DIY Powder Detergent


Do-It-Yourself Powder Laundry Detergent

What you need:
bar soap (Fels-Naptha, Dr. Bronner’s or other natural bar)
Your finished product will be a 1:1:1 ratio. One cup of Borax, 1 cup of washing soda, and 1 bar of shaved soap. I used 3 cups+3 cups+3 bars.To “shave” your soap use a cheese grater orget out your chef’s knife and cutting board and cut it up as small as you can.

That’s it: combine the three together, mix well to coat the soap pieces. Use one tablespoon per load.



Is this, or other homemade detergent okay to use with high efficiency washers? I had the same question. After some research, I found out that companies are getting away with charging us more for “special HE detergent” with only one difference: the soap doesn’t sud as much as traditional soaps. Now, this is important because your HE washer uses less water than traditional machines, thus high suds would result in soap not being rinsed out of clothes. To answer your question, YES, this formula is safe for HE machines as it does not sud hardly at all.

  Do you make your own laundry detergent? If so,what do you use?


11 responses to “DIY Powder Detergent

  1. Dude! Was starting to wonder about you! I am using this laundry soap and LOVE IT. But i dont own a cheese grater so i had to use my microplane for the soap. Took FOREVER, had to bring in the hubs to finish it. I almost always wash clothes on cold/cold and this works great. (the homemade dishwasher soap is a whole different story!)
    p.s. I agree with the Pinterest Effect, but I also think there is a lot more push for the reduce/reuse/recycle mentality due to the economy-people are looking for more affordable options. Me? Don't want the toxins and sick of going to the store to buy the same stuff over and over and over!


  2. Jill- that's so funny. I'm finally on the bandwagon. I bought some detergent, and after talking to Mom, realized just how expensive it was to buy. So we made some. Do you use this same recipe? I have found that my Ivory soap doesn't completely dissolve.

    Pinterest Effect–I should coin that term huh? tehe.


  3. Okay here's the cynic in me or devil's advocate if you will: You're buying three products in order to replace one. Even if they are cheaper in total price, you are consuming three times the packaging.


  4. ^Christina-you may have to buy 3 things at one time. BUT those 3 items will last you WAYYYYY longer than than 3 boxes of detergent. Just sayin.

    JAM-This is the 'recipe' I use, but I used Fels-Naptha. I could not find it anywhere around me, so I ended up ordering on Amazon.


  5. Aunt Christina- I like devil's advocates..its keeps us talking. 🙂 Like Jill said you do have to buy 3 things, it does last longer. But you can also use the ingredients for other things as well–soap (obvious uses) and borax for A LOT (including a homemade ant bait we made). As for the packaging, the soap is the only thing I can't recycle and all three boxes/packaging combined is still smaller than those big 'ol detergent bottles. 🙂


  6. Look for the Fels Naptha in the laundry aisle. I found it down low on a shelf next to the washing soda. I will grate mine finer the next time I make it. I also bought a bar to use by rubbing it on some of your Dad's extra grimy clothes.


  7. After making lye soap and scrubbing on wash boards, I'm sure our ancestors thought boxed wash soap was the cat's meow.
    Personally I love my Tide and with my HE washer use very little soap so a jug lasts forever plus my water consumption is halved. And grating soap, no way esp. with soap balls left in items. aunt bev


  8. Mom- I am going to use all of my Ivory soap before I buy anything else. However, I am going to try to rub some of that on some of Kevin's grime too!

    Aunt Bev- I think our ancestors probably think we're lazy too. haha. I didn't not like my store bought liquid detergent, but the idea that I could make my own and save money at the same time was enough for me. I have already thought about whether or not I can keep up this “natural, whole food, back to the basics” lifestyle after having kids. It will be a challenge, but it's something I'm passionate about so I hope I can.


  9. Emily- I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you find some of my posts helpful. I too have seen several ways to make liquid detergent. However, at this present time I can't have a 5 gallon bucket of detergent sitting around, lol!


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