24p Laundry Detergent!

Woman leaning on a washing machine

Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

This is a quick, easy, effective and cheap (from just 24p per wash!) liquid laundry detergent recipe that I’ve been using for my machine washes since 2013.

For sensitive skins this recipe is a life-saver and all brought about after a very painful (and now embarrassing) incident for my husband - second degree burns to the groin!

Back then he developed a severe 'allergic' reaction, much to his discomfort, over the groin and buttocks area resulting in second-degree burns. All this from an off-the-shelf major household name clothes washing detergent! One that is readily available here in the UK too. 

First aid kit box

We're not talking about a little red rash - we're talking about pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. The burns were moist and painful with blistering and swelling lasting for 48 hours

You might think that this was an exceptional occurrence - but it wasn't. Further research showed reporting by the US National Library of Medicine "...between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, 989 cases of exposure to laundry pods with moderate or major clinical effects were reported to US poison centres. Of those, 24 (2.4 %) were noted to have second or third degree dermal burns...".

Unfortunately, and with the benefit of hindsight, some concentrated laundry detergent had somehow remained within the material of his shorts even after the wash, rinse and dry process.

washing machine

Radical changes were needed so we re-examined our reliance on major manufacturers chemical laden products.

It was at that point that I decided to some background research, after which I created a safe way forward for our laundry for all the family, and most importantly without containing any harsh chemicals, and here it is for you to try too.

Not only is it far less expensive than shop bought products, but also it is simple to make from all natural ingredients and it is safe to use and gives fantastic results too!

For tougher stains, I’d still use a pre-wash spray and am currently testing a natural Coconut-based stain stick recipe to be released shortly. 

washing on  line


  • 110 g Borax
  • 100 g Dri Pak Fine Soda crystals
  • 120 g Liquid Castile Soap
  • 2010 ml Boiled Water
  • 30g Fresh linen fragrance or fabric softener, which adds an additional 11 p cost per wash, so it's entirely optional and up to you (see below)


  • Saucepan (medium)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Container – I use an old cereal container.  Something that can take hot-ish liquid and hold 2000 ml of water. In the past I have used a large glass jar with lid and doubled the recipe quantity.

Note – you can also make this recipe up in a bucket, then pour the entire mixture into your chosen container.


  1. In a kettle, bring 1300ml of water to boil, let cool for a couple of minutes and pour into your large container.
  2. Add liquid Castile Soap and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. In a kettle bring pan, bring 710ml of water to boil. Pour into a saucepan.
  4. Place saucepan on stove on high and re-boil.
  5. Once almost at boiling point, add the Borax powder and Soda crystals and stir until dissolved.  The Soda crystals in particular will take a bit of time to do this.
  6. Once dissolved, pour entire mixture into the large container containing the Castile soap mixture and stir.
  7. As the soap sits, the mixture will form into a light liquid, gel-like substance. I usually let the mixture sit for 24 hours. (you can make it more gel-like by putting it in the freezer overnight but I don’t usually bother!)  There may also be liquid and gel separation - this is perfectly normal - simply stir or shake well to mix again prior to use. 

When I use about 200ml of this detergent per load of laundry it works out at around just 24p per wash (or 35p with the linen fragrance as mentioned above) although you could probably use half that amount.

From experience I’ve found that this is suitable for washing machines in the UK and US and the soda crystals are also especially good for hard water areas.

Washing hanging to dry on a line in the sun

Not only is it far less expensive than shop bought products, but also it is simple to make from all natural ingredients and it is safe to use and gives fantastic results too!

While you're here you might be interested to read "5 Ways Fake 'Shampoo' Bars Damage Hair" and How To Make Sure Your Hair Stays Clean, Healthy and Beautiful!

Best wishes,