DIY: Laundry Powder for Stinky People

One day, a brainchild was born.  I’m calling it Laundry Powder for Stinky People.

Here’s the deal, crew: People smell.  It’s a fact of life.  How strongly they smell varies, but really, we all know that everyone reaches a smelliness peak.

My kids seem to reach that peak every. single. day.

In our quest to remove toxins from our home, I started making my own powdered laundry detergent.  The basic, unscented recipe I found wasn’t cutting it.  Our laundry kept coming out smelling sorta… swampy.  I’d wash, rinse, rewash, rerinse, then give up and buy commercial detergent and feel like crud when my kids started getting rashes from it.

Having to choose between smelly clothes and rashy kids?

Not pleasant.

I searched ways to boost the cleaning power and, through trial and error, I have come up with a detergent ‘recipe’ that works incredibly well for us stinky people.

If you’re a stinky person (no judgements here!) or have stinky people of your own, give my Laundry Powder for Stinky People a shot, and let me know what you think!

*You can choose a different oil, or no oil at all, but the orange has been our best bet thus far in giving a hint of scent without irritating our skin.

You’ll need a food processor (preferably with a grating attachment), a container with a lid for your soap, and a scoop!

Grate the bars of soap, put the soap shavings into your container, and switch to the sabatier (‘S’) blade.  Dump the shavings back into the food processor and process the shavings while slowly pouring in the orange oil.  Turn off the processor once the soap becomes granulated and use a utensil to scrape the bottom edges (the oil makes some of the soap compact in the bottom).  In your container, dump the washing soda, borax, baking soda, and oxiclean.  Turn the processor back on and, using a scoop or funnel, slowly add the powder to the grated soap.  Let it run until it’s mostly soft and fluffy.  Pour into your container and get to washing!  1 heaping Tablespoon per regular load works well for us.


Before you ask… we have an HE Frontload washer.  We took out the liquid detergent tray and have never had issues using powdered detergent with it.  When using extra oils, like eucalyptus, I just put the drops directly on the powder in the detergent tray.  We use about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the softener tray for each regular wash cycle.


Do you have your own detergent recipe?  Any favorite low-toxin laundry tips to share?

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About Domestic Pirate

Hi, my name is Jessica. I am a stay at home momma wench who is addicted to all things Piratey, the internet and cookie dough. If you like any of those things, I think we'll get along just fine.

6 thoughts on “DIY: Laundry Powder for Stinky People

  1. I’ve been making ours for a long time using Fels Naptha soap. One thing I changed from the recipe is OxiClean. I found it would leave bleach marks on dark items unless I waited for the machine tub to completely fill with water then add the scoop of soap then clothes. I don’t have the time! So I leave out the OxiClean and use it only on whites. My 2 cents!

    I also make our d/w soap for pennies!

    1. We were using Fels Naptha, but I don’t like the fragrance. And I’ll definitely keep an eye out for oxiclean stains, but we haven’t had any problems yet. Maybe because there’s such a small amount per scoop in my version? And THANKS for the baking soda tip! That will definitely save me a lot of grumbling!
      Domestic Pirate recently posted…DIY: Laundry Powder for Stinky PeopleMy Profile

  2. Is the ivory soap fragrance free? I was using the recipe w/ Fels Naptha and Hubby couldn’t handle the scent. Never bothered with trying to find other options.

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