Homemade Laundry Detergent

One way Phill and I like to spend our time is trying out new “DIY” projects. We have fun looking up new projects, trying them out, and then evaluating whether it is worth the time (and money).

Our latest project: homemade laundry detergent.

There are recipes for homemade laundry soap all over the internet. Every recipe we looked through had their own quirks, but all of them essentially have the same ingredients. After reviewing a dozen or so, we picked one out and gave it a go.



What you’ll need for this batch:

  • five gallon bucket with lid
  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup washing soda
  • 1 bar of laundry soap (found in the laundry aisle at your local supermarket), shredded with a cheese grater
  • A tall stirring utensil
  • Water
  • Essential Oils (an added bonus for a fresh scent)

Step One: Heat 2 cups of water on the stove and add your shredded bar of laundry soap. Stir and stir until the soap is good and dissolved.


Step Two: Add in the borax and washing soda. Stir, stir, stir.

Step Three: Pour the mixture into your five gallon bucket. Fill with water until the bucket is about three quarters of the way full (We found this was most easily done in the bathtub). If you’re adding in essential oils, now’s the time to add them (we used 10 drops of lemongrass and 10 drops of eucalyptus). Stir for a good ten minutes to make sure everything is well blended.


Step Four: Snap on a lid and let your laundry detergent sit overnight, at least 24 hours. You should have a gloppy texture. When we made this batch, a good portion of the washing soap had formed a layer at the top of our detergent. Just a quick stir and it was good to go!

Step Five: Enjoy washing your clothes, towels, and diapers knowing that you are a self-sufficient woman (or man)!


In the end, making our own laundry detergent was enjoyable, super easy, and saved us lots of money.

Our cost analysis:

  • Bucket and lid: $4.65 – found at our local Home Depot
  • Borax: $3.97 for a box – $0.18 for ½ cup
  • Washing Soap: $3.97 for a box –  $0.35 for ½ cup
  • Fels Naptha laundry soap: $0.97 for a bar

Our grand total for four gallons of laundry detergent was $6.15 because we had the initial start up cost of the bucket and lid. Our next batch of laundry detergent will only cost $1.50. Typical laundry detergent runs around $10 and you walk home with less than a gallon. Y’all, we’re making 4 gallons for a buck fifty. Score!


I can’t believe it took us so long to get around to actually testing this out. Needless to say, this DIY project was a success! The whole process took less than half an hour and helped us save big on laundry detergent. I can also rest assured knowing exactly what is in our laundry detergent and knowing that by using homemade laundry detergent I am limiting the amount of chemicals we encounter on a daily basis.

Seriously, y’all – go buy some borax and get to laundry detergent making!


Until next time, may your laundry baskets be empty and your heart be full.




3 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. […] Laundry detergent is easy to make, more cost effective than store bought varieties, and has no “unknowns”. Use baking soda and vinegar to disinfect and clean your counters, bathrooms, and stovetop. Freshen up your homemade cleaners with drops of lemongrass or orange essential oils. Cleaning doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. Most people already have everything they need to make natural cleaners in their pantries. Plus, not only will you feel productive for actually cleaning your home, but it’s a double bonus knowing you made the cleaning agents as well! […]


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