Homemade Laundry Detergent

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There are recipes for homemade laundry detergent all over Pinterest. I think it is almost as popular as chevron. LOL! However, I’ve had several requests from readers and neighbors to share the recipe that I use, so I thought I should oblige. I have been making this homemade laundry detergent for over a year, and I can honestly say that is works just as well for me as the spendy stuff I used to buy. homemade-laundry-detergent

I have four active boys and a toddler, and I have been very happy with the cleanliness of our clothes. Seriously.

I will tell you though that I still use Tide with Bleach (or bleach) with my all white batches like the white church shirts and white dish towels. But other than that, I use this stuff on everything from jeans to towels to delicates. And it gets them all clean.

I know some of you will ask how it smells. Basically it just makes your clothes smell clean. Now I’m kind of a psycho when it comes to laundry, and I like everything scented. Like a lot. If you have four boys, you might understand why. 😉  I use Downy, because I love having my clothes (and especially my sheets), smell amazing. But that is just me.

Tried and Tested Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup Oxiclean

Place the grated Fels Naptha in your blender, then pour the remaining ingredients on top. Blend till it resembles coarse sand. Pour into a container with a lid. I have soft water and a front loading washing machine, and I use about a Tablespoon of detergent per batch. Usually less. For sheets and towels that don’t actually get “dirty”, I use about half that. For clothes that come home from overnight scout campouts in the smoke/mud/grass/whatever I use a little more. I’ve never used more than a tablespoon and a half.

Note: This detergent doesn’t make a lot of suds, so it is great for HE washing machines.

Update: I got a few questions about the cost, so here is a cost breakdown of the homemade laundry detergent vs. Tide.

I buy Tide at Costco. It is $23.50 for a bottle that does 110 loads, so it costs 21¢ per load.

Homemade Detergent with ingredients bought at Walmart, none of them on sale:
Fels Naptha soap: $1
Borax– $4 for 76oz, so for 8oz it is: 40¢
Washing Soda– $3.25 for 55oz, so for 8oz it is: 40¢
Baking Soda– $3.50 for 80oz, so for 8oz it is: 32¢
Oxyclean– $9.50 for 80oz, so for 8oz it is: 96¢

That comes to a total of $3.08. The batch makes about 5 cups, and you only use 1 Tbsp per load, so that comes to 4¢ per load.

If you do 10 loads of laundry a week, in one year you will spend:
$109.20 using Tide
$20.80 using homemade laundry detergent

That is $88 in savings!! I can think of a lot of things I rather spend $88 on instead of dang laundry! What about you?

Linking up with: Love of Family and Home, The Shabby Nest, 504 Main, Design, Dining, and Diapers,


  1. I have seen a lot of “make-your-own-laundry-detergents” out there and I have always been skeptical. But since I trust you I might have to give this a try! How much do you really save on this as opposed to Tide would you say in a ballpark figure??

    • Renee,
      I actually had several people ask, so I did a cost break down and included it in the post. But basically Tide cost me 21¢ a load, and this recipe costs 4¢. I do 13-15 loads of laundry a week, so I save a ton of money! 🙂

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