Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent

I've been using this recipe for a while now and I've had great results!  It's cheap, eco-friendly, doesn't have any harsh chemicals or fragrences, and you know exactly what's in it!

1 cup Washing Soda (I use Arm & Hammer, found in the laundry aisle)
1 cup Borax (I use 20 Mule Team)
1/2 cup Oxi-Clean (I use Oxi-Clean Free)

To use: Add 1 Tablespoon detergent to cold rinse cycle.  Then, add 1 Tablespoon detergent to your hot wash.  Diapers will come out smelling like - nothing!  This is good : )

Note: You can also mix this up in bulk so that you don't have any leftovers.  If doing so, you will need 3 boxes Washing Soda (55 oz. each), 2 boxes Borax (76 oz. each), and 1 large tub of Oxi-Clean (96 oz.).  However, I know from personal experience that Borax is a good item to have around the house.  It can be utilized in other applications besides this detergent!

There is also a "regular"/clothing laundry version of this detergent that I have not tried yet.  Once I get through the store-bought detergent that we're currently using I will mix up a batch and let you know how we like it!

Recipe and photo courtesy of:


  1. Stephanie, I am really intrigued by this! We use Charlie's is the first detergent to get our diapers clean and keep them from having build-up/stink issues (we have hard water). But I still want to try your recipe! Hmm...decisions...any idea what this recipe would cost over say, a month's time?

  2. ETA: Part of my qualm with Charlie's is that we follow their recommended wash routine, which involves a cold rinse followed by TWO hot wash/cold rinse cycles. :-/ That's a lot of water, and if this detergent could allow us to just use one hot wash/cold rinse cycle, I'd prefer it to Charlie's.

  3. 1:1:1/2 recipe posted is enough for 20 full washes.

    I know when I first mixed up the recipe and did some calculations with what I actually paid it came down to just a few cents a load - I think $0.07?

    Also, I've read that you could add some Calgon to your mixture to help with the hard water. I haven't tried this though so I don't know much about it. Seems like everyone's laundry routine has to be tweaked a bit for their needs!

  4. How did your diapers hold up with this recipe? I've been reading so many conflicting things on borax and oxyclean with CDs.

    1. Megan,

      I've heard (probably the same) conflicting information as well! My diapers did great with this. I used it for over a year with zero problems as far as wear on the diapers and it cleaning well. Once my son hit toddlerhood and was eating mostly table foods I did end up having to go to a stronger detergent, but I still recommend this recipe to others and plan to use it again if/when we have more babies because I'm sure it's much gentler on baby skin than the store-bought detergent I'm using now.



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