How to make your own Laundry Detergent

Producing your own organic, do-it-yourself laundry detergent is probably one of the simplest parts of a switch to organic living. This natural washing soap recipe the best way to save cash on laundry detergent and it is amazingly very simple to make. This amazing homemade laundry detergent post is a refreshed edition of this recipe that deals with high-efficiency washers and borax safety.

Why change to natural laundry soap, you may ask?

Standard laundry detergent is filled with chemical substances like sulfates, aromas, phenols and more. Many brand names contain things such as petroleum distillates, which are connected to cancer and lung disease. Aromas within these detergents are made of a mixture of dangerous chemical compounds.

Fortunately, making your laundry soap product is an easy and quick process! You simply need three common ingredients to produce either a powdered or liquid washing soap product:

  • Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer Brand which you can purchase at many stores, depending on your location)
  • Borax (sold in most groceries and retail stores)
  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap (unscented)


Washing Soda and Borax are sold at your neighborhood supermarket in the laundry aisle. Organic bar soaps are found in the health, beauty, or natural and organic sections of the store, or on the net. You can add a few tablespoons of baking soda that will help freshen clothing.

Wonder what’s found in these ingredients? Borax is a naturally-occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It is an ingredient in many of the organic soaps available now however it is significantly more inexpensive to produce yourself.

Washing Soda, also known as sodium carbonate or soda ash, is produced with regular salts and limestone or found as organic deposits.

Here’s how you can easily make your own natural laundry detergent:


  1. Grate the bar soap or mix in food processor until thinly ground. Make use of soap of your choosing. I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap as a result of its really good quality, and because it is sold in many different pure fragrances like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, almond as well as others.
  1. In a sizable container, mix two parts washing soda, two parts Borax and 1 part grated soap. (Put in a few teaspoons of baking soda if preferred).
  2. Store in a sealed container. I put mine in quart or a half a gallon-sized mason jars. If you’re using a huge enough container, you can surely skip step 2 and just put every ingredient in storage container or jar and shake.
  1. Use 1/8 to 1/4 cup per a load of laundry.


Here’s a quick and easy way to make liquid Laundry Soap:


  1. Grate one bar of soap with a cheese grater or food processor.
  1. Put the grated soap in a pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, constantly stirring until soap is dissolved.
  1. Put 4 and a half gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until it is dissolved.
  1. Pour soap mixture from pan into a 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
    Cover and leave overnight.
  1. Shake or stir until it is smooth and pour it into gallon jugs or other containers.
  1. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load


With these recipes, you save money on your detergent expenses. A Five-Gallon batch costs $4.30 and thoroughly cleans at least 80 loads that cost about $0.05 per wash!

When I didn’t have a lot of money, I used the off-brand soaps: Zote, Fels Naptha, Hispano, Trader Joe’s or Dr. Woods Castile Soap, and vinegar for my fabric softening needs. I found that the off-brands produced much more soap (in smaller quantities) than the brand name laundry detergents. Since I have sensitive skin, I’m going 100% natural when it comes to my laundry needs because I found out many years ago that scented fabric softener is scented only to mask the chemical odor…and it turned out to be true. A lot of people don’t really understand what exactly goes into what they consume and use on a daily basis. The Google search results speak for themselves:

When I had enough money to wash and dry my clothes, but none left over for laundry detergent, I used shampoo or dishwashing liquid (and sometimes grated bars of soap).  I prefer using organic, but when you’re low-income, sometimes you have to use whatever is available until you can afford to buy what you need. I find that Suave , White Rain, Ivory and V05 shampoo really gets my clothes clean!

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