Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
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🧴 Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

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Homemade Laundry DetergentI love making my own detergent.  I know I have saved hundreds of dollars over the last few years by doing this.  I’m still using the original ingredients that I purchased almost 4 years ago.  I also like knowing what ingredients have gone into my detergent.

When I first looked into making my own, I quickly decided that I wanted to have separate utensils for this process.  I went to the second-hand shop and found an old cheese grater, a wooden spoon, an old pot, spoons, and a couple of cups.  One of the cups is for making the detergent, and the other stays in my laundry cupboard for measuring the detergent on wash day.

It’s a good idea to use rubber gloves when making the detergent.  A little baking soda in your gloves means they won’t be sticky or smelly.

Liquid Detergent


  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 bar of inexpensive soap, grated (find a soap that smells good to you)
  • 3/4 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of Borax
  • 10-gallon bucket for mixing
  • 4 1/2 gallons of water


  • Pour 6 cups of water in an appropriately sized pot and place on low heat.
  • Mix in the grated soap and continue to heat until the soap has completely dissolved.
  • Add 4 ½ gallons of water to the 10-gallon bucket. Add the soap and hot water mixture to the bucket.
  • Now slowly add the Borax and washing soda while stirring.
  • Continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
  • All the work is done; just let the concoction sit for 24 hours and it’s ready to use.

An Alternative Liquid Detergent

I like this mixture so much that I also use it as a dishwashing liquid.  Please note that this detergent does not foam up like a commercial liquid, but it definitely gets things clean.



  • Mix the soap flakes and the hot water together and stir until the soap flakes are thoroughly dissolved.
  • Cool until just lukewarm.
  • Add the glycerine and the essential oil.
  • As it cools down, this mixture will gel. When it is cool, break it up a little with a fork.
  • Spoon the mixture into an old jar or plastic container with a wide neck.
  • I keep a cup and spoon close by.
  • Optional:  I spoon a dessert spoon into the cup, mix with hot water, and then pour the liquid into the washing machine or into the water while the kitchen sink is filling.
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Powdered Detergent



  • Combine all ingredients in a plastic or glass bowl one at a time in the order listed. Make sure to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next ingredient.
  • Add the vinegar very slowly to the baking soda; it will bubble up and may overflow.
  • When you add the liquid castile soap, blend it all together immediately. If you wait, the solution will get hard and really tough to stir.
  • Store in a non-metal container with a lid. Use approximately ¼ cup per load of laundry.
  • If you prefer fragrance in your laundry soap, you can buy scented liquid castile soap or add 5 to 6 (or more to your liking) drops of essential oil to each batch.

Next time you’re at the second-hand shop, pick up some items to help you make your own detergent.  Then make your choice of which detergent to make and start saving money!

More Laundry Detergent Recipes