How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making my own Homemade Laundry Detergent was the very first “Natural” change I made to our lives.  This change occurred when I was pregnant with my daughter, now 5, and I started buying clothes for her.  I wanted her clothes to not be cleaned with harsh chemicals.  I made my first batch, realized how easy and money saving it was an was hooked.

Why Should We Use Homemade Laundry Detergent?

First, we’ve all seen pictures of the dangers of using the pods of detergent.  How they look like candy and may be ingested if not kept out of reach.  I trust my kids that they wouldn’t confuse them with candy, but why risk it?


Secondly, the detergent itself has many TOXIC chemicals present.  I know many will say “So, what, it’s what I’m used to and it hasn’t hurt me yet” but you don’t really know that for sure.  Do you tend to have dry, itchy skin?  Or allergies or chronic nasal decongestion that you can’t figure out? Or even worse, cancer!  Let’s take just simple allergies for example.  Do you constantly feel stuffy nosed and try Claritin and other OTC medicines to combat this problem only to feel groggy.  What if those allergies were caused by the fragrances or other chemicals used in your laundry detergent.  Would you make the switch to breathe easier?

For me this is a no brainer.  Sure, it’s next to impossible to rid our lives completely of the chemicals we are surrounded by everyday, but every little bit helps you live a happier, healthier life.  So why not?  There are some excellent articles and information out there about several of the dangerous, cancer causing, chemicals in traditional laundry detergents. But the biggest offenders in these detergents are:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Phosphates
  • Linear Alkyl Sodium Sulfonates (LAS)
  • Alkyl Phenoxy Ethanols
  • Artificial Fragrances
  • Quaternium 15
  • Polycarboxylates

Why take the chance with your health and the health of your family by using detergents with these ingredients? We also have natural detergents available to use in stores.  But for this mom, they can be budget breaking.  For the cost of one small bottle of a natural detergent at the store, I can buy the ingredients to make over a years worth of detergent.

Your initial investment will be right about $10, but keep in mind, while this will get you enough Borax and Washing Soda to make 5+ batches, you’ll most likely only buy 1 bar of the soap, and need to purchase a new bar when you are ready to make another batch.  My Washing Soda and Borax don’t last quite as long as 4 batches because I do use them for cleaning other areas on my house, such as the bathroom!  But these boxes will still make me about 3 batches.

So, How Do You Make Homemade Laundry Detergent?

You will need:

  •   1 Cup of Borax (if you do not want to use Borax you can substitute it with Baking Soda or double up on the Washing Soda)
  •  1 Cup of Super Washing Soda
  •  1 Bar of Soap (when my daughter was a baby I used Ivory so it was gentle, I typically use Fels Naptha OR Organic Melt & Pour Soap Base)
  • Grater, to grate the soap
  • Medium Saucepan and a Spoon or Spatula
  • A Bucket (we use a Cat Litter Bucket)

The steps are fairly simple.  The most time consuming aspect is grating the soap.  I use a simple Dollar Tree grater for this purpose and grate it directly into the saucepan


Once fully grated down you want to fill the saucepan with water and put it on medium heat on the stove.  It’s okay if adding the water bubble the soap a little bit.  There is no specific amount of water you need to add here, the point is simply to melt the soap down completely.

Once melted down you want to pour the soapy water into your bucket.  Next add 1 cup of Borax (or Baking Soda or Washing Soda) and 1 cup of Washing Soda.  Now all you need to do is stir the mixture until the powders are dissolved into the hot soapy water.  Once dissolved simply fill the bucket with hot tap water while stirring, it will foam up a bit, and this is fine.  Once your bucket is filled with water all you need to do is let it cool.  I stir the detergent about once an hour and it will thicken to an opaque gel consistency as it cools.  If you’d like to add a scent to your detergent you can add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.


Once cooled you will use 1/3rd a cup for small to medium loads and 1/2 cup for large loads.  This is HE Washer Friendly, and you’ll use 1/2 cup per load in an HE washer.

Overall each batch costs about $3.25-$3.50, depending on your stores prices, and will give you anywhere from 160-180 loads of laundry.  Meaning each load of detergent costs you roughly 2 cents!

Here is a step-by-step video I made showing you how to make your own Laundry Detergent.

Now I also know that more recently it’s been fairly easy to find these ingredients.  I remember when I first started making my Homemade Laundry Detergent and would discuss it online with friends, they would say the stores near them don’t carry Borax or Washing Soda.  Or, you may simply feel too buy to get them and grate the soap.  I wanted to give people the option to buy a Homemade Laundry Detergent Kit, where you get the three main ingredients needed to make.  If you are interested in purchasing a Kit, there is a button below to purchase.  *Purchase price of $9.99 includes shipping.  You also have the option to select if you want the Borax, 1 extra cup of Washing Soda, or Baking Soda!




First Ingredient Options

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