Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I found this cool recipe online and thought about trying it myself. Making your own laundry detergent can be extremely cost effective in the long run, and I like the idea of being able to do it myself without much effort.

The recipe is extremely simple:

  • Bar of soap
  • Washing Soda
  • Borax

I purchased 3 bars of soap at the dollar store, and found both the washing soap (Arm & Hammer brand) and borax (20 Mule Team brand) at my local grocery store for about 3 dollars per box. The total cost for all the supplies was about $8 after taxes. Each recipe does about 60 loads of laundry, and your supplies will last you at least 4 batches of detergent.

There were varying opinions about how much of each ingredient to use, and most recipes I found online called for 1/3 – 1/2 bar of soap to 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax. I chose to use a higher amount of soap in my recipe, but you can adjust this accordingly.

How to Make

  • Use a couple tablespoons of your detergent per load of laundry. What I did was save a cap from an empty bottle of detergent, and use that as my measuring guide. For me, half a cap of my homemade detergent cleans one large load of laundry – including muddy jeans!Grate 1 bar of ivory soap (or soap of your choice) into a container. I used a hand grater I bought at the dollar store.
  • Pour 1.5 cups of borax into the container with the soap
  • Pour 1.5 cups of washing soda into the container with the other ingredients
  • Using a spatula or large spoon, mix the ingredients thoroughly. Make sure there are no large lumps, as the soap tends to stick on the bottom.
  • Once you are done mixing, place the soap in an airtight container and label it.
  • It’s that easy!!

This super effective detergent takes perhaps 5 minutes to make, and can cut down on your costs by 50%, compared to purchasing normal detergent. Plus, its eco-friendly!


Emily August 26, 2011 Blog, Featured, Frugal shopping, Non-bird