Easy To Make Laundry Detergent Recipes So You Can Save Money

Why You Make Your Own Laundry Detergent


Learning to make your own laundry detergent can help you save money, and avoid harmful chemicals found in ones you may buy from the stores. According to Care2.com, laundry detergents can contain phosphates, nonlylphenol ehtoxylate, 1,4-dioxana, and sodium lauryl sulfate. These chemicals can be harmful to you and your family by contributing to organ toxicity, and cancer. I urge you to read that link, by the way. They really break down everything if you are curious about what is in your typical household products. 

Recipes for Homemade Laundry Detergent

After researching the web a bit, I found there actually was not a lot of variety to laundry detergent recipes. I found a dry recipe, a liquid version, and a couple that did not call for borax.  The first recipe, I found from Mrs. Happy Home Maker. She created a really simple to follow recipe, that does include borax.

diy laundry detergent

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent- Mrs. Happy Homemaker


1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda!)
5.5oz Fels Naptha soap 
5 gallon bucket with a lid
optional essential oil for scent

1. Grate the Fels-Naptha soap. Add the soap shreds to a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Put the heat on medium-high, & stir until completely melted.

2. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water. Pour in the melted soap mixture &  stir. Stir in the borax & washing soda. Add essential oil. You add in ½oz to 1oz, depending on how scented you want it.  Stir contents .

3. Fill up the bucket with warm water, all the way to the top – and stir again. If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand.

4. Snap on the lid, & let it sit for 24 hours to gel up. It will have the consistency of egg noodle soup – watery with glops of gel…. This is what it should look like! If you would like a smoother consistency like the store-bought brands, you can use an immersion blender at this point to smooth it out. I don’t bother with this step though personally – the ‘glops’ dissolve just fine in the wash – and having a smoother consistency has no effect on the cleaning power or finished product.

5. At this point, you can divide it up between different containers like empty laundry detergent containers, cleaned out milk jugs, etc. I prefer to use 1-2 empty containers, and leave the rest in the bucket to save on space – refilling my containers as necessary.

No Borax Laundry Detergent Recipe

While some may have no opinion on borax, sometimes folks don’t want to use it because it can be a bit of a harsh cleaner. I found this recipe from Live Simply. This is a powder recipe, so you can use as you would your powder detergent.


(No-Borax) Homemade Laundry Soap with Natural Laundry Softener


1 5-ounce castile soap bar unscented, or your favorite scented variety

1 cup washing soda

1 cup baking soda

1 cup kosher salt

30-40 drops essential oil optional*, example: 15 drops eucalyptus and 15 drops lavender


1. Cut the bar into small, thin slices.

2. Place the soap chunks in a food processor bowl.

3. Pulse until the soap resembles small crumbles (almost like finely crumbled feta cheese). Alternatively, shred the soap with a sharp cheese grater into a large bowl.

4. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor, and place a dish towel over the processor bowl (optional, if you find the powder is circulating in the air). Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture resembles a fine powder.

5. Add the essential oil, if using. Place the dish towel over the bowl again. And pulse for just a few seconds to combine.

6. Pour the soap into a storage container with a lid. The soap will keep for at least 6 months.

These two laundry detergent recipes are great for those looking for cost effective, natural solutions to clean their clothes. For more information on laundry detergent alternatives, visit Happy DIY Home. They have a comprehensive list available.  You can remix them, and add whatever scents you love to make them you own! Have you made your own before? What did you use?

diy laundry detergent

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