Healthy

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