Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Every once and a while, I would stumble upon a homemade laundry detergent recipe.  I would think to myself "I want to do that" and then I would forget.

Over the break, I decided I was going to try it.

I found one of the easiest laundry detergent recipes and headed off to the store.

My first discovery was that the grocery store had all of the ingredients; Tar-jay, not so much.  

The Recipe:

Each batch yields approximately 32 ounces (Using 1 T per load, you should get approximately 64 loads).

  • 1 bar of shaved bar soap (Fels-Naptha) ($0.99 at the store) You can use other bar soaps like Ivory, and Zote.
  • 1 cup of borax ($3.99 at the store)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (3.99 at the store)

The cast of characters.  I should have bought a lot more bars of the Fels-Naptha soap, but I wasn’t certain I would stick with it. 


The recipe suggested shredding the bar soap.  However, there were comments saying the food processor did a good job, so I went for that.  Don’t do this with sleeping kids.  It is LOUD.


I then added one cup of the washing soda and one cup of Borax and mixed it all together.


Once it was mixed together, I put it in a container, added a scoop and was good to go.

The results:

I’m amazed that this works so well.  I got school ravioli sauce out of the girls’ clothes!  That’s a huge success.

It has a nice gentle smell (from the Fels-Naptha) and hasn’t caused a reaction on any of our skin.  In fact, I was reading that many people use this soap for their cloth diapers.  I figure, if it’s good enough for a newborn’s bottom, it will be plenty good for us.

And, it is lasting for a really long time.  Believe me, we’ve done a ton of laundry this past week with our 3 day potty training event.  In fact, I’ve done at least one load every day!

Now, if I could only remember to make some homemade fabric softener, our clothes wouldn’t snap when they come out of the dryer.

Final Thoughts:

This is so much cheaper than brand (or even store brand) laundry detergent.  And, it took me less than 10 minutes to make it.  I only wish I would have done it sooner.  Saves money and time.  And, it is much cleaner and safer for the environment.

Have you tried homemade laundry detergent?  What did you think?  Were you happy with the results?  I think my inner granola cruncher is definitely showing.

*Contains affiliate links.


  1. Sandy Klocinski says

    Thanks for a great idea! I’d love to make this and start using it for the savings and the cleaning results. They will have to pry my homemade cleaners, remedies, etc from my homemaking little fingers!!

  2. Pamela Gurganus says

    I have never made homemade laundry detergent, but have always wanted to. I love this recipe because the ones I had looked at before has the same ingredients, but had you melting the soap to make a liquid detergent. I really didn’t want to get in to all of that! I’m going to give this recipe a go! Thanks for sharing. I’m all about saving money any way I can…especially when it comes to laundry products! Let us know when you make you own fabric softener. I’d be interested in that too!

    • says

      Yes, I’ve seen the melting ones, too. Seems like an unnecessary step.

      For fabric softener. I either a) put a little vinegar in the rinse (depends if you have hard a water or not) or b) most often, don’t use it.

      I use wool dryer balls and the most important thing I’ve learned to prevent static is to not over-dry my clothes. I no longer use the setting that detects moisture and dry on medium heat for only like 30-40 minutes.

  3. Kats says

    I have recently joined the ranks of involuntarily retired and need to budget tightly now, so this article was both interesting and helpful. I also have a 1 year old grandson so am looking forward to more posts about children as well.

  4. says

    Oh yes, we always do our laundry detergent, well that’s unless we get free Natural samples for review which is what we just used today. Anyway we have been doing detergent for a long time now and love it.
    It’s a simple way to do good and save some money along the way and I am one that is always up for that.
    Jay @CraftySpices´s last blog post ..Follow Who? Social Weekend Hop 120

  5. Keara B. says

    I’m always looking for ways to save money, but I’ve never tried making my own detergent. This looks super easy. :) Do you know if it’s safe for HE washers? Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. Amy Orvin says

    This sounds great! I have never tried to make my own laundry detergent before, but it should would save money. Thanks for the tips and the recipe.

  7. Michelle S says

    Thanks for the “recipe”; I have always wanted to try this out, will finally have to get around to making it this spring.


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