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.
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15 found this helpful
May 31, 2015 Flag

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".

Supplies:

  • 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
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Steps:

  1. Grate your bar soap. It's actually really fun to do this. My kids kept calling it "pink cheese", lol. :)
  2. Store the remaining soap in a Ziploc. Be sure to label it properly so everyone knows it's "not" food.
  3. Add all of your ingredients to a large bowl.
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  5. Mix well.
  6. Store in an airtight container. I picked these cute Mason jars up for only 99 cents!
  7. Related Content(article continues below)
  8. Use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.
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18 found this helpful
August 20, 2012 Flag

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

Materials

Instructions

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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16 found this helpful
August 9, 2011 Flag

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, you can make 20 gallons for less than $5!

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32 found this helpful
January 10, 2011 Flag

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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8 found this helpful
November 15, 2011 Flag

Make your own soap. So easy and economical.

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1 found this helpful
September 11, 2004 Flag

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

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4 found this helpful
May 20, 2004 Flag

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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1 found this helpful
June 26, 2013 Flag

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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5 found this helpful
December 2, 2010 Flag

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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1 found this helpful
June 2, 2015 Flag

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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5 found this helpful
November 6, 2011 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
April 8, 2005 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
September 11, 2004 Flag

Environmentally friendly cleaning alternatives.

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0 found this helpful
July 15, 2014 Flag

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

Laundry Detergent

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

1 found this helpful
October 15, 2006 Flag

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

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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..

bkn

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0 found this helpful
February 25, 2011 Flag

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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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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0 found this helpful
October 10, 2004 Flag

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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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

My soap came out chunky, so I took my hand mixer to it and it smoothed it out great. It isn't smooth like the commercial brands, but then it isn't as expensive either. I washed my bathtub and toilet with it today, and loved the fact that it was easier to clean with than comet. I always stir the mixture before use and have never had a problem.

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0 found this helpful
July 18, 2015 Flag

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

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July 18, 20150 found this helpful

It is very difficult to answer your question without more information as there can be many reasons your fridge does not cool. Most problems will require a service company to resolve as you will not have the knowledge or be able to resolve on your own.

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0 found this helpful
August 11, 2007 Flag

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.

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Does anyone know where to find Arm&Hammer Washing Soda in Louisiana. Walmart doesn't carry it. Thanks, bdon1

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0 found this helpful
February 7, 2016 Flag

Can I use homemade lye soap instead of the Fels Naptha? I have been making lye soap for years, and I love it. I know most store bought bar soaps are not made with real lye. They use a mixture with potassium instead of sodium. Will this make a chemical reaction I should be aware of? Please let me know. Thank you.

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February 19, 20160 found this helpful

My mother used to make lye soap and she used it in her washing machine by grating a little off the bar. I can't remember her using anything else with it. I hope this helps.

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0 found this helpful
June 24, 2009 Flag

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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April 14, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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0 found this helpful
October 12, 2013 Flag

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

By freedomconnie

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October 16, 20130 found this helpful

3 cups Borax (such as 20 Mule Team)

3 cups Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 Bar Zote Laundry Soap, Grated

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0 found this helpful
March 21, 2012 Flag

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

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March 28, 20120 found this helpful

I always make mine in a 5 gallon bucket with no problems. My guess is that the scent may have kept the soap from gelling; it may have been meant for liquid soap. I've made laundry detergent using homemade soap, and it remained a liquid too. There is nothing wong with it, it can still be used. Some people stir and stir theirs in the attempt to keep it in a liquid state. As long as it cleans the clothes, I really don't care what form it's in.

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0 found this helpful
April 23, 2010 Flag

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

By Lola from Bartlesville, OK

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May 2, 20100 found this helpful

I use almost the same recipe for detergent as the others but use Dove bar soap, grated, and add 1 cup baking soda to the dry ingredients.

I also make fabric softener using 1 cup baking soda, 6 cups distilled vinegar, 8 cups water. Add ingredients SLOWLY to a gallon container as the vinegar and soda will fizz up. I have used plain vinegar also but like adding more baking soda to my laundry and helps more with static if that is an issue.

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Make Your Own LaundryAugust 10, 2011
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