Homemade Laundry Detergent

Published by Deanna Yates on

In continuing with the efforts to have a cleaner / greener house I also made homemade laundry detergent to go along with my homemade dishwashing detergent. Although not as easy as the dishwashing detergent, I was pretty surprised at how easy it was to make. Plus, the batch was quite large so it will end up pretty inexpensive too.
I found several recipes on Pinterest…



Laundry Detergent

Source: howdoesshe.com via Kathy on Pinterest

In the end all of the recipes had similarities. Most of the ingredients were the same and included Borax, Washing Soda, natural soda, and baking soda. That’s where the differences start. Some recipes include OxiClean and some include fabric softeners. After doing research, I decided to keep my detergent simple and avoided the softeners and the OxiClean.
Make your own laundry detergent with 4 simple ingredients
I have been very pleased with how our clothes look after they’ve been washed. The smell is nice, but not over powering. In fact, they just smell like clean clothes. The recipe makes a lot and I think I’m going to have detergent for the next 6 months so we’ll see if I’m still liking the results when this batch is finished.

Simple homemade laundry detergent


  • 1 – 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (minus 2 cups for the dish detergent), found in the laundry aisle
  • 1 – 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, found in the cooking aisle
  • 1 – 55 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (minus 2 cups for the dish detergent), found in the laundry aisle
  • 1.5 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the laundry aisle

Make laundry detergent at home in minutes

Grate the bars of Fels-Naptha (Yes, this is the most time consuming part, but it’s not that bad. Just think of it like a giant block of cheese that smells nice). In a bowl, combine the grated soap, Borax, Baking Soda, and Washing Soda. Stir well and transfer to a storage container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry depending on the size and degree of dirtiness.
Side note: I store my detergent in 2 containers. One that’s bigger as the reserve and I’m reusing an old salsa jar for a smaller batch that’s easier to access on a regular basis.
That’s it! Again super simple. I’d love to know if you’ve ever created your own homemade laundry detergent and what you thought. Is your recipe similar to mine? If not, I’d love to hear it.

Categories: DIY ideas


steph · August 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I have tried using just 2 tablespoons in each load, but find that it does not produce a whole lot of suds during the wash. Is that normal or am I doing something very wrong?

    Deanna · August 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

    It does not suds up very much because it does not contain ingredients that get really foamy.

      Ryan · March 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      No/minimal suds is why it is safe for HE washers. It’s a good thing. Suds don’t equal clean.

Kimberly · August 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Have you tried this in an “he” washer? Did you use the same amount?

    Deanna · August 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I do not have an "he" washer so I am not sure. Based on comments on other blogs, I think it will work, but unfortunately I cannot say for sure.

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