DIY: Homemade Laundry Detergent

This is a project I have been wanting to try for some time now.  I am glad I finally took the leap and tried it.  It was so easy- and is much more inexpensive than buying regular detergent.  Plus it works just as well! 

Here is what you will need:

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Borax
1/2 Soap bar

  • Grate the bar soap with your cheese grater.

  • Add to a large saucepan with about 2 c. hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  • Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot water. Add the melted soap, Borax and Washing soda, stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water. I found a great water jug that is 5 gallon.  It works perfectly because it has a spout. 

  • Use 1 cup (give or take) per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).
You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.  Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, lemon

Some Tips:
  • For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
  • Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
  • You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities.
  • Use a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles to store the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use. I found a great water jug that I put mine int.  It is 5 gallon, so that is the ammount I made. 
  • Making homemade laundry detergent is not an exact science. If the soap turns out differently than expected, still give it a try since the soap ingredients are all there.  If the liquid detergent gelled into a solid mass, try mixing in more hot water. If it’s too thin, try adding more soap or Borax or Washing Soda.


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