Homemade Laundry Detergent

Getting clothes clean is a never-ending process that is also incredibly expensive, if you really stop to think about it. The cost of laundry detergent, whether you prefer the liquid or powder kind, is increasing all the time. Busy families with a lot of laundry can spend hundreds on detergent every year, and probably are also looking for ways to cut corners and save a little bit of cash. That’s where homemade laundry detergent comes in. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s cheap and, best of all, it works well using a few easy to find ingredients.

How much money one can save with Homemade Laundry Detergents?

I, on an average, do about 4 loads per week. For Tide liquid detergent [or any similar], it costs about $18 and lasts about 75 loads. That’s just detergent. For fabric softener, it costs around $9 for 120 loads. So for my family, I spend around $45 on detergent and $15 on softener per year.

However if you follow the below homemade soap recipes, you can make this laundry detergent for less than $20 and it lasts more than a year for me. That’s $40 saving a year.

Step by Step Guide – How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Soap

Most of the ingredients you can find in your local shop or you can order online at amazon.

First, assemble everything you need for homemade laundry detergent powder:

All your ingredients for homemade laundry soap

All your ingredients for homemade laundry soap

1) Box of borax [76 oz] Also known as sodium borate, borax is a common household chemical that can usually be found in the laundry aisle, in grocery stores or, if all else fails, can be ordered online for next to nothing.

2) Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. [55 oz] Also found in stores along the detergent aisle, this detergent booster is all-natural and can also be used as a household cleaner.

3) Arm and Hammer baking soda. [4 pounds] Look in the laundry, cleaning or baking aisles for this household staple. Find a 4 pound box or enough smaller containers to equal 4 pounds.

4) 2 14.1 ounce bars of Zote soap. This soap can also be found in the laundry aisle, as well as in hardware stores. It can be hard to find in some locales, and you may need to look online. This soap comes in pink (featuring coconut scent) or white (without a scent). A suitable substitute is Fels Naptha, a powerful bar commonly used to pre-treat stains before washing.


OxyClean. [3 pounds] – Another detergent aisle find, OxyClean (yes, that stuff you used to see in television infomericals) is a recommended ingredient in this homemade laundry detergent; however, it is not necessary to the “recipe.”

Purex Crystals fabric softener [55 oz] – This final ingredient is also found in the laundry aisle, and is another optional item. Adding fabric softener to your laundry detergent will make the mixture smell great and do a better job of softening up your clothes.


1) Using a food processor or a hand-held cheese grater, shred up the Zote soap (or Fels Naptha if that’s what you found) into small pieces. This can be difficult and time consuming if done by hand. Make sure you grate the soap as finely as possible.

shreded zote soap

2) Mix all of the ingredients together in a large, clean bucket. Layer the ingredients if you are concerned with appearance, or just load everything in there together.

mix all

3) Transfer a small amount of the detergent to a portable container, if you wish. If not, store the sealed bucket in your laundry area.

4) Now just add 1-2 tablespoon of this detergent for normal loads.

Once completed, this “recipe” will allow you to do anywhere from 200-250 loads of laundry at a cost of approximately $27, far less than you would spend annually on store-bought detergent.

Alternative Method for Homemade Laundry Soap


1 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax


Step 1 – Fine grate the whole Fels Naptha soap bar.

shredded fels naptha

Step 2 – Add 1 cup of Borax and grated soap into blender and mix it well.

Step 3 – Add the blended mixture to a bowl with remaining 1 cup of washing soda and mix well with spoon. Break up any larger chunks so that mixture is very fine.

Step 4 – Store it in a glass of jar. You only need 1 tablespoon of this detergent per load

How To Make Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

If you prefer liquid detergent, you can make that easily at home and it doesn’t cost too much. You need the same ingredients as above, the procedure is a bit different.

Here is a video showing how to make liquid detergent soap at home

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