I’ve made a lot of homemade household cleaners for years, but it’s only recently that I started making my own homemade laundry detergent. I had seen lots of recipes for liquid homemade laundry detergent, but I didn’t want to mess with a 5 gallon bucket and cooking soap and such. (Affiliate links are present.)
UPDATE: I don’t recommend this recipe any more. I’ve found that any homemade detergent is going to eventually build up on your clothing. I’m leaving this post up in case you have no other options but you may also want to look into how to strip your linens and clothes.
It just seemed like more trouble than it was worth. Until now.
Then I read Tiffany’s recipe for homemade laundry detergent. She uses a lovely goat milk soap for hers and gets great results. I didn’t want to bother ordering the goat milk soap so after some more googling and experimenting, I came up with this recipe.
It takes about 5 minutes to mix up. This recipe is so frugal (just 4-7 cents a load – see cost breakdown below) and I love that it avoids the unpleasant chemical additives in store-bought detergent.
I literally can’t even walk down the detergent aisle in the store without getting a headache from the fragrances – those are some nasty chemicals!
Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent (Powdered)
1 bar Fels Naptha soap (also a great stain remover – just rub on stains!)
3/4 cup baking soda
3/4 cup washing soda (found in the grocery store with the stain removers)
3/4 cup Borax
15 drops lavender essential oil (optional – you can find lots of delicious smells here on Amazon)
Shred the soap in a food processor or with a hand grater. Mine didn’t shred it super fine, but I haven’t had a problem with it dissolving in the washer. If you want yours finer, you can shred it once with the shredder blade and then process a second time with the standard blade.
Dump the soap shreds in a bowl. Add other ingredients and mix to combine. The essential oil is completely optional, but does create a lovely natural (and non-headache inducing) scent.
Store in a jar or other container. For HE machines, use 1/2 tablespoon per wash. For regular washing machines, use 1 tablespoon.
This recipe makes about 3/4 of a quart. This is equal to 24-48 loads, depending on how much you need to use.
Cost breakdown for 1 batch of homemade laundry detergent
Fels Naptha soap: $1
Baking soda: $.20
Washing soda: $.20
Total: $1.65 (4-7 cents a load)
Adding essential oils will bring your cost to $.05-.25 a load but it’s so worth it.
Have you ever made your own laundry detergent?