Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
Author: Anna Newell Jones

homemade laundry detergent recipe

Turns out laundry detergent is super easy and cheap to make!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe…


– Baking soda

– Borax (it sounds like a mega strong chemical but it’s not)

– Hard soap (Fels Naptha or Dove. I found the Fels Naptha in my local non-fancy grocery store in the laundry aisle)


– Use a serrated knife to grate the soap (or a cheese grater if you’re up for cleaning it really good later on)

– Combine 1 cup of soap flakes, 1/2 cup of Borax, and 1/2 a cup of baking soda in a plastic re-sealable baggie (freezer size is ideal)

– Seal the baggie and shake the ingredients together

– Use 2 TBSP of the mixture per load


– Let the detergent dissolve in the hot washer water before adding the clothing. To save energy switch the water back to cold after the detergent is dissolved

– Use an old laundry detergent bottle cap as your scoop and leave in the detergent baggie so it’s super handy when you need it

– Be sure to super clean any kitchen tools you use to make the laundry detergent (I failed to do this and ended up with a semi-soapy meal. Oops!). Even better? Dedicate an old kitchen knife or garage sale cheese grater to be used specifically for laundry detergent making

– This is a super simple recipe and the grating part is the most time-consuming step. I make a double-batch of the laundry detergent to make the most of my time.


Printable PDF of the Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe


This homemade laundry detergent really works! Have you tried making your own detergent before? Think you’ll give it a go?


in DIY, Food, Groceries, & Recipes, Things To Do


  1. merna // April 24, 2013

    you can’t dissolve the laundry detergent in an HE top loading machine….any other tips? ? ? you have to load the detergent in bottom then clothes then lid locks…..

  2. merna // April 24, 2013

    I want to go powder green, but always have used liquid. Worried about powders w/my septic and HE machine. Will it gunk it up? Also when would you put the vinegar in? In the Clorox dispenser?

  3. Janae @ Bring-Joy // April 30, 2013

    I also would like to know if this is okay for HE machines…

    • Anna Newell Jones // May 28, 2013

      You know, I’m not sure. But it’s the same consistency as powdered laundry detergent. If you can use powdered laundry detergent in the HE machine I bet it would be fine. Could you to a trial load to see?

  4. Amelia // May 25, 2013

    I make one similar to this, I bake the baking soda first, to create washing soda (cheaper and easy, its suppose to clean better..for some reason) and use borax and fels-napta or Ivory. I make a big canister at a time though, I have found that the little scoops that come in shakes, powder milk, or baby formula work great for measuring this detergent!! I love it

    • Anna Newell Jones // May 28, 2013

      Making it in bulk is definitely the way to go. It can be time-consuming so get the most bang for your time and bulk it up- totally agree with you!

  5. VICTORIA NEMEC // June 17, 2013

    I use a coffee grinder to make soap flakes. I first chop up the soap into mini-chunks with a heavy duty knife. I then put a handful of mini-chunks in the coffee grinder and ~voila~ laundry soap flakes…so easy! I find coffee grinders at garage sales and thrift stores dirt (no pun intended) cheap! I also use washing soda, not baking soda in my laundry soap recipe. I will have to try Amelia’s tip above to make homemade washing soda out of baking soda. Thanks!

  6. Rose // February 27, 2015

    I think I will try the laundry detergent recipe. I’ve been using the eco friendly cleaners and detergents for a while but would love to change over and make my own so I’m glad to see you’ve posted interesting recipes. I recently bought a 1 kilo box of Bi-carb soda at Coles in the cleaning products aisle.I was very excited as I have also been looking for bigger boxes.

  7. Irma // August 29, 2015

    I also made my own detergent with the same ingredients but, I mixed the dry ingredients in a clean bucket then I boiled 2 gallons of water and poured it in the bucket with the ingredients and mixed it till it all disolved. After it cooled down I poured it into some rinsed gallons of milk. So now I have some liquid laundry detergent that works just as well.

  8. Michelle // December 21, 2015

    How much money do you think you save by using homemade detergent? Just curious and definitely going to try it.

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