Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been making my own laundry soap for a while now. I started off with this recipe, boiling soap and what not. I remember feeling thrilled to make something like this on my own, and desperately wanting to do something different, anything counter-cultural to enhance my family life.

In the end, the whole soap boiling and cooling and pouring was too time consuming and I lost my gusto. . .

Until I spent some time on Pinterest, and I found this recipe. It has the same basic ingredients as the first one, with a few extras. But most importantly, it is a dry, powder detergent. That means no boiling!!! Oh, and it works great, too!

This is what I use:
  • 1 box of Borax
  • 1 box of Washing Soda
  • 1 4lb. box of Baking Soda
  • 1 3-5lb tub of Oxyclean (I've used Sun brand, too)
  • 2 bars of  Fels Naptha (I've used Zote, too, but prefer the other)
  • 1 or 2 containers of Purex Crystals (pick how much or how little of the fragrance that works for your family)
Before combining everything, the soap bars need to be grated, of course. You can do this the old fashioned way with a hand-held grater. Or, you can use a mighty food processor, which will give you a much finer grate. (If using kitchen gadgets in this way strikes you as odd, just remember that it's soap and you can rinse it off!) Also, if you like Zote, it comes in flakes, thus eliminating the need to grate the soap.

When you combine it, do not just dump everything in together. Instead, mix a little bit of each ingredient together in layers at a time. I mix mine in a 5-6 gallon bucket and then store it in the Oxyclean containers I've saved over time.

It works great and lasts for a long time. I use just about 2-4 Tbs. per load, depending on the dirt factor of my laundry load. I haven't calculated what it costs per load. However, I can tell you that the cost for all the ingredients is about $30 and I only make it about once per year. Not bad, huh?

This is how I make mine, but please be sure to check out the original recipe for tips, pics and more!
Ladies, I hope you find this to be a useful way to bless your families and save money, too!


  1. I've tried home made detergent and our clothes were so dingy with the liquid recipe. Now I would like to try a dry recipe but my husband is reluctant

    1. Tiffany, I hear you and I can understand the hesitancy. I've noticed that our clothing is much cleaner now. I think that the liquid recipes are just too diluted. Hopefully you'll get to try it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for sharing your version of homemaking laundry detergent. I love how much money it saves!! Please join in again next week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Stacie!

    1. Hey, JES, thanks for hosting. Yes, we save a lot of money and my girls love to help me make it.

  3. I've been making that liquid version for years and it IS a pain. Our clothes were dingy, too, and so I started adding a cup of salt (for hard water) and one cup of Oxyclean or Sun. That has helped, but it still isn't perfect. I have considered trying a dry recipe, but hadn't done it yet, I think I'll definitely give your recipe a try!

    1. Oh, Courtney, I do hope you get the chance to try it out. It's much simpler to make and it works better.
      Please let me know what you think if you make it. :)

  4. This is just what I've been looking for! Are the Purex crystals just for fragrance? I'm thinking I might leave them out, as long as it doesn't affect the performance of the soap.

    1. Hi, Meredith,
      Yes, I use the Purex Crystals for fragrance. But if you're not into the scents, I don't think leaving them out would effect the soap powder. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you!!


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