Homemade Laundry Detergent!

In my never ending effort to save money, I was reading about making my own laundry detergent. It is one of the most expensive items on my grocery list! There are a lot of recipes out there for both liquid and powder. Some of them are very involved. I don’t do involved. I like things that are quick and easy.  Yesterday I finally found on the blog One Good Thing by Jilly a detergent that was quick, easy and cheap to make! She says that it makes a years worth of detergent for $30. SOLD!

Here is her recipe:
3 bars Fels Naptha, grated ($1.33 x 3)

1 box Borax  ($5.85  –  76 ounces)

1 box Washing Soda ($4.07  –  55 ounces)

2 cups of baking soda ($0.53 cents)

2 containers of Dollar Tree Oxyclean (I bought mine at Family Dollar store…SUN Brand…$4.00 each)

1-2 containers of Purex fabric softener crystals ($6.97  –  28 ounces)

Use 2 tablespoons per load. Put it right in the barrel if you have an HE washer.

Under her recipe a lot of people commented that they are also making their own version of laundry detergent and gave their versions. After reading through all the comments and Jilly’s recipe, I came up with my own version:

3 bars Ivory Soap: $1.50, Dollar General (You can also find Fels Naptha at Pac N Save)

1 Box Borax: $4.00, Dollar General

1 Box Baking Soda, Arm & Hammer: $3.50, Pac N Save Grocery Store

2 C. Baking Soda (had on hand, so I don’t remember the cost)

Total: $8.85 plus cost of baking soda

I did not add anything for smell because it isn’t that important to me. I may add some essential oils at some point, but this concoction has a fresh smell which is good enough for me right now!

Also, I did not add the Oxyclean because both stores were out of it! Go figure.

I added 1/4 c. to my laundry instead of 2 Tbs. because we are the “more is better” kind of family. Actually, my husband is a big Doubting Thomas and doesn’t believe only 2 Tbs of detergent is going to clean a load of towels, nor will it last a year with all the laundry I do…2-3 medium sized loads a day, every day.

*As I am writing this post I have a small load of towels in the dryer. My one hand towel still looks dingy to me, so the Oxyclean is a must! I’ll check back in the stores later this week to get some and add it to my detergent.

Here is how I mixed the detergent step by step in pictures:

Your ingredients: A&H Washing Soda, Borax and Ivory Soap. Not available for picture: Baking Soda and Oxyclean.

Tools you will need:
Food processor and large tub to mix ingredients in.
Oh look! Baking Soda decided to show up!


Put your 3 bars of soap and 1 cup of Borax into the food processor to grate up the bars of soap. Don’t have an “ewww” complex about putting bars of soap in your food processor. What do you wash it in? Soap. My family freaked OUT when I did this. Don’t be like them. And if you are, take a cheese grater & build up your muscles while grating soap. The food processor took literally 5 seconds…just sayin’.

Finished project. You want it to be a very fine grainy substance. I gave it one more go around after this picture and it was perfect.

Add the soap/Borax mixture to the tub along with rest of the Borax, Washing Soda and Baking Soda. Mix and sift it all together with a slotted spoon.

Put your detergent in a pretty jar and you’re done!


If it doesn’t all fit into your laundry container, store the excess in a ziplock bag. 🙂

Jilly also has a recipe for a bleach alternative for people who have septic systems, like us! So I’ll be making that next!

Until next time, tell me what your version of homemade laundry detergent is, or if you make it for the first time after reading my post, tell me your results! My in-house mathematicians tell me I’ll save $150 a year if this works! Here’s hopin’!!

Love ya, Kids!




6 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent!

  1. I’ve been making my own detergent for years. I have become so accustomed to the slight fresh scent that when I have to use Tide or Cheer in a pinch, the perfumes are too overwhelming. The recipe I use is very close to what you use; although, I use two bars Fels-Naptha and one bar Ivory. I found the Fels removes stains a little better than only the Ivory. I have a friend who also makes her own fabric softener. That’s my next project! =)


    • Awesome! I have been pretty happy with the results! But my question is how much do you use? I think I am using too much, but then again, I’m so used to using a big scoop, I’m afraid to cut back! ha, ha!!


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