Saturday, August 25, 2012

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Not my typical blog post title, ehh? It’s pretty self explanatory though, I am now officially making my own laundry detergent – go me! I’ve heard of people making their own detergent before but have never even thought of trying it myself. After visiting family in Kentucky a few weeks ago, I saw how Jenn made her detergent and decided to give it a whirl! I also recently (finally) signed up on pinterest where I found a ton of laundry detergent recipes (all very similar to each other) among a world of other phenomenal, crafty, DIY genius ideas! Who knows what I’ll be blogging about in the near future ;)

With a family of 6, soon to be 7, we spend our fair share of money on laundry detergent, fabric softener and all of the other cleaning necessities.  If I can save us some major money while getting the same results with my laundry, why not, right? I figured it’s worth a try. It’s been a few weeks now that I’ve been using my homemade detergent and I am loving it! I wanted to blog about it right away but wanted to make sure I was truly happy with the product before sharing it with my blog buddies.

What you’ll need: 1 Cup of Borax, 1 Cup of Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda) and 1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap. I found all in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart and spent a total of about $7-$8.


Directions: Grate soap and mix together with the Borax & Washing Soda.

That’s it. Really, it’s that simple!


You only need 1 tbsp. of detergent per regular load of laundry. This batch made me just over 3 cups of detergent which should last at least 50 loads!!! The best part is I only used a single cup of the Borax & Washing Soda that came in those huge boxes seen above meaning they’ll last foreveerr and I’ll get plenty of batches out of them!



*You may be wondering if this soap is safe for HE washers. It is! We have one and although it has a compartment for powdered detergent, because of the small chunks of soap, I choose to put it right in with the laundry just to be safe. The detergent also has little to no suds to worry about with an HE washer.

*The biggest “inconvenience” with making it yourself (to some people anyways) is having to grate the soap. I did it in like 3 minutes. Totally worth it saving the $$ and we could all burn a few calories, right? ;)

*The soap smells GREAT in it’s powder form and while washing but I’ve found the clothes tend to come out nearly scent free. Not a bad thing necessarily, unless you’re a sucker for that strong fresh laundry smell :)

*You can also use a regular bar of soap (think Dove, Irish Spring, Ivory…or whatever other scent you like). I did make a batch using Irish Spring and had great results as well, no issues with the soap dissolving at all. Fels Naptha is most commonly used because it’s an actual “laundry soap”. In doing my research I read a ton of opinions, views and outlooks on the detergent and what soaps are good and not good to use. This recipe seems to work for us, if something changes, I’ll be sure to update!

*Be sure to store your detergent in an air-tight container or cute glass jar. For now, I am using an old yogurt container. As always, if storing the detergent (or anything for that matter) in an old food container, be sure it is labeled and away from your kiddos so there’s no confusion.

*Some say they add in a little Oxi-Clean to their mixture for a little extra boost, I personally chose to leave it out but may consider it for those super dirty loads in the future.

If you get the urge to make some for yourself, let me know how it turns out!  If you already make your own soap, please share as I’m always up for improvement !


  1. I've been wanting to make my own for a while, and I think you just convinced me! I love that it's not liquid and there is no melting of anything. I'm going to give it a shot, thanks! :)

  2. I use the little itty-bitty holes on one of the short sides of the grater to obliterate the Fels-Naptha, and it makes the soap chunks come out even finer. And it's just as easy to do! (And what other time do you ever use that side of the grater, anyhow?)

  3. WOW...the recipe I have is the same ingredients PLUS water. This could be interesting!!! I REALLY think I am going to try this form now!!

    1. Making some tonight. My 10yo is bugging me to grate the soap. LOL

  4. I make the liquid version and I love it.I also have a HE front load washer I put it right in the compartment for liquid soap. I use the same products you us only I use 4 cups of water to melt the bar soap then fill a 5 galon bucket 1/2 full of water add borax and washing soda mix well then pour in the melted soap mix and stir well again fill the bucket up the rest of the way let sit over night the next day it will be gelled up stir until mixed I use a 1 gallon tea jug fill 1/2 full with soap and the rest with water shake well. I end up having 10 gallons of laundry soap. that last my family of 6 3 months.

  5. I have been making this for months and LOVE it!!! Sharing on FB...hope that is OK.


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