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Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes

A washer filled with laundry.

Homemade laundry detergent can be just as effective as store bought brands as well. This page contains recipes for homemade laundry detergent.


Solutions: Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes

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Tip: Dry Laundry Soap for Twenty Dollars a Year

Homemade Laundry Deteregent using Borax and baking soda.Buy these ingredients at the dollar store. You will only need 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.


  • 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1 box of borax
  • 1 box of washing soda
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 2 containers of Oxiclean


First grate your soap, then mix all ingredients together. I used two garbage bags doubled up. Tie well and shake all your ingredients around a few times. Put into a container with a lid.

You can add 1-2 containers of fabric softener crystals into the mix for a nice smell.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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Tip: Homemade Laundry Detergent

This is a super simple way to save a ton of money that goes down the drain for everyone. This also reduces some of the chemical toxicity in the water. For a little work (less than a half an hour) you can make 20 gallons for less than $5!


  • 2 (5 gallon) buckets,
  • long wooden or durable spoon,
  • stick blender if you have one, or just stir
  • a food processor, grater, or the hand type grater
  • a funnel for pouring into cleaned out laundry soap containers.
  • 2 bars of Fels Naptha Soap
  • 4 cups of Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 4 cups borax
  • 1 cup of Bluette or other brand Bluing
  • 2 cups liquid Oxi Clean (generic from the $ store)
  • 4 cups of Fabric softener (optional, but, you don'tsp. need to worry about dryer sheets this way)


You can find most of these ingredients at WalMart in the same general area, like on a bottom shelf.

First get 2 quarts of water boiling, stir in grated bar soap until dissolved, then remove from heat and stir in dry ingredients. Divide between 2 buckets.

To each bucket add have the bluing and Oxiclean plus the fabric softener (if you use it). Stir these until well mixed or use the stick blender. Add water to bring buckets to 3/4 full. Let sit overnight.

Next morning, stir again. It will be a gel like substance, stir very well until thoroughly blended. Pour into soap into containers 3/4 full (use funnel). Shake very well when going to use it.

I get detergent containers from recycling boxes, friends, family members. I like the big ones with the spigot on the end. You can shake it and set on shelf then measure half the cap. If you have others doing laundry, take a permanent marker and mark where half is at on the cap. Make sure they only use half. This is concentrated.

I only wash in cold water and if I have stains to pre-treat, I have an extra bar of Fels Naptha that I get the garment wet and scrub with the bar. It washes out well in the machine.

Try this! You have nothing but a half hour of time to lose and you will see how well this does and how far it goes. I was amazed when I first tried it. I added the bluing, Oxiclean, and fabric softener to the main recipe you can find anywhere. The bluing brightens whites. I don't like bleach. The Oxiclean is a little extra insurance that it will get really clean, and I use the fabric softener (like national brands do now), to not use softener sheets that clog the filter and cause problems on the life of the dryer. Happy laundry day!

By Suedobbins from Davenport, IA

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Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

This laundry soap is easy to make and free of that long list of chemicals you will find in your average container of store bought soap. It works well too!

Approximate Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 4 cupsjar of soap


  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup grated laundry soap such as Zote or Fels Naptha
  • cheese grater
  • empty storage containers
Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap


  1. Grate your bar soap. It's actually really fun to do this. My kids kept calling it "pink cheese", lol. :)
  2. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
  3. Store the remaining soap in a Ziploc. Be sure to label it properly so everyone knows it's "not" food.
  4. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
  5. Add all of your ingredients to a large bowl.
  6. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
  7. Mix well.
  8. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
  9. Store in an airtight container. I picked these cute Mason jars up for only 99 cents!
  10. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
  11. Use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.
  12. Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

Source: Modified from a recipe in the book "Making It".

By melissa [201]

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Tip: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I only now finally went to the website of the Duggar Family, the family from the "20 Kids and Counting" TV show, and found a treasure trove indeed! Below are 2 laundry tips that really impressed me and gave me a wake-up call with the "recipe cost." Approximately $2 per batch! The Fabric Softener Recipe sounds especially wonderful.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

Front or top load machine - best value
  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax


Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda, and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel).

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. Top Load Machine- 5/8 cup per load (approximately.180 loads). Front Load Machines- 1/4 cup per load (approximately 640 loads).

Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate! Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Fabric Softener Tip:

Add vinegar to rinse cycle instead of using fabric softener. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.


By Erin813 from Seffner, FL

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Tip: Economical Laundry Solutions

Make your own soap. So easy and economical.

Buy a bar of Fels-Naptha soap (found at most grocery stores). Shave it or run through a food chopper, until very fine. Then melt it on a stove in a sturdy pan with 4 cups of hot water. Stir and melt until totally dissolved. Then pour into a 5 gallon bucket and add one cup of Arm and Hammer washing soda, one half cup of borax, and fill the bucket to the top with very hot water. Stir real good.

Let set overnight. It will be thick and gelled, that's OK. Stir up real good again, and fill empty soap containers with half of this concoction and fill the rest of the container with hot water. Then shake and store or use right away. Shake each time before using.

When doing wash, use about 1/2 cup per load. It works terrific! Really terrific! I have been using this for over two years now and the clothes are washed to perfection. And it's so cheap!

If you run out of fabric softener, add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle, and your clothes will be super soft.

By Sondra from AZ

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Tip: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making your own powdered detergent is a lot easier, less mess, and doesn't take up all the space. Here is the recipe I found online and now use.


  • 1 bar Ivory soap (or 2/3 bar Fels Naptha)
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (found in the laundry aisle)


Grate 1 bar of Ivory soap (or other not strongly scented bar soap). Add 1/2 cup of borax. Add 1/2 cup washing soda. Mix together and store in air tight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

This recipe is for a low-sudsing detergent and works especially well in high efficiency washing machines.


By Alice from Poteau, OK

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Tip: Use Leftover Soap To Make Homemade Laundry Soap

Using dish soap for laundry soap is cheaper, but making your own from Ivory soap bars, washing soda (not baking soda), and borax, is extremely cheap and very easy to make. Melt the soap in the water, add the washing soda and borax, then dilute it with more water and you're done. Look for the recipe on the internet. You may not find all the ingredients at your store, but they are available online

By P.L. from Navarre, OH

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Tip: Make Your Own Laundry Soap With Dish Soap

I use Ajax, Dawn or Joy dish soap to wash my clothes. It's cheaper than Tide. Mix it 7 to 1 (Water to dish soap) in your empty laundry detergent bottle. I use the bottle cap to measure just like the Tide.

I also fill my Downey ball about half full of white vinegar and toss that in. It removes soap build up and softens too. For whites I use 1/2 cup of All Fabric Bleach from the Dollar Store. Really thrifty and it doesn't bother my husbands sensitive skin.

By K

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Tip: Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade laundry soap is a combination of Fels Naptha, borax, washing and baking soda.

Take 3 bars grated Fels Naptha soap, 1 box of borax, 1 box washing soda, and 1 box baking soda. Mix it all together and use it as detergent. Your clothes will not have any odor when done. You can also add Downy Unstoppable or Pyrex crystals to the mix, if you want.

    By Barbara D. [1]

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    Tip: DIY Gel Laundry Detergent

    Many years ago when I was a student, I first found a homemade laundry detergent recipe on ThirftyFun (so long ago it wasn't even called TF yet!) and have used a variant of it for years and years. Such that, I ALWAYS have both Borax and Washing Soda on-hand -- in fact, I use neither for any other purpose, and the mix for laundry is 1:1, so I simply mix the two boxes together when I purchase them.

    Here's the refined recipe, bigger and less complicated, tweaked for maximum cleaning power and maximum thrift, along with maximum convenience. Every step rooted in basic science. It is totally non-toxic, so follow the directions closely or experiment/tweak it if that's your style:

    Laundry Gel Soap (Use 1/4 cup per load)

    Melt 1/2 bar grated Ivory (or ANY) soap (or 1/2 cup Castille soap)
    in 1 quart of hot water. Dump mixture in an approx. 2 gallon bucket. Add 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax, 10 drops e-oil (for scent). Add 2 gallon of water. Mix, let sit overnight before use.


    • Double ingredients for a 5 gal bucket full.

    • If you use a liquid soap instead of bar, no stove required, just mix all.

    • Best if mixture is stirred/shaken before each use, so

    • Pour into old laundry bottle or gallon jug (repurposed vinegar, milk)

      By kumarihpx [2]

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      Tip: Homemade Laundry Soap with Ivory Soap

      I would like to give everyone the recipe for homemade laundry soap. This will cost you only around $7 a year to make your own soap!

      You will need:

      • Bar of Ivory soap
      • 1 cup of washing soda (Arm and Hammer for example)
      • Water


      1. Fill large bucket or container with 3 gallons of hot tap water.

      2. Grate the bar of soap into a saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the soap, and heat, stirring constantly until soap is dissolved.

      3. Add soap/water mixture to the hot water in the bucket. Stir to combine.

      4. Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir (do not mix up these steps).

      5. As this cools, it will turn into a white gelatinous soap. Thickness depends on the size of bucket used.

      Use 1 1/2 to 2 cups per load of laundry. You can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the load as well. Use 1/2 cup vinegar in a downy ball as a softener (the vinegar smell does not stay in your clothes).


      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Making Homemade Laundry Detergent

      Laundry DetergentThis is a guide about making homemade laundry detergent. There are many different recipes to help save you money and clean your laundry.

      Tip: Cold Soap Recipe

      This is a recipe that my grandmother used to make (as did her mother) and she always said it's good for an all purpose type soap, meaning laundry, housecleaning, etc.


      • 2 cans Lewis Lye, or any good lye
      • 1 cup Borax (20 Mule Team Borax) dissolved in 12 cups water


      Let stand 1 hour. Measure the dishpan or other large container. Pour water (with dissolved lye and Borax) into:

      18 cups warm (all melted) grease (clean strained).

      Add 1 Tbsp. ammonia after stirring for a while, and stir constantly, for 10 minutes. Use standard measuring cup for grease and water. Should be getting stiff after 10 minutes stirring. Just before it stiffens, stir in contents of a box or Dreft.

      By Robin

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      Tip: Commercial Detergent Alternatives

      *Baking Soda: cleans and deodorizes. Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap. Also good for scouring and deodorizing your refrigerator and sinks. To deodorize your trash, put 1/2 cup in the bottom of the can. Is also a good fabric softener for your laundry. When turned into a paste with water, you can rub it to polish silver.

      *Borax: cleans and deodorizes when mixed with soap and water. Also good for disinfecting and softening water, and replacing commercial color enhancers for your laundry (including bleach) and laundry detergent. Can be found in laundry section of supermarket.

      *Plain soap: Biodegrades safely and is totally nontoxic.

      *Washing soda: Cuts grease and removes stains, disinfects, softens water. Available in laundry section of supermarket.

      *White vinegar: Cuts grease & freshens surfaces. Also good for taking stains out of carpets, dishes, clearing drains, and as a fabric softener for your laundry. Good for deodorizing pet stains. Can also polish chrome, if undiluted.

      *Ammonia: for cleaning ovens. (Do not mix with commercial cleaners or bleach; the mix causes a deadly fume.)

      *Lemon oil/lemon juice: Polishes unwaxed wood when mixed with vegetable oil or mineral water. (Buff hard after polishing with clean cloth.) Also good for polishing aluminum.

      *Melted paraffin and vinegar: if you soak a cloth in this mix and let the cloth dry, it polishes waxed wood. Always melt paraffin in a double boiler.

      Based on information from the Environmental Defense Fund Website

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      Here are questions related to Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes.

      Question: Does making your own laundry soap save you money?

      I am looking into making my own laundry soap to save some money, but will I really save money? I get my detergent on sale at the discount store and I figure that it costs about 12 cents a load. To me, that is very good. If I make my own, what will it cost per load based on your own experience.

      Thank you,
      Mindy from Oregon

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Most Recent Answer

      By 1stborn 1 45 02/16/2010

      Yes you will save money. I make soap 2 times a year. I make the powder detergent. I also use white vinegar in my loads also. Remember the ingredients used can be used for other cleaning so you will save money all around.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Laundry Powder

      I'm looking for a laundry detergent recipe.

      By Bugluvver from St. Paul, MN

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Marisha 25 08/20/2010

      You can Google a recipe. I have been told the recipe containing felsnaptha is the better one.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Laundry Soap Blunder

      I just made my first batch of laundry soap (fels naptha, washing soda, borax combo). After sitting for 24 hours, it didn't gel up like it should have. Instead, it serparated into liquid with a waxy, 1 inch top (kinda looks like how fat rises on soup when refrigerated). What did I do wrong? Can it be fixed by re-heating the batch? I thought I followed the directions exactly.

      Leann D

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Brenda 1 04/17/2011

      I bought Castille soap...can I use this in lieu of the Fels Napa soap?

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Laundry Detergent Without Borax

      Has anyone got a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that does NOT include borax? I CANNOT find it in my country. I have an automatic front loader. Washing soda and laundry bar soap is easily available here. Any suggestions please? Most detergents here in Malta are imported and they are very expensive. Thanks.

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By LaToya (Guest Post) 12/07/2008

      For those that have a hard time finding the washing soda you can call 1-800-524-1328 and give them your zip code and they will tell you the stores close to you that carries it. The code for it is UPC: 33200-03020 but I did not have to tell them the code.

      For locations that carry the Borax you can put in your zip on this site and it will bring up a list of local stores for you You have to select laundry care in the brand drop down, then select 20 mule team borax 76 oz in the item drop down

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Does Homemade Laundry Detergent Really Get Clothes Clean?

      Has anyone tried making their own laundry detergent? I read a recipe which used Fels Naptha soap, borax, and Arm and Hammer Super washing soda. It makes 10 gallons. You use 5/8ths of a cup per regular load. Does it clean regular clothing, etc.? Just curious. Thanks in advance.

      By Sandi from Scotland, CT

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Angela Michels 4 09/19/2011

      This is an awesome recipe for liquid laundry soap! I have been using it for over a year now and I absolutely love it! It works great as a pre-treat stain remover just by dabbing a bit on a stain and letting it sit over night. I have turned several of my friends and family onto this soap because once you try it you are hooked! The ingredients are trustworthy products that have been around for years! This recipe makes 5 gallons of liquid laundry soap so you only have to make a batch every few months depending on how much you go through laundry detergent.

      What you'll need:
      A Kitchen Grater
      A Funnel
      A Laddle
      Empty Jugs to Store your soap
      5 Gallon Bucket or a Large 5 Gallon Pot
      5 Gallons of Water
      1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap grated (Found in the bar soaps aisle)
      1 1/2 Cups of Borax (Found in the laundry soap aisle)
      1 1/2 Cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Found in the laundry soap aisle)
      1 1/2 Cups Dawn Dishsoap (Optional)
      Marbles (Optional)

      First you grate your bar of Fels Naptha Soap, either in a bowl or straight into a pan. Bring a gallon of waer to a boil, and add your shredded Fels Naptha Soap. Stir occasionally until your Fels Naptha is completely melted. Once the Fels Naptha is melted, turn off the burner. Then add 1 1/2 cups of Borax and 1 1/2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to the pan. Stir until both powders are completely dissolved. Now at this point you can add the remaining 4 gallons of water either into your pan if it is large enough, or you can pour contents of the pan into a 5 gallon bucket then add the remaining 4 gallons of water. Mix it all up really good. At this point you have made a laundry detergent but it does not have suds like traditional laundry soap. I have to have a laundry soap that gt sudsy because my memory is not very good and sometimes I forget if I put the laundry soap in. So at this point I slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups of Dawn Dishsoap. It is great for cutting grease also! Now you let your soap cool down before we add it to our jugs. After it cools I use a ladle to scoop up the soap and a funnel to pour it into my jugs leaving about an inch from the top of the jug. It's a great way to recycle your old laundry soap jugs! I personally use old juice bottles because they are smaller, and weigh less. If you have a back or neck problems, or are making this for an elderly person then juice bottles are great way to go! I like to add one marble to each one of my jugs because over time this soap will thicken so the marble works great to help mix it up again. Before each use I lightly shake the bottle to stir up the ingredients and give it a nice liquid form again. I add about a 3/4 cup of soap per load, and get beautiful results! This recipe is safe for HE washers as well.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Laundry Detergent Not Getting Clothes Clean

      Has anyone had trouble with homemade laundry detergent? I made a batch using the recipe: 1 bar of shredded soap, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup borax. It called for using a tablespoon in the wash. I have been using 2 tablespoons and it does not seem to be getting my clothes clean. Does anyone have a suggestion?

      By pcheflm from MA

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Cassie 20 60 04/14/2011

      I always use 1/4 cup of the homemade liquid laundry detergent and I have no problem with my clothes coming clean and sometimes I also add about 20 drops of essential oil to the laundry detergent while it is in the bottle and when I do the rinse, I use 1/4 cup of white vinegar that also has the 20 drops of essential oil to the gallon and it leaves my clothes smelling fresh and clean.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Babysafe Homemade Laundry Detergent

      What do you use to make your own laundry detergent? My husband and I are expecting and I am trying to think of new ways to cut costs. Does anyone know how to make homemade laundry detergent? If so please post the recipe!


      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By linda van houten 5 02/19/2010

      Wisconsin is where I live, We have Piggly Wiggly and Pick and Save grocery stores. I have found washing soda at both of these stores.It's made by Arm and Hammer [same company that makes Baking Soda ; 'edible ' ]. It helps to 'improve liquid laundry detergent performance up to 40%'. Also a household cleaner. Pure and natural, 100% fragrance and phosphate free. For a free booklet send a 'sase' to Super Washing, Arm and Hammer Division, Church & Dwight Co. Inc; P.O. Box 7468 Princton, NJ 08543-7468. Hope this helps to answer your question about washing soda[ not edible].

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Mildew Smell from Homemade Laundry Detergent

      When I made my liquid laundry detergent, it came out fine. I have noticed since doing laundry with it that it seems the clothes end up with a really odd smell, kind of mildewy. Any ideas? I didn't add any scent, essential oils or anything. I really enjoy having clothes on the line after washing for that fresh from the line smell.

      Thanks for any help.

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By Therese 22 02/05/2008

      It is incredibly cheaper not to mention healthier for you and the water supply. We have a well and I wouldn't use anything else now.
      Also no plastic jugs or packaging left to deal with. Win/Win/Win

      And yes I do put vinegar in the rinse cycle. Removes all the soap, softens the water and clothes, and no static cling.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

      I need a recipe for low suds laundry detergent. Thank you.

      By Lola from Bartlesville, OK

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Terri 1 12/01/2010

      A helpful hint is to use Ivory bar soap when making this recipe. You can put the soap in the microwave (that's right...the microwave!) and watch it expand. Then place the expanded soap in a pot of boiling water and dissolve it. There is no grating which is a big plus since I hated grating my soap! Not to mention if you have kids, they love to watch the soap expand and it will not hurt your microwave one bit! Happy laundry soap making!

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Making Laundry Soap

      Anyone have suggestions how to grate down pink Zote soap for laundry detergent? It is quite a soft soap and I have to leave it grated larger or it gets gummy.

      When I tried making liquid laundry detergent with it, it wouldn't melt, it just clumped up. I have a bunch of it I'd like to use. When I leave it in the larger grated form, it doesn't seem to dissolve very well. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

      By Cristin from NY

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      Most Recent Answer

      By sandygirl 1 06/12/2013

      I got a coffee grinder at a flea market and it works great to shred this kind of soap.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Laundry Detergent Recipe

      I am looking for a recipe for laundry detergent.

      By Steelepottery

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Amy 1 04/16/2009

      Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot water. Grate about 5 oz. of Ivory soap and dissolve it in a pot on the stovetop, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda to bucket. Then pour in the dissolved soap. Mix together to dissolve powders then fill bucket o the top with hot water. Cover and let sit overnight. Mixture will gel. When filling laundry detergent containers fill with 1 part detergent and 1 part water. Shake well before each use. You end up with 10 gallons of detergent! Use about 5 oz. per load. If you can't find washing soda use soda ash. It's the same thing. You can find it with swimming pool supplies. It will say sodium carbonate or soda ash. It's used to raise ph in swimming pools.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Didn't Gel

      This is the recipe I used: 1 bar of grated fels naptha soap in 4 cups of water in a medium size pan, over medium heat until all soap dissolves. I also added grapefruit scent from Hobby Lobby made for making soap. Then I filled a 5 gallon pail with approximately 4 gallons of hot tap water, to this I added 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax, then added the mix of dissolved fels naptha soap and previously added scent to the 5 gallon bucket. I stirred it well and put the lid on. I have waited a full 24 hours and the soap is still liquid, no gel at all. What did I do wrong? Can you help?

      By Jill W. from Sterling, IL

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By Jilly Bean 2 6 07/30/2012

      I've always melted the Fels Naptha, turned off the heat, added the borax and soda and stir till they are dissolved then added it to the hot water in my large container. Given a night, it's always the consistency of runny egg whites and easy to stir to a smooth consistency. Good luck!

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Making Homemade Laundry Powder

      What bars of soap can I use to make laundry powder?

      By freedomconnie

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By Misty E. 1 07/05/2014

      I used a 3 gal bucket and put in one box of preshredded zote one box of arm and hammer washing soda and 3/4 a box of borax makes 6months - a year if detergent if using 1-2 tablespoons on each load. Spent $10.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Making Laundry Soap

      I would like to make my own laundry soap. It calls for Fels-Naptha laundry soap, borax, and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. I cannot get the soap and washing soda in my area. Would it be okay to use Sunlight pure soap and just regular Arm and Hammer soda instead?

      By Pam

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Lindsay06 1 03/07/2012

      You can make washing soda from baking soda by yourself in the oven. The only difference chemically is the presence of carbon dioxide. Google "making washing soda from baking soda." It's a simple process and the chemical change is easily evident.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Making Your Own Laundry Soap with Fels Naptha Soap

      How do I make laundry soap with Fels Naptha soap?

      By Koposhi from Decatur, IL

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      Most Recent Answer

      By kim 2 24 01/25/2014

      The Fels Naptha is in bar form so you can grate it first before putting into the hot water. The first time I made detergent I made the powder form which suggested putting the bar (Ivory in place of when making for gentle washing) in the microwave for, I think a minute or so first. The Ivory bar poofs out about ten times its size (it's really fun to watch). Then I put it into my food processor. It crumbles perfectly!

      However, I would NEVER use those recipe directions again because it took months for the smell (and taste, whether physiological or not) to be rid of in the microwave. The next time, I made the liquid (gel) form. But be safe! You don't want to be doing this unless you can open the windows and turn on any exhaust fans. Even with taking the precautions the smell can be quite strong. I wouldn't suggest little ones (or asthmatics) be around when making it. I would assume this stuff is made in factories with enormous exhausts and safety gear. Fels Naptha

      Soap bar is an excellent and very inexpensive staple in my laundry room. It has been for years. It's excellent for pre treating! I see it popping up more and more as there are more and more thrifty seekers out there. Thank you Thrifty Fun!

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Laundry Soap Advice

      I am using my homemade laundry soap and I have little pieces of soap that will not dissolve in the laundry water. Do I need to use hot water or is there a better solution?

      By Cindy from St. Louis, MO

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      Most Recent Answer

      By susan 8 1,368 03/18/2010

      This is why I make the liquid. By the way, you don't have to put the liquid in a 5 gallon bucket. After melting the soap in some water, adding the borax and washing soda, pour it into a smaller container with a lid. Do not stir. It forms a semi-hard /semi-soft mass. Just scoop out a small amount and add to the wash. A Tbsp is plenty.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Refrigerator Not Cooling

      I have a Kenmore refrigerator model 106.9708283. It does not run at all, only lights.

        By grouper [1]

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By Louise B. 6 2,520 07/19/2015

        I am a great believer in repairpersons whenever possible, but a fridge that doesn't cool at all might be major problems. You should probably consult someone, but in my experience fridges work nearly forever until they die. Then you buy a new one.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Homemade Laundry Detergent In Front Loader

        I'm very intrigued by the idea of making my own laundry detergent, but I'm also a bit concerned. We purchased a front loader a few years ago and had the same problem as many with odors. After trying different ideas, I stopped using liquid laundry detergent and fabric softener. I now use powdered and the smell is gone.

        I'm worried that the homemade detergent, being liquid, would start the odor problems again. Has anyone had experience with this? Thanks so much for your advice.

        By Jessica from Hillsboro, OR

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By GarynSharon D. 1 1 05/26/2013

        If you use washing soda and borax for washing and add vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser, most of the smell will go away. I wipe the gasket with a damp cloth and white vinegar and them spray peroxide on it and let is sit, then just scrub it dry with a wadded up old holey sock.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Preservatives for Homemade Laundry Detergent

        I am working on a green laundry detergent recipe to sell to consumers. I want to do my part in saving this planet. I understand that soap nuts with a few other natural ingredients works great for what I am trying to do but the liquid version of it has to be used within 3 to 4 days. Do you have any recipes or suggestions on what to use for preservatives to make it have a longer shelf life?


        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By debnmike22 1 07/14/2014

        Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is an antioxidant - this is great to use in oils to prevent them from becoming rancid, but it is not a preservative. To date there is not an all natural preservative. A preservative isn't necessary in a dry laundry detergent, but if you are adding water to a bar soap, it may grow bacteria and/or mold - If you make a laundry detergent using a liquid soap paste that was made with oils and potassium hydroxide, your detergent should be safe based upon the ph of the end product. HTH :)

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Detergent Powder and Floor Cleaning Liquid

        I would be more grateful if you send me the ingredients and preparation for making detergent powder and floor cleaning liquid at home for my home consumption. Thanking you.

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By it' 169 254 04/12/2005

        Powdered Laundry Detergent
        1 cup grated Fels Naptha Bar Soap
        1/2 cup washing soda
        1/2 cup borax

        Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy loads, use 2 tablespoons.
        Since you are in India, I do not know if these ingredients are available to you. Maybe someone reading this could suggest any substitutes.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Homemade Laundry Soap Additions

        Can you add Oxiclean to homemade laundry soap?

        By Karen

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By Frugal Sunnie 11 1,645 04/08/2012

        I've never added it to homemade powder, but I have mixed it in with commercial clothes detergent powder, so I think you should be able to do it with homemade.

        It was pretty easy for me to do it with the commercial product because the soap and OxyClean containers are labelled for how many loads are in each (using the recommended amount per wash). I mixed the OxyClean and commercial soap powder based on that; used a wooden spoon to mix it in a squeaky clean bucket then put it in a dollar store tote to dispense.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Adding Scented Oil to Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

        I made the homemade laundry detergent last week and was wanting to add the scented oil to have it smell good. I am not sure which scented oil to add and am worried it may get oil on my clothes.

        By MRB

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By Jennifer Hobbs B. 1 02/16/2014

        I make homemade liquid laundry detergent and add 100% essential oils. Just put 15-20 drops in your detergent (gallon jug) and shake really good. It will not get on your clothes. 100% essential oils are safe even safe enough to ingest. Good luck

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Using Homemade Detergent in Front Load Washer

        Are the homemade washing detergent recipes OK for front loader washing machines?

        By Jennifer

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By Rita 3 17 11/07/2011

        I make my own liquid laundry detergent and use it all the time in my front loader. Works wonderfully!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Shelf Life of Homemade Laundry Detergent

        What is the shelf life of homemade laundry detergent using borax, soap, and washing soda? Thanks in advance.

        By Sue

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By susan 8 1,368 10/13/2011

        I've been making it for over a decade and make 2 batches at a time; none have ever gone bad.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Measuring Homemade Laundry Soap

        A friend gave me a recipe for homemade laundry soap. It is made with 6 cups of borax, 4 cups of baking soda, 4 cups of washing soda, and 4 cups of graded bar soap.

        My problem is it doesn't tell how much to use in each load of laundry? Does anyone know this recipe and how much to use? I would be very thankful for the answer!

        By JoAnn from Powell, MO

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By LisaE 23 96 03/14/2011

        I also use homeade laundry detergent but I always use the liquid version. However, I have read in a few places that those who use powdered only use 1-2 Tbs. per load and they say their clothes come out clean.

        Experiment a bit and see what works for you. Hope this helps!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

        Is homemade detergent safe for septic systems?

        By Jeanne from Hackettstown, NJ

        AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

        Most Recent Answer

        By bkvander 2 114 12/13/2010

        I use Dawn dish soap for regular dirt and Ivory liquid for fine/delicate stuff, we have a "mound" system and our clean out man says ours is always in great shape. Tons cheaper too!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

        Question: Making Homemade Detergent

        I would like to try the homemade detergent that I have read about on this site, with the ingredients, washing soda, borax, and Fels. What is the amount for each one to do a full load? What is Fels? Thank you for any help.

          By Sheila [65]

          AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

          Question: Homemade Laundry Soap

          How do I use Boraxo hand soap to wash clothes in my machine? and do I mix it with regular washing detergent?

          By Angelo

          AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

          Question: Making HE Laundry Soap

          How do you make high efficiency laundry soap?

          By Shar R.

          AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


          Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

          Archive: Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

          Anyone know of a recipe for laundry detergent for the new front loading washers. They call for HE formulas (low sudser and high efficiency).


          RE: Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I was told by an appliance repair man that using 1/2 the amount of REGULAR laundry soap will work. We used to have a front load washer and that is what we did. It seemed to work fine. A Lot Cheaper as well. (05/29/2006)

          By reva

          RE: Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I make my own washing powder. It does not make suds like commercial washing powder does but it cleans well. Use 1 c. grated bath soap, 1/2 c. Borax, 1/2 c. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. (The only place I can find this product in our area is at Krogers). Mix all together and use 1 tbsp. per load of laundry. If I have a big load I use 2 tbsp. Hope this will help you. (05/30/2006)

          By cakelady (Guest Post)

          RE: Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I do as reva said; 1/2 the amount of regular detergent works fine. All has a new "3x concentrated laundry detergent" that uses 1 oz. per load, which is 32 loads per bottle. I cut that amount in 1/2 and get 64 loads of very clean clothes per quart bottle. Talk about savings! Besides the savings on detergent, the front load machines use a lot less water, too; about 8 gallons per load as opposed to more than twice that amount for a top load machine. (06/08/2006)

          By Leslie

          Archive: Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I've used a recipe for making homemade laundry detergent, it contains borax, washing soda, grated soap, glycerin, and water. I have used the same recipe in the past, but didn't add the glycerin and water and just used it as dry powdered detergent. However, now that I've put it in a container, it seems to have formed a solid soap layer at the top of the jug!

          Do any of you make liquid laundry detergent? If so, how do you keep it LIQUID? And do you have any tips on how to save this batch?

          Rachel from California

          RE: Keeping Homemade Laundry Detergent Liquid

          I make my own laundry liquid, when it is cold it sets so I mash it up with a potato masher real well and then I use my bamix on it and mine always stays liquid till the end. I store it in an airtight container. I have included my recipe - 1 cake of soap(vegetable oil based), 1/2 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup of borax, 8-10 liters water, heat water dissolve ingredients, allow to cool, sometimes i add glycerin. Use vinegar in rinse water, My washing comes out beautifully clean and soft. (04/23/2005)

          By Sharon Fergusson

          RE: Keeping Homemade Laundry Detergent Liquid

          My laundry liquid does the same thing when I use commercially made soaps (when I use homemade soaps, it doesn't). I do mine in a 5 gallon bucket, and after it sits over night and becomes that lumpy, goopy mess, I just stir it up with a large wooden spoon. It becomes liquid again with no problem. After that I pour it into old laundry detergent containers. To keep it liquid I just give it a little shake before I pour it out. (05/02/2005)

          By Keena

          Keeping Homemade Laundry Detergent Liquid

          I have used this recipe and I want my laundry liquid detergent to have a thick texture just like the commercial ones. What should I add to make it viscous? Also, what should I add for my laundry liquid detergent to form bubbles? This recipe isn't giving foam at all. (12/15/2005)

          By lilabytes

          RE: Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

          Can you use glycerine soap in place of the vegetable oil soap or "laundry" soap? (03/11/2006)

          By camo_angels

          RE: Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I use homemade lye soap instead of fels naptha and it contains glycerine. My clothes are clean and soft and I don't need to use a fabric softener. (07/05/2006)

          By sharon

          Archive: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I have misplaced my recipe for making laundry detergent. Can someone out there send theirs? I really enjoyed using the homemade detergent; it was frugal and did a great cleaning job.


          RE: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I just made my 3rd batch of homemade laundry soap. We are saving a lot of money! The initial purchase of borax, washing soda, & Fels-Naptha was minimal. Each recipe takes only 1/2 cup of borax & washing soda & 1/3rd bar of Fels-Naptha. My last 2 batchs always settled & became goopy. This batch I cooked very well to make sure all was disolved, then added 2 T. glycerin. This morning the mixture did not separated & was not goopy!

          With 3 teen-age kids, a husband, 4 dogs & a horse, there are dirty towels, jeans, etc. CONSTANTLY! A batch lasts me approximatly 1 month.

          Perhaps a person could find the "sale" soap, but I wonder how much energy was used to make that product? Where is the plastic container going after the detergent is used? How much energy is being used to recycle these plastic containers? We can't say we do everything "green", but this is one of our contributions to our future environment. (06/22/2007)

          By Deon

          Archive: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          How do you make your own laundry detergent?

          Patti from Levittown

          RE: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          Is the Borax safe for colors? (10/12/2007)

          By Alabama

          RE: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I make a powdered laundry soap. It is very concentrated, and easy to store. Shred 1 Fels Naptha bar in food processor. It should resemble powder when done. Add 3/4 c. borax and 3/4 c. WASHING soda (not baking soda). Mix well and store in an airtight container. Use 2 Tbs. for a large load. It is safe for the newer HE washers as it is a low suds soap. Add 1/2 c. white vinegar to the final rinse for softness. My clothes are clean and bright. (07/13/2008)

          By Kelly

          RE: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I read somewhere that you could wash your wool with Blue Dawn dish washing detergent, so I tried it in a load of clothes and it works great on everything. I just pour it around the machine one time as I turn the water on. Saves a bundle. (11/11/2008)

          By By Teresa

          RE: Laundry Detergent Recipe

          I had the same experience so when I made the next batch, I added more of the powders and added them to the boiling soap water right as I turned off the heat, then I poured the hot soap into a 5 gal bucket 1/2 full of hot water. I stirred the mixture for several minutes then left it uncovered and returned and re stirred about every 30 minutes or so, until cooled. I have the creamiest detergent now; no separating and no clumping. I reheated the clumpy mixture and re stirred it as well and it too has remained nice and creamy. Hope this helps you! (12/28/2008)

          By Linda

          Archive: Homemade Laundry Detergent

          I have lost my instructions for making homemade laundry detergent. Please help? Thanks.


          Archive: Homemade Laundry Detergent

          We go through so much laundry. Laundry soap can really cut into a budget so here is a recipe to help you save dollars and keep you family smelling good. I find all of these at Harps.