Homemade Laundry Detergent

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2020)

There are many reasons why a person would want to use homemade laundry detergent. The biggest reason for me was economics—I was just plain tired of spending money when I could make my own and save money. It really isn't hard to do. It does take some discipline, but it does save money, which I like to do.

Here are the ingredients you will need for a basic laundry detergent recipe:

  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 2 cups grated bar soap
  • 2 cups borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 2 gallons water

When making the laundry detergent recipes you can use any type of soap that you want. There are some that work really well and you may want to try them first. I like Ivory Soap the best, but other soaps that work equally well are Zote, Fels-Naptha, and Kirk's Hardwater Castile. However, you do not want to use soaps that are heavily perfumed. (Sometimes it is difficult to locate Fels-Naptha locally; you can find it online and check it on Amazon.)

If your clothes begin to look dingy when using the homemade detergent, you may have to adjust the recipe. This may be something as simple as adding more borax or less depending on what type of water you have.

You can find washing soda and borax in the laundry and cleaning aisle at your local supermarket. They are usually next to each other in the same aisle.

Grate your bar of soap so that it is finely grated. Boil your water. After your water has come to a boil add the grated soap. Turn down the stove to a low heat. Keep stirring the soap until it is melted. Pour the melted soap into a large, clean pail. Stir the borax and washing soda into the pail with the melted soap. Keep stirring until the borax and washing soda are all dissolved. Add two gallons of water, stir the mixture until the mixture is mixed well.

You have two choices at this point. You can cover the pail and use 1/4 cup of detergent for each load of laundry. Remember to stir the soap before using it. (The soap will gel.) Or, you can pour the laundry detergent into old laundry detergent bottles. Use the old cap as a measuring tool and l/4 cup of laundry detergent for each load of laundry. Shake the bottle each time you use it. For the liquid detergent I saved up some of my old laundry detergent bottles ahead of time and they worked out just great. It is normal for the detergent to be lumpy with a gel-type texture. Be sure to shake or stir before using.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...

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