Homemade Laundry Detergent

I think my sister and I are channeling Laura Ingalls these days.

We totally made our own clothes soap.

It was really cheap.  Under $7 and this will last forever!

You can totally do this too, it’s super easy.

To make about 4 mason jars full you will need:

6 cups Borax

4 cups baking soda

4 cups washing soda

4 cups Fels-Naptha bar soap (almost 2 bars)


UPDATE: This is totally your decision, but some new studies are showing that Borax powder fumes may cause reproductive harm in men.  You may try adding more baking and washing soda instead of the Borax and see how you like the results.  Another commenter made her’s into a liquid, which would cut out the fumes of the Borax:

“I have made as a liquid. I grate one bar of soap, melt in a pot of water (even let it boil for just a second, but not bubble over!) Add 1c borax, 1c washing soda, mix, make sure it’s all incorporated, and put in three different gallon containers. Add water to top and shake hard. Use around 1c per load”-Melissa

Grate the bar soap, I have read that you can use Dove or some other soap if you can’t find this particular one.

But I will say…

I live in the city.

The C.I.T.Y.

No chickens. No cows.

And my Publix sold all this stuff.

Now put it all in a bowl and mix it really well.

Also, you should know, this is very powdery and was starting to go everywhere.

Up our nose, in our mouth.

Just sayin.  Try to mix carefully.

Now put it in jars or an air-tight container.


You will need 2 tablespoons per load.

OK, here’s the deal on the HE washing machines.

HE washing machines need special soap that is low-sudsing.

And this is, so you really should be fine.

It’s totally safe in mine and my sisters.

Also the Duggars have a recipe that’s similar and they use it in HE. So there ya go.

You can make a sweet tag if you want to give as a gift.

I used cotton butcher twine to attach a clothes pin.

Then added a homemade tag that you can download here.

(Thanks Graphics Fairy for the label border)

I thought later that I should have included instructions on how much to use.

I think it would be cute to write it on the clothes pin.

Or you could attach another tag.

Happy Little House on the Prairie!

And happy saving a lot of money.


I am linking to Saturday Night Special!

The Girl Creative

The Graphics Fairy

The DIY Show Off

Making the world cuter

Someday Crafts

PS…want about 50 tips and tricks for this recipe?

The comments are worth a read:)

oh and also…

I really really want to respond to every single amazing comment. But truth is…it’s getting really hard!

So know that I love you and I love that you are here and visited my blog and took time out of your day to comment:)


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  2. Samantha 2 years ago

    I make my own soap. Could I use my own soap to make this?

  3. Carey Jenkins 2 years ago

    i make this and love it, my grandkids have sensitive skin and regular detergent breaks them out. My husband, on the other hand, needs more scent killing power. I add more baking soda, some lemon zest and a few drops of essential oil for a stronger scent.

  4. KimberlyRae 2 years ago

    Wow! I live with sons and hubby lol
    Does the 2T. DRY OR LIQUID?
    Thank you, your gift looks great!

  5. KimberlyRae 2 years ago

    Oh! What’s the shelf life…?

  6. Eileen 1 year ago

    You can eliminate the grating of the bar of soap completely by microwaving it. Put it into a LARGE bowl and microwave (I don’t remember how long, just watch it). It will puff up A LOT. You might have to take it out and take out the puffed up part, put the remainder back in, several times, and continue microwaving until it is all puffed up. Once it cools it just disintegrates into a powder. Much easier than grating.

  7. ashle 1 year ago

    I wonder, my washing machine water drains into my yard (gray water). It goes into my ditch where I have collected a lot of minnows. I also have some flowers there. I wonder what the effect of borax and washing soda has on this. I know it can’t be as bad as tide or arm and hammer. Thoughts?

  8. Good morning, I found a snippit of your post on Tip Junkie this morning, came right to the source. I love mason jars but even more what you have created;;-) I would love to have you stop by my weekend party to share. I have pinned to my huge Mason Jar board.

    On another note, I have made detergent only I did not add water kept it in dry form, I set my washer on small load, I add the dry mix and when washer is filled, I agitate, then change setting to full load, add clothes and wash!! Works great!!

    Now I am going to look around a bit more!!

    Hope that you will stop by………Have a great weekend!
    Karren xoo

  9. Lisa 5 months ago

    Where do you buy and what is washing soda ? Thanks–can’t wait to try

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  1. […] If you make your own laundry detergent, you could gift some of it in a cute jar with the recipe. […]

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