Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe


I’ve had a lot of questions about my homemade laundry detergent, and I’m so glad you guys are interested in it!ย The questions range from how well it works, to how to make it, how much it costs, all that good stuff! So I thought I would share my recipe with you guys so that you can make it at home too.

First off, I won’t call it my own, because I found the original recipe on http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com. She has wonderful instructions and it seemed like a good idea to try it out and see if it worked! Well our first batch lasted us over a year and cost us a mere $20! Let’s just say that my husband was thrilled. Thrilled enough that he wanted to make another batch when the first was gone. So we still use it and still loving it!

Here’s a glimpse of the goods:

homemade laundry detergent recipe
And now, the much awaited details on how to make it at home.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

What you will need:

  • 1 large box of Borax (78 oz or 4 lbs)
  • 1 large box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (78 oz or 4 lbs)
  • 1 large box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz)
  • 3 bars of Fels Naptha (found in laundry aisle) or really any laundry bar soap
  • 2 containers of Oxy Clean (or 3.5 lbs) you can also substitute the store brand for this
  • Optional: laundry crystals (found in laundry soap aisle) for stronger scent

I personally do not use laundry crystals in our soap, but she mentions it in her original recipe that you can use it if you’d like more of a scent to your soap. I would also think that you could add in essential oils like lavender or rose for a really nice smell. What we do is use a scented dryer bar that has lasted us forever, and it leaves the clothes with a nice fresh, and subtle scent as well. Plus, you can usually find coupons for the dryer bars and that always helps ๐Ÿ˜‰

Directions for making the soap:

1. The whole process of making the soap is really pretty easy. You’re going to want to grab a big garbage bag (the thicker the better – you could even double up if you wanted to) and dump in all your ingredients except for the bars of Fels Naptha, or whichever laundry bar soap you chose.

2. Mix ingredients together. I use a wooden spoon for this, it seems to work well and it doesn’t tend to puncture the garbage bag as easy as a stick or something might.

3. Next, you have a choice; you can grate the soap with a cheese grater (or food processor) until it’s into fine little pieces. OR – you can go the no-grate route and save yourself some time (and knicks on your knuckles – trust me on this one…)ย If you choose the no-grate route for your laundry detergent, here’s what you will do…

  • Place one of the bars of soap on a plate and place in the microwave and set the timer for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on your soap, because every microwave is different. When it expands into a large fluff, you can remove the plate (careful, it will be hot!) And place it on a large piece of wax paper. Repeat with the other bars of soap.
  • It will take about 20 minutes for the soap balls to be cool enough to peel apart. When you feel like they’re cool, use your hands to break it up over the rest of your laundry detergent mixture. I got this microwave method from BlueCricketDesign.net

4. Mix it all together and you are set to go! Use 1 tbsp for a small load, 2 tbsp for a large load. I kept the scoop from the Oxy Clean and use that for our detergent ๐Ÿ™‚ It works perfect! The scoop in there is 2 tbsp.

Let me know if you make this, and let me know what you think!


DIY laundry detergent to save money
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6 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

  • February 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Oh my gosh this is perfect!!! I am the social worker in a building for residents 55 and older of very low income, we are a subsided building and showing them this recipe at recreation activity or I could place this in our monthly newsletter. I look forward to other tips I can pass along to the individuals in the building. Regards Kirsten Carson Resident Services Director/social worker Presbyterian homes & services

  • February 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I have two questions Ruby. Do you know if this is ok for the HE machines? And can you give a general cost breakdown for your purchases above to make your detergent?
    A new reader!

    • February 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Patti! I use this in my HE machine and I haven’t had a problem! I’ve heard the same from many users of this recipe as well ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the cost breakdown, I will take note of the prices next time that I am out and update the post!

  • September 12, 2013 at 1:02 am

    And if you’re lucky he sometimes gets you Starbucks?? You are gorgeous, and if HE is lucky, you may decide not to use your beauty and awesome personality to land a filthy rich husband that will buy you your very own Starbucks just for fun. Aim high sweetie, and expect to be treated as lovely as you are! I was just like you, and I stayed out of love to a masculine, but poor man who drank too much. Wasted 25 years of my life. I aged well, and so I made my great escape 2 years ago. Met a man from England who helped me with all of this, and I married him. I am treated with so much love and respect I almost feel awkward. He would do anything for me! Buying me a cup of coffee isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. He takes turns with cleaning and cooking, and he works and goes to school full time. Never settle! There are princes out there.

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