Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs with Essential Oils

Making homemade laundry detergent tabs has been on my list for a long time! I’m not sure why I was so scared of making this homemade laundry soap. I guess I was always so afraid it was going to be so hard to make and cost a lot in supplies… but oh my was I wrong. This was so easy and the cost is about 7 cents a load!!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs

Supplies need for making Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs:

Photo of ingredients for making laundry soap

Please note there are Borax soap and regular baking soda in the picture but for this recipe, I didn’t use it.

The first thing I did was grate the bar of Castile soap, I used the fine grade side of my grader. Yeah, this part sucks a bit but it goes fast. Note: you can also use a food processor to complete this step.

Photo: Grating the soap bar

Then I added the washing soda, Epsom salts, and slowly added in the vinegar until it became the consistency of wet sand. Add more vinegar as needed.

After it was mixed I added in the essential oils. This time around I used 5 drops of Young Living Purification (to help with disinfecting) and then added in 4 drops of Citrus Fresh (would have added more but that is all I had left), 6 drops of lemon, and 4 drops of lavender. Stirred it well and then packed it into the molds.

The best thing about using EO’s is that you can make them fit your ideal smell, mix, and match to whatever you like.

If you have a HE machine you probably only have to fill the molds until 3/4ths filled but I was trying to use up everything and really stuffed them to use it all up. It didn’t all fit in the mold so I still had to make a few with a tablespoon and place them on parchment paper anyway. In the future, I will probably purchase another mold so I can so them all at once and not have to mess with the tablespoon. Once they were in the molds I used a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water and drenched them. Then I let them sit overnight to dry out.

Laundry tabs setting in the mold

"Laundry tabs in mold"

The next morning I popped them out of the mold and added them to the jar (I found the jar at Michaels and then decorated it with my Silhouette). Amazon has some cute ones too.

I used these tabs this morning for two loads of laundry and all turned out great! I have hard well water and this made the laundry come out bright and soft… And not egg smelling! Something I usually didn’t get unless I was using those heavily toxic store brands.

I can’t believe I waited so long to try this out! Next up is dishwashing tabs 🙂

Take your laundry to the next step and check out this article from Porch on how to take care of your clothes.



Jen P

Hi! I'm Jen, and I love teaching others how to live a toxic-free life. It's time to ditch those chemicals and get back to better wellness.

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  1. Jamie on April 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    This is awesome – would be a great gift idea for some friends of mine! 🙂

    • jen on April 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      So far it’s they are working out well here… and what a wonderful idea for a gift. Might make a good teacher gift too! I always like to find something useful for them!

  2. jasbir @ jasbeeray on April 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I have been wanting to make my own soap too. Have tons of enzyme, will try soon. Thanks!

  3. Shelley Schneider on September 9, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Great advice! I use homemade detergent, too. My advice is to mix lavender and orange oil. It will smell fantastic. I have never put vinegar in it. Next time I will try. Greetings!

    • Jessie on January 11, 2017 at 8:20 am

      What do you use instead of vinegar?

      • jen on January 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

        I used vinegar.

  4. Lindsay Marie on May 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    How Many tabs Do you use for one load? super excited to try this!

    • jen on May 9, 2016 at 6:33 am

      I use 1 tab for a HE washer. If you have a non-HE I would use 2.

  5. Ashley on October 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    The picture shows regular baking soda but the recipe and the directions don’t talk about you using them?

    • jen on November 11, 2016 at 7:55 am

      No I didn’t end up using the regular baking soda, just the washing soda

  6. Jennifer Swenson on January 21, 2017 at 9:30 am

    use the grater blade of the food processor to grate the soap. works fantastic in seconds

    • jen on January 21, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Awesome tip Jennifer! I actually did that with my last batch and it worked great!

  7. Haley H on September 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I really like them, but they are so fragile. Am I doing something wrong. They break apart so easily. I picked one up and it feel apart in my hand.

    • Jen on September 11, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Probably just need to add a little more liquid or little more spray when you spray them in the molds.

      I have noticed this happens sometimes in the summer when it’s dry out.

  8. ursula on October 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    I am thinking about trying your laundry tabs. the only question is will it dissolve in cold water or does it need to be warm to hot water only.. I normally use cold water to wash my laundry..
    thank you

    • Jen on October 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

      I haven’t tried them in cold water yet but I would think they would still dissolve well, they break apart easily.

  9. ursula on October 23, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Jen, I wanted to know if could use the tabs for cold water instead of warm to hot water ..I normally use cold water for my laundry.. Do you think it would dissolve the shavings..thanks so much

  10. Jeannette on December 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Jen, does it matter if I use liquid castile soap? Thats what I already have available at home and curious if there is a particular reason for grating a bar instead.. thanks!

    • Jen on January 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

      You could use it, but I’m not sure you will be able to put it in the mold to make tabs. Let me know how it works 🙂

  11. Fayette Lenz on January 15, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I was wondering about the liquid castile soap also that is all I have the only bars soap I have fels naptha and zote and then I have the liquid castile and I also use a he front load washer can you help me out with some suggestions on what to do?

    • Jen on January 19, 2018 at 8:48 am

      I would use the fees naphtha… you could try the liquid soap, but I’m not sure you will be able to put it in the mold to make tabs. Let me know how it works

  12. Audrey on July 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Can I use any bar soap or does it have to be this castile?

    • Jen on August 22, 2018 at 9:24 am

      I have only used the Castile but I’m guessing another soap type would work.

  13. Amber on October 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Do you put the tab in the laundry soap spot or into the washer drum?

    • Jen on October 8, 2018 at 8:38 am

      I put it right in the washer with the clothes

  14. Deb on June 1, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    What type of glass container is safe for the essential oils?

    • Jen P on June 3, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      I think any type of glass container would be good

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