Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes

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

May 31, 2015 Flag
15 found this helpful

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!

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 4 cups

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



  • 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


  1. Grate your bar soap. It's actually really fun to do this. My kids kept calling it "pink cheese", lol. :)
  2. Ad
  3. Store the remaining soap in a Ziploc. Be sure to label it properly so everyone knows it's "not" food.
  4. Add all of your ingredients to a large bowl.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Store in an airtight container. I picked these cute Mason jars up for only 99 cents!
  7. Use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.
June 8, 20150 found this helpful

jjsabath, I meant to say this will work in the "he" high efficiency washers too. oops...lol...my mistake :)

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November 5, 20160 found this helpful

August 20, 2012 Flag
18 found this helpful

Buy these ingredients at the dollar store. You will only need 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.



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

January 14, 20150 found this helpful

This sounds like a good recipe but the question about how much Oxiclean to use has never been answered and since this was originally posted in 2012?

Maybe someone who has tried making this could post their recipe and include how much Oxiclean they used?

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January 19, 20150 found this helpful

August 9, 2011 Flag
16 found this helpful
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

January 4, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks, Linda. This was the most helpful post yet. Very clear. Can't wait to try this.

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Anonymous Flag
January 26, 20160 found this helpful

January 10, 2011 Flag
32 found this helpful

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."

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November 15, 2011 Flag
8 found this helpful

Make your own soap. So easy and economical.

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September 11, 2004 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here's a recipe to make your own laundry soap!

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May 20, 2004 Flag
4 found this helpful

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.

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June 26, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

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.

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December 2, 2010 Flag
5 found this helpful

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.

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June 2, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

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.

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November 6, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

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.

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October 15, 2006 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Mindy I put the vinigar in at the first of the wash to take out odors and disenfect the laundry. I think you will like it. 2 to 3 Tablespoons will do. It says 1/4 cup but that gets expensive..


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February 16, 20100 found this helpful

April 8, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.

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February 25, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

March 16, 20110 found this helpful

I make my own laundry soap-I only make the powdered version-why mess with heavy bottles containing water when you are going to add water to the machine aanyway. It contains washing soda, borax and grated fels or any bar soap. I save all the little bar soaps from when I travel and use the fodprocessor to grate them.

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September 19, 20110 found this helpful
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