I’ve taught over 50 natural cleaning workshops. Probably closer to 100. I think it’s great that people want to make their homes more sustainable and avoid to use of toxic chemicals, making the space kinder to people, pets and plants to boot. If like me, you may find the $10+ costs for a container of ‘enviro friendly’ washing machine powder a bit prohibitive making your own is a great option. 

So, here’s what I make…I get all the ‘ingredients’ from plain old supermarket. I don’t have time to go to a co-op or health food shop for expensive products. This recipe works on front and top loaders with hot or cold water.



  • 4 cups grated pure soap (e.g. Sunlight soap) or Lux Flakes
  • 1 cup washing soda* or for a heavy wash 1 cup borax**
  • 1 teaspoon tea tree or eucalyptus oil. 


  1. Mix all ingredients together well
  2. Store in a plastic container with a lid
  3. Use 1 tablespoon per wash. I keep a small jug in the container and add the tablespoon then dissolve with hot water before adding to the washing machine. 

* Washing soda is the mineral sodium carbonate and in Australia is commonly known by the brand name “Lectric”. Lectric soda comes in crystal or powdered form – the crystal is also fantastic in a bath for aching muscles.

**Borax is a naturally occurring mineral (sodium borate) but too much on your garden is toxic to plants and worms, so if you are going to use your grey water on your garden, leave out the Borax.In general, I use Borax for washing really smelly towels and sneakers as I’ve tried nothing else works as well. It can be added to your washing water but personally I limit it to grey water which goes on hardier non-edible pot plants or to wash the floor or my bike.

ta dah!