Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipes

March 27, 2014

I've made the powdered forms of laundry soap and I like them except for the grating, powder flying while blenderizing and getting in my lungs, as well as having to wait for the powder to dissolve in the wash water. I've made the liquid and I like those except for the separating issues and the large quantity needed for storage.


My sister recently gave me a recipe for a no grate, no clump, really easy and quickly made and unbelievably cheap laundry detergent that I really love! It only requires only 2 Tbsp. Dawn, 1/3 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup borax and hot water for a gallon of laundry soap.

I have gone through a batch and it works. You still need to pretreat, but I have really been amazed by this DIY product. Men's greasy overalls may need some of your other heaviest duty detergent. But I am comfortable using this for 98% of my washes and the results are very good. If something is really filthy, I use baking soda and vinegar along with my detergent.

It probably is less than $.25 a gallon, but I am not going to do the math! ;)
Hope this blesses you as much as it has blessed me!

P.S. I have a top loader and I don't know if it works for front loaders. I would suggest you make a 1/2 batch and try it out.

Source: Beverly at The Make Your Own Zone Site, she has great recipes and tips:

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13 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 5, 2010

How do I keep my homemade laundry detergent from clumping? I melt the soap all the way down. It clumps and is not creamy at all.

By jennifer from Shelbyville, KY


March 7, 20100 found this helpful

I just use the powder instead of cooking it down. For the same reason. I didn't like the clumpiness.


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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Obviously, homemade doesn't have the additives in it that keeps it from thickening and in liquid form. The bar soap is a solid, and that's why it solidifies when the liquid is cooled. I don't stir mine at all after pouring it into the bucket. It forms a semi-solid mass that I can scoop out when I use it.


I like it much better than that "snotty" consistency. I've not had much luck with the powdered form fully dissolving in the wash and it just heats and clumps in the bottom of my blender while making it.

September 19, 20110 found this helpful

I stick a marble in each one of my jugs and gently shake it before each use. Works great!

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March 18, 2014

I want to make liquid laundry soap with Fels Naptha, borax, Arm & Hammer baking soda, etc. I am not sure what the measure of each is and if there is something else that I missed.

By Sherry H.


March 21, 20140 found this helpful

Go to:
She has so many recipes for laundry, cleaning, stain removal, etc.
Good luck

March 24, 20140 found this helpful

The recipe I use is the Duggar's recipe. 1 bar grated Fels Naptha or Zote soap melted on the stove with 4 cups of water. Add 1/2 cup Borateem and 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) and stir until dissolved. Pour into a 5 gallon bucket. Then fill the bucket with hot water. Cover overnight. It should become sort of gel-like. Stir again to incorporate all of the particles.


Fill an empty bottle of your choice (I use a 1 gallon vinegar bottle) 1/2 full of your detergent mixture, then top it off with warm water. You have to shake it before each use as it will separate. You can add essential oil like lavender if you want fragrance. Use 5/8 cup for a regular load of laundry.

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April 17, 2012

I need a recipe for liquid laundry detergent.

By Frances


May 2, 20120 found this helpful

I happen to have found this receipe online recently. Haven't used it, but it was from a credited website (dont remember which) Hope it helps!


2 gallons of hot water, 1 bar of soap (grated), 2 cups of baking soda.

Melt soap in a pan with just enough boiling water to cover. Stir until completely melted. In a large pail or bucket, pour in 2 gallons of hot water. Add the melted soap. Add the baking soda and stir well. Use 1/2 cup per load or more for oversized or very soiled loads of laundry.

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September 29, 2010

How do you make homemade liquid detergent?

By RL from MO


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October 1, 20102 found this helpful

Someone posted this on TF awhile back. I saved it for a friend, and adapted it to her reduced lifting ability and means.
Homemade Laundry Soap


Ingredients, Full Batch
2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda (yes baking soda not washing soda)

Ingredients, Half Batch
1 gallon water hot
½ bar soap grated
1 cup baking soda

Ingredients, Quarter Batch
½ gallon water hot
¼ bar soap grated
½ cup baking soda

* Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until soap is melted.
* In a large pail, pour hot water. Add melted soap, stir well.
* Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
* Use half cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load
Note: add ¼ to ½ cup hydrogen peroxide per load for extra whiteness.
Hope this helps. JustPlainJo

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December 23, 2006

What is the difference of homemade lye soap and Fels Naptha for using it as laundry soap? Also, because I have hard water, would I need to add more borax and/or water softener additive than just the 1 Tbsp that I have seen some people use for homemade laundry soap?



By (Guest Post)
December 29, 20060 found this helpful

You can go ahead and use homemade lye soap for your laundry. Usually double the amount of washing soda and borax is used in hard water. If you melt the soap and mix in the washing soda and borax to pre-make liquid laundry detergent (soap really), it would be runny rather than the semi-solid mass you'd get with the Fels Naptha.


Traditionally, laundry soap is just soap with borax added. You can add borax (and washing soda too if you prefer) to the recipe when you make the homemade lye soap initially, and save yourself some time and trouble. That way, you could just use the bar to rub on stains and stuff.

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August 10, 2018

Making your own liquid laundry soap is not only economical, but you can control the ingredients used. However this DIY laundry product tends to separate. Shake or stir before use and you are good to go. This is a page about what to do when your homemade liquid laundry detergent separates.

Hand pouring laundry soap into cap next to a pile of folded towels.

April 12, 2018

This is a page about storing homemade liquid laundry soap. Homemade liquid laundry soap can be stored in a wide variety of containers from plastic milk jugs to lidded buckets.

Ingredients for making laundry detergent.

March 15, 2017

Diluted dish soap is used by many people in place of laundry detergent. This is a page about how to make your own laundry soap with dish soap.

A woman smelling fresh laundry.


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

December 2, 2010

I use my leftover soap to make homemade laundry soap.


September 29, 2010

I am looking for recipes to make liquid laundry detergent that has a bleaching effect.


July 21, 2009

How do you make liquid detergent for cotton and wool fabrics?

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