Do It Yourself Laundry Detergent

I’m always looking for ways to save money. I also try to reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible. I’ve always felt that it is important to keep the earth clean for future generations and to conserve natural resources. So when I found a “recipe” for homemade laundry detergent I knew I wanted to try it! I’ve been making my own laundry detergent now for close to a year and don’t regret my decision for a minute. Not only am I saving money and reducing landfill waste, it’s also been great for my oldest daughter’s psoriasis. I was paying for laundry soap without added perfumes, etc. Now I make my own! I’ve seen homemade detergents that you can add scents too, but I really prefer the mild soapy smell of the one I make!

It’s super easy to make and all the “ingredients” can be found at your local store.  I live in a small, rural town and both the local Wal-Mart and Tops carry all the necessary things I need.

Borax ($3.38 for a 4 lbs., 12 oz. box), Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.24 for a 3 lbs., 7 oz. box) and Fels-Naptha ($0.97 for 5.5 oz)

I also bought a box grater (less than $10)  to use only for grating soap and a 5 gallon bucket with a lid ($2.00 at Dollar General)

A 5 gallon batch of laundry detergent will last my family between 4-6 weeks.


  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Fels-Naptha Bar soap, grated
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 quart (4 cups) boiling water


  • Boil water, once it’s boiling, add grated soap a bit at a time and stir until dissolved. I stir the entire time to ensure that there are no soap clumps, it won’t hurt the end product if there are any however. Also, adding soap to boiling water causes LOTS of foaming up and it can boil over really quick! This step will make your house smell soapy fresh!
  • Fill the 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water.
  • Add the Borax and Super Washing Soda and stir well.
  • Stir in the melted soap mix.
  • Mix very well, then fill the rest of the bucket with more hot water
  • Put on lid and you’re DONE!

I usually wait to use the laundry detergent until the next day. It will form a gel in this time. You could probably use it right away if you needed to though. I use about 1/3 cup per load.

So how much am I paying per load of laundry?

It costs me about $1.31 to make 5 gallons of laundry detergent.

Using 1/3 cup per load, I can get about 240 loads out of a 5 gallon batch=less than $0.005 per load!

The box of Borax has 9.5 cups in it, the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda has 6.875 cups in it, and the bar of Fels-Naptha will make 2 cups of grated soap.

I also make my own dishwasher detergent, stay tuned!


One thought on “Do It Yourself Laundry Detergent

  1. Pingback: Do It Yourself Dishwasher Detergent | Herbivore Triathlete

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