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Homemade Laundry Detergent

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Have you ever considered making your own laundry soap? If you haven’t you should. I have been making my own for over four years. I’ve always been able to get a pretty good deal on laundry soap. But this homemade laundry detergent recipe makes 2 gallons and costs less than $1.00. I paid $1.50 for 50 ounces of regular detergent it was on sale and with a coupon. So about $7.50 compared to $1.00. That is a fantastic saving! I was able to find all the products at my local grocers. I paid $2.99 for the Super Washing Soda, $2.69 for the Borax and $1.00 for the Fels- Naptha bar. 

You’ll need:

1/2 cup Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup Borax

1/3 bar Fels-Naptha ( You can use Ivory but use 1 whole bar)

2-gallon bucket

container(s) to store soap

Grate the 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha into a large saucepan.

Add 6 cups of water

Heat over medium-high heat until the soap dissolves / melts.

Add Super Washing Soda and Borax.

Stir and heat until dissolved.

Remove soap mixture from heat.

In your bucket add 4 cups hot water and soap mixture.

Mix, then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of additional water to the bucket. Stir.

You can transfer it into your containers now. Use a large bucket with a lid or empty laundry bottles. I even used a mason jar. Let it sit for 24 hours before using. It will be a watery gel consistency. It may separate so shake before each use. I have been using this for years now and haven’t had any problems. 

Looking for other homemade products? 

Homemade Foaming Dish Soap

Homemade All Purpose Spray Cleaner

I share at these Parties

34 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent”

  1. Katie @ Little Becky Homecky says:

    You will never look back!! That stuff is amazing! AND SO CHEAP!! Way worth it!!

  2. Lynne says:

    We have also finally taken the plunge…..but my enthusiastic husband made 5 gallons worth of the concentrate. It is in a big bucket down in the basement, I refill the small pour spout container that we saved from our last purchase of liquid laundry soap with a 50/50 mix of the 5 gallon bucket solution and water. You do have to remember to shake it up before you measure it into the washing machine. I was told by one friend that her clothes started to smell funny if they hung in her closet for a week or more without being worn, but I have noticed absolutely nothing like that. We will NEVER buy laundry soap again.

    1. Diane says:

      I am so glad to hear you’ve had such a good experience with it. The cost and how easy is to make is unbelievable. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  3. mer says:

    I’m glad you posted this – I’ve tried the dry powdered version but it has to go in the barrell of my HE washer because of the big grated soap. Your version would work better, and end up cleaning better!

  4. Jenny says:

    I have been wanting to try this for a while! I hate paying for laundry detergent!

    Stopping by from the Networking Blog Hop…I would love if you would come say hello 🙂
    Modern Modest Beauty

  5. Sara @ Learning the Frugal Life says:

    We love our homemade laundry soap! We have been using it for a couple years now. Thanks for sharing at the Frugal Tuesday Tip. This can definitely save you money!

  6. The Old-Fashioned Housewife says:

    This is great! I havent yet seen a recipe for liquid laundry detergent, and Ill have to pin this and try it. Do you know, can you just use any laundry soap bar? I buy this all natural laundry soap bar from the Bulk Barn, and I wonder if I could use that instead of Fals Naptha or Ivory? Homemade stuff is great… I just made homemade dishwasher detergent this week and its working great. thanks for the share, found you through Frugal Tip Tuesday.

    1. Diane says:

      I would use your all natural soap. Increase the amount like you do with the ivory. I can’t wait to try your recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent! Thanks and thanks so much for stopping by.

  7. Elise says:

    Cute blog! I’m a follower from a blog hop, would love if you followed back at

  8. kristen says:

    love it! we have been making this recipe for a few years now & i don’t think we will ever go back to store bought. it’s just so easy and the huge bucket lasts forever. we used to use fels naptha but can’t find it now that we are living in tx so we’ve switched to zoate. i’ve also made it with castille.

  9. Holly says:

    Great idea. I’ve thought about doing this too. Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party.

  10. Bonnie says:

    I make my own soap too. I use the Duggar Family recipe. I think it’s the same as yours, but makes 5 gallons at a time. It lasts me months and saves me so much money.

    Stopping by from the All Star Block Party.

  11. Kathy (aka Mrs Dull) says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this too! Thanks for sharing it with us at Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday!

  12. Jessi says:

    Awesome, thanks for linking this up at The Fun In Functional! I’ve been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for a while now, but we still have some store bought stuff left and I can’t just throw it out! But soon, and then I’ll come back and try this recipe!

  13. Debbie says:

    I have been saving containers to put the soap in when I make it. My bucket got cracked so now I need to get a new one of those too. Hoping to go to Walmart this weekend to buy up what I need. This will be exciting to try. If I like it I will make some for Christmas presents

    1. Debbie says:

      P.S. I will add the recipe for them to make themselves.

    2. Diane says:

      That is a great idea Deb. I love homemade gifts like that, especially with the recipe.

  14. Carri Wright says:

    I love this.. I really need to try this….

    Thanks for sharing at the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY

  15. Claiming Our Space says:

    I have been looking for a liquid version of homemade laundry soap since liquid seems to work so much better in our washer. One question, how it this for sensitive skin? Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

    1. Diane says:

      I used to always buy the sensitive skin or dye and acent free types because my husband has allergies. This hasn’t bothered him at all. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      1. Claiming Our Space says:

        Wonderful! Thanks!

  16. Connie says:

    Hello! It’s good to have you link up with me 🙂 I have thought about making my own, just seems like a lot of work. You make it look easy. Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. Debra says:

    UGH I JUST bought laundry detergent yesterday! 🙂
    Will have to try this the next time!

  18. Grandma Kc says:

    I am really going to have to consider this idea. My concern is Grampy’s exercise clothes. He exercises and sweats hard and so far Tide has been the only detergent to leave them smelling clean. But I will at least think about it as it would save some money, that’s for sure!

  19. April @ The 21st Century Housewife says:

    Thank you for sharing this frugal idea!

  20. Sarah @ Nature's Nurture says:

    I love our homemade laundry soap. I’ve been making both the liquid and powder version for over a year now and would never go back! Thanks for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

  21. Kirsten says:

    What a great idea! We go through laundry detergent so fast in our house. I should really start making my own to save some money. Thank you for sharing this at our Summer BBQ Bash!

  22. HappyMrsBass@Like A Mustard Seed says:

    Awesome! I started making this same recipe (only 5 gal) last year and it works like a charm. My husband especially likes it because his laundry doesn’t smell “fruity” when it’s done. LOL! I love the fact that we save so much money too! Thanks for linking up to Living Green at Like A Mustard Seed. 🙂

  23. Christine says:

    Gotta try this!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can’t wait to see what you’ll be linking up this evening!

  24. Kathy says:

    But is it ok to use in HE washers?

    1. Diane says:

      I don’t have one so I can’t say from my own experience.

  25. JULIE says:

    How much do you use per load?
    Thanks. 🙂

    1. Diane says:

      I use about 1/2 cup for a full load Julie.

  26. Michelle says:

    I’m really looking forward to making this! I just have a question that I’m hoping you can help with. Some recipes I’ve found for this say you can use Zote instead of Fels Naptha. The bar of Fels Naphta is 5.5 oz and the Zote is 14.1 oz. I suppose it should go without thinking, but should I use about a fifth of the bar of Zote? Thanks so much!

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