Using Homemade Laundry Detergent In a Front Loader

Category Laundry
A low sudsing homemade detergent can safely be used in your front load washer. Keep the amount used small and you should have no problems. This is a page about using homemade laundry detergent in a front loader.


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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 Jess (TF Editor) from Hillsboro, OR


November 10, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

The smell in the washer comes from leaving the door closed and the moisture inside causes mildew/mold. It isn't typically related to your detergent.


You can make dry homemade detergent if you prefer that kind. Just look at the different recipes and you'll find that variety too.

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November 4, 2011

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

By Jennifer


November 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 23, 2010

I just acquired a new Frigidaire front-load washer. I use homemade laundry detergent (Fels-Naptha, washing soda, Ivory, and borax). These new washers need low suds soap and homemade is. But is it still OK for my front-loader? I'd hate to stop making it and have to pay big money for the recommended Tide HE. Thanks.


Mary from Cleveland, OH


Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

The homemade is perfect, I used it at our local laundromat with the front loading double and triple capacity washers (using the 1Tbsp/load) I did it for many months. You can also do it without the grated soap if you have "normal" soiling, but works great for bodily fluids and general dirt. (08/26/2006)

By Kelly

Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

I too purchased the Frigidaire front loader washer and used the recommended low-sudsing detergent which quickly became a pain due to cost and frequency of having to run to a store that carried HE detergent (Dollar General didn't carry it). I went back to making the homemade detergent (Fels-Naptha, borox, washing soda) and it works great. I do use a pre-stain liquid in addition to my homemade detergent. Was a little nervous at first, but it works just fine and clothes come out looking clean and smelling fresh as ever. (08/26/2006)


By Lisa from FL

Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

Use 1/2 the amount of detergent mixed with a small amount of fabric softener. The fabric softener reduces the suds. Also add vinegar to the rinse cycle along with fabric softener to get rid of any soap left in clothes (01/23/2007)

By Greg

Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

Try the Melapower6x HE liquid detergent from Melaleuca. Only need to use 1/2 an ounce per load and cost about 30% less the the name brands. // (12/12/2008)

By Mary Warrick

Low Sudsing Laundry Detergent Recipe

I just started making my own laundry detergent using the Fels Naptha soap, washing soda and borax. I make 2 1/2 gallons at a time and the total cost is about 50 cents. I could spend a little more by adding essential lavender oil drops. I have given away samples of the detergent to friends and family and we are all very happy with the laundry cleaning results.


This is a very low to no suds type of detergent.
The most time consuming part of making this detergent is grating and dissolving the soap. I find the best way to grate the soap is to use a knife and slowly cut the soap into shavings.

My recipe is as follows:

  • 1/4 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/8 cup borax

Heat 3 cups of water and add the soap flakes. Stir until dissolved. Add another gallon of hot water and stir in the washing soda and borax. Stir until completely dissolved. Add enough water to make a total of 2 1/2 gallons. Let sit over night until it cools and gels.
Pour into containers and if desired, add about 20 drops per gallon of essential oil of lavender or rosemary, or whatever scent pleases you.

Use 5/8 cup for top loaders and 1/4 cup for front loaders. Always put about 1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove any soap residue and to soften the laundry.


Like home cooking, etc, I find it so rewarding to be able to make my own home cleaning products that I know are safe and low cost without sacrificing quality. (03/16/2009)

By Donna

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