DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY Laundry Detergent So Simple and So Good for the Family

Last week I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder making her first laundry detergent. I was pleasantly surprised that it took me less than 20 minutes to make from simple ingredients I bought. I spent about 11.00 on the ingredients and have enough left to make 5 more batches of it. I think that this will last me for sure the rest of the year.  I made a small batch to start with because I wanted to see if it would really work. Here’s the laundry detergent recipe I followed. 




DIY Laundry Detergent
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
  1. Homemade Laundry Soap
  2. 1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap (Octagon, Zote works too)
  3. ½ cup washing soda (not baking soda!!)
  4. ½ cup borax powder
  5. You will also need a small 2 gallon size.bucket. I used a tupperware cereal container and a tupperware cannister.
  1. Homemade Laundry Soap
  2. 1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
  3. ½ cup washing soda
  4. ½ cup borax powder
  5. ~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~
  6. Grate the soap (I grated mine in the food processor) and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon (a gallon is 16 cups) plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use about a ½ cup per load.
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DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

And here’s my recipe in pictures. 

Gather up washing soda, borax, and fels naptha soap. I used octagon.

Gather up washing soda, borax, and fels naptha soap. I used octagon.


My Octagon Laundry soap.

My Octagon Laundry soap.

I used 1/3 bar of soap in my food processor.

I used 1/3 bar of soap in my food processor.

Laundry detergent cooking.

Laundry detergent cooking.

laundry soap containers

laundry soap containers


Use 1/2 cup.

Use 1/2 cup.

 DIY Laundry Soap has no harmful chemicals

This is a very low sudsing detergent. There’s no fragrance either. So it’s good for you in so many ways and yes it does clean your clothes. With those ingredients how could it not? I do sometimes add booster to my whites to help whiten them. But this is my new laundry detergent of choice and am so happy it’s so easy to make. If you make it let me know how you like it.

Looking for more diy recipes?  Check out my diy recipes for laundry detergent, goats milk oatmeal soap making,home cleaning recipesdishwashing detergent and even diy air freshener for your home.






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  1. Wow thank you for this. With 3 boys in my house we are always doing laundry HUGE savings. thank you

  2. I love making my own Laundry soap… but I use my own handmade lye soap as Fels naptha causes me to breakout in an allergic reaction.

  3. Allyson Tice says:

    I love this! I use Borax in everyload and never realized I coudl make my own with it! Thanks for sharing this! I am so happy and will be making this later tonight! My hubby will be so impressed!!! LOL! Saving money is awesome!

  4. Looks very easy! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. That is such a great idea – and perfect for those times when I forget that I am out of detergent and need something in a pinch!!

  7. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I am excited to try this recipe out! I was wondering what to do with those Fels Naptha bars too!!

  8. I’ve used that same recipe..just without making it a liquid. I did kill my food processor on the soap grinding part though:(

  9. I’ve tried about a thousand different DIY detergent recipes, and so far nothing has worked thnks to my ridiculously hard water. :/

  10. What a great idea. I have never made my own laundry detergent.

  11. You gotta be careful grinding up that soap. You can eat through a good blade if you’re not careful. I’d rather visit Whole Foods and buy something green. Making my cleaners doesnt appeal to me.

  12. Shop with Me Mama says:

    I go through laundry detergent like crazy and have always wanted to make my own, it is so expensive to buy anymore! Thanks for the recipe 😉

  13. Chelsea says:

    Once all is said and done, this would save so much money on doing laundry. Thanks for sharing your “recipe” 🙂

  14. Where do you find that kind of soap that you used? I’ve never heard of any of those kinds!

    • I got it at Walmart. But I’ve seen it at all my grocery stores too. I found one that was called Octagon that worked too. It should be in the detergent aisle not the soap aisle, if my memory is correct.

  15. sippycupmom says:

    Okay, I think I could totally make this! I am going to try it!

  16. I can only begin to imagine how much money I’d save! I’m going to try it!!

  17. I have never made my own laundry soap before but considering the savings, I might have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing the directions on how to make it!

    • We have made our own on and off for several years. I love fels naphtha
      Best when I make mine

  18. karenssunnysoirees says:

    I’ve never made my own detergent before. I’ve seen it a few times on Pinterest but still never tried. I should do this!

  19. I love the idea of making laundry soap instead of buying it. I have seen it made as a powder with the same ingredients. This seems like it would smell really good, too.

  20. I didn’t realize it was so easy and inexpensive to make your own detergent. I may try making this soon because I get tired of spending so much money on detergent.

  21. I’ve used this exact recipe for our own laundry soap. I love it. I’ve also used a cheese grater when the food processor wasn’t handy. 🙂

  22. Debbie L. says:

    I always make my own detergent – Basically the same recipe as yours. I have severe psoriasis – using natural detergent makes such a positive difference to my skin.

  23. More and more people are making their own laundry soap. I haven’t tried it yet, but am getting tempted too.

  24. Janeane Davis says:

    I have never made my own laundry detergent. It seems like it might be fun to try.

  25. LOL at the Laura Engalls Wilder reference. 🙂 My gram used to make her own soap and laundry soap too. 🙂

  26. My sister in law might be into something like this. I’ll send it over her way. Pretty cool idea!

  27. Tracey says:

    What a great idea. Never thought to do this!

  28. I need to try this. I have always wanted to make my own detergent!

  29. Christina Shirley says:

    I keep seeing people make their own detergent. I’ll have to ty this sometime.

  30. Krissy Higgins (@Krissy_r) says:

    My friends keep telling me I should try this, but I am always nervous. I will have to pin this and try it out and see how it works.

  31. Krystal says:

    I really want to try to make my own cleaning supplies. Everyone makes it sound so simple! Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Desiree Morris says:

    I use this exact same recipe for my clothes! My problem now is I use a HE washing machine and I’m not sure it’s compatible with this.

  33. Catherine L. says:

    Thank you for this recipe. It seems easy to make. I was looking for some ways to save money. And making my own laundry detergent sounds like a great way to start.

  34. Kenda Smith (@RemakingJune) says:

    I really need to try this. My youngest has recently started itching at night and I really think it’s because of the laundry detergent. This would be an easy way to get rid of some of the allergens!

  35. Felicia says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve made a similar mix for dish detergent in the past.

  36. last week my husband I I talked about this but realized we couldn’t use powder detergents in our HE washer. I like that this is liquid. i didn’t know this was an option for homemade.

  37. I love DIY laundry detergents! What I wonder though is, could you add a little scented essential oil to give the detergent a bit of a scent?

  38. I love this idea of making your own soap. We go through a lot of soap each month so this might be a way for me to save.

  39. mommybknowsbest says:

    We have to be really careful with my daughter’s sensitive skin on what we use, but I’ll have to do more research on this. Love this idea.

  40. Donna Cheatle says:

    I use the exact same recipe. The only thing I do differently is with the Fels Naptha. I cut up the bar into 8 pieces, put it in the microwave for 1 minute, turn it over, cook 1 more minute, let it cool….then put it in the food processor. It turns it into a very fine powder. One bar makes about 1 cup, so you can store the other 2/3 cup until you make more detergent or make a triple batch, lol