Monday, February 8, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Okay guys.  Here's the laundry detergent recipe I promised I would share. 

Here's what you need:


I found each of these at our local Kroger.  I had to search hard for the Super Washing Soda, but with the help of a nice clerk, we found it.
From what I have read, you can use other soaps, but the Fels-Naptha is what most people recommend.  It has a nice scent.

Now onto the steps:

First, grate 1/3 of the bar of soap.
Put soap in saucepan.
Pour 6 cups of water into saucepan.
Heat until soap melts.
Add washing soda and borax to saucepan.
Stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups of water into a large bucket.
A note about this bucket:  I did not own a large bucket, so I went to Lowe's to purchase one.  While waiting in line to pay for my new bucket, a kind man told me I could get a free one at Sam's bakery.  I thanked him, returned the Lowe's bucket to its shelf and proceeded to drive to our local Sam's club.  I was still a little skeptical, but hey, if I can possibly get something for free, I'm going to try.  Well, it was easy-peasy.  The nice bakery lady told me she had just cleaned up a few and kindly handed over this lovely 5 gallon bucket that still smelled of butter cream icing.  So, if you're a member of Sam's club, hop on over and get you a free 5 gallon bucket.

Okay, back to the directions...
After you pour in the 4 cups of water, add the soap mixture and stir.
Add 1 gallon + 6 cups of water and stir.
Let soap sit for 24 hours and it will gel.
Use 1/2 cup per load.

Note:  I doubled the recipe which is why it filled up my 5 gallon bucket.  If you go by the recipe exactly, it will only fill up half of the bucket.

You can also add essential oils for a nice scent, but I like the scent of the bar soap just fine and still use a scented dryer sheet.

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients and directions without the pictures:

1/3 bar soap
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)

Grate soap and put in saucepan.
Add 6 cups water.  Heat until soap melts.
Add washing soda and borax.
Stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups water into bucket.
Add soap mixture and stir.
Add 1 gallon + 6 cups of water and stir.
Let soap sit for 24 hours and it will gel.
Use 1/2 cup per load.

Feel free to double recipe to make 5 gallon batch.

I would love to get your feedback.  Do you make your own laundry detergent?  What else do you make from scratch?  Are you interested in making your own laundry detergent now after reading this or are you thinking "Are you kidding me?"?  I wanna hear from you.


  1. The Pioneer Woman has NOTHING on you, M! :) Pictures and everything! I love it. I'm impressed and really intrigued by how much money this would save. However, I am married to a man who used to make detergent for a living, so he's pretty loyal to the Tide & Downy. We shall see....

  2. Thanks!
    I have estimated it costs about $.01 per load, but I will give a true price once I use it all see how many loads I get out of it.

  3. This is great Marianna! Like the others, I'm so impressed with the pictures and all. BTW--I use washing soda often and find it on Amazon.
    I make my own window cleaner with vinegar, carpet cleaning solution with laundry soap/amonia/scent, and tile cleaning solution with amonia, vinegar and dish soap. Beats paying $$ for things your can make yourself, and save the environment!

  4. Look at you go, girl! My best friend also makes homemade detergent ... I haven't given it a whirl yet. I'm such a Tide girl. I want to know how it works on getting stains out of messy boy clothes!

  5. Ya'll crack me up. I didn't realize you were so easily impressed! :)
    Dianna, I still use shout and oxyclean at times. I can't imagine washing boys' clothes without them. ha!

  6. Marianna, I am really impressed! I just found out about your site today from Prissy and this is great!!! I hate spending a lot on detergent. I think you should research lotions and creams. I hear that the FDA does not regulate, according to Dr. Oz, so companies can put anything in them. He did a segment this week and you would be surprised. You can bet I will try this detergent! Keep up the good work!

  7. Thanks Kathy! I will keep that in mind.

  8. So like I am totally impressed!!! Wow!!! I can't believe I didn't know about your blog! I'm so out of the loop! So do you really like this detergeant?

  9. Jessica, I really, really do. I thought I might miss the scent of Tide, but I haven't. In fact, I really think the clothes are cleaner. Maybe it's just a feeling of no unnecessary chemicals that's nice. :)

  10. Hey, Marianna!
    I'm just now getting to your blog--you're awesome! Definitely "the woman" in my book! We do good to get the laundry washed at all, so maybe we'll try the detergent thing once we've mastered the actual laundry part--ha ha! We're terrible, and we're so glad you all love us anyway!

    I LOVE the idea about planning a night to get together. It is so sad that we all live in BG and can't get together! We miss you, too! Hopefully we'll see you soon! And I love the blog--I'm going to have to catch myself up and read all your older posts, too!

  11. My niece forwarded your recipe to me when she heard I was interested in making homemade soap. The recipe I have is for powdered laundry detergent, but uses same ingredients. It's from
    2 cups grated Fels Naptha soap
    1 cup washing soda
    1cup borax
    use 2 tablespoons per full load
    The lady who gave this to me recommends mixing the tablespoons with a little hot water before using, especially if you are washing in cold water.