DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

Making your own detergent is an easy way to save money! I’ve been making my own for over two years now. Between that and using soap nuts, I never have to worry about buying detergent from the store again.

What you Need:
1/2 c. Borax
1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda–both can be found in the laundry aisle
1/3 of  a bar of soap (Fel-Naptha or other natural bar soap)
20-30 drops essential oils (I love using OnGuard, lemon, or Citrus Bliss)
5 gallon bucket or other large container

Begin by heating 6 cups of water. Grate/chunk/chop 1/3 of the soap bar into a large saucepan. The smaller you grate the soap, the quicker it will melt. So don’t stress if you’re throwing large chunks in there, it will just take awhile to melt. Boil until soap is melted.

Add borax and washing soda. Stir until all is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of hot water into your bucket/large container. Add your mixture and stir. Now, add 22 cups of water. Allow this to sit overnight or for 24 hours to “gel”.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

These three bottles were full from one batch.

Fabric Softener

Simply using white vinegar will cut the smell from your clothes and keep them soft. Add a few drops of Lemon essential oil along with the vinegar to a Downy ball for fresh smelling clothes!

What homemade recipes do you use to keep your laundry fresh?

10 responses to “DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

  1. Alex, I'm so glad you asked. I completely left out a step on here. I've corrected it though. I use a total of 2 gallons of water plus the actual ingredients. I wish I could tell you how long it lasted, I'm really not sure. The recipe probably looks right to you now, before I fixed it, it looked like about 10 cups of detergent–no bueno.


  2. My question is, when you mix the soap on the stove….does it flavor the pot you used? I'm concerned about my pot smelling or leaving a taste of soap.


  3. Good question, Andy. To tell you the truth, we have never noticed it. I will tell you that it does take awhile to rinse all the soap out after you're done. We have never tasted it, but you could always go to Goodwill (or any thrift store really) and get a “soap making pot”..come to think of it, I might just do that. 🙂


  4. Curious if you can put this laundry soap in the dispenser of the washer in an HE washer? Being that it is a thicker consistency, won't it clog that up??


  5. Anonymous, that's a great question, I'm glad you asked. For the last year and a half, since having the washer, I just put the desired amount (usually not quite a cap full) in the washer before adding my clothes. My washer doesn't have a “drawer dispenser”, as I'm assuming maybe yours does? I would like if you shake the detergent really well before adding it to the wash, it would be okay.


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