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Duggar's Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Many ThriftyFun members have asked for or shared the recipe that the Duggar Family uses to wash the laundry for their famously large family. This page features homemade homemade laundry detergent recipes like the one that the Duggar's use.


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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


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

Comment Was this helpful? 34


January 11, 20111 found this helpful
Top Comment

We have been using this recipe for a year now and we love it and that it saves us lots of money. We do add some oxyclean now and then when the clothes are really dirty, we have a 4 yr old.

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January 11, 20111 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have used a similar recipe for the laundry soap but I use extra Borax and Washing Soda, plus a cup of baking soda. I love home made detergent and the price to make can't be beat! Using vinegar is awesome as well, much better than using commercial fabric softener with so many chemicals.

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful
Top Comment

I don't add water, just use the dry powder. I keep it in a flip-top canister on a waist-high shelf right by the washer, and just scoop out what I need. I never lift the weight of the full container except when I'm putting it away after making a new batch - much easier than lifting a bottle of liquid if you're arthritic or weak.


And I buy vinegar by the gallon, and use it to refill a quart glass bottle by the washer - it doesn't deform when I handle it, so it's easier to pour from than a small plastic bottle (or a heavy gallon one).

If anyone knows a way to make this detergent without grating Fels Naptha, I would love to know! That's the only difficult part of the recipe.

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August 14, 20121 found this helpful
Top Comment

I make a 5 gallon bucket but use a bar of fels naptha and a 1/2 bar(200mg) of Zote or Lirio laundry bar soap. I use a cup of washing soda and a cup of Borax. I find this to be a much better ratio for clean clothes. For stains or dirty collars or old underarm stains, I scrub the area directly with the bar soap and hot or cold water, depending on the stain. Works great.

For white clothes or dingy ones, I add oxygen bleach or a little more borax or washing soda if the load is really greasy or dirty. White clothes that have yellowed or no longer look bright-boil in lemon water and dry in the sun until bright whte. this may take days to months if stains or yellowing severe, but eventually it will work.

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April 27, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have made my own laundry detergent for 2 years. I tweek the recipe and use the microwave to melt my grated soap, I don't cook the mixture. I do boil water and mix it all up in the bucket. I use irish spring soap and add 2 cups downy or snuggle to it and stir.


I blend it after 12 or so hours with a stick blender and a wire whisk. I absolutely love it!

My soap is easy to grate and most of the time my grandkids do it for me. Some people use thier food processor, but I hand grate mine with a small square grater that came with a square bowl that attaches. Got it at Dollar Tree and it works well. Good Luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Homemade laundry detergent has saved my family a lot of money. I buy the ingredients about every 6 months. It is very effective on cleaning clothing, linens, delicates, and even a husband's work clothes!

Grate the Zote soap in a food processor until it is very fine. Mix all the other ingredients shown in the boxes and then store in a container near your washing machine. Use 2 tablespoons of the laundry detergent for a large load of laundry, use 2 teaspoons for delicates. The cost of all the ingredients is approximately $33 to $45. It depends on where you purchase your ingredients. I purchase all my ingredients for the laundry detergent at Walmart. Make sure you mix the laundry detergent before each use. I store my laundry detergent in a plastic cereal box with a top and I just turn the container over and shake it a few times before I use it. I discovered the homemade laundry detergent formula from the Duggar family in Arkansas, but I made it to fit my needs and changed the formula.


In order for me to remember the formula for making this laundry detergent, I keep a copy of the photograph stored in my cell phone and I go to the laundry detergent aisle at Walmart and find each item in the picture. To make a 5-gallon container of this laundry detergent you need to buy two boxes or two bars of each item in the picture.

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