Homemade Laundry Detergent

Basic ingredients, and utensils, to make homemade laundry detergent.

Basic ingredients, and utensils, to make homemade laundry detergent.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Maybe you don’t like all of those scents added to commercial laundry detergents or someone in your family has an allergic reaction. Or maybe you have a well-loved quilt you want to wash and don’t want to use more harsh chemicals on the older fabric. Whatever the reason, it’s very easy to make your own homemade laundry detergent without all of those additives. You will save money along the way, too!

The basic laundry detergent recipe is as follows:

1 bar mild soap such as Ivory or Fels-Naptha

1 cup Arms and Hammer booster

1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

1 cup OxiClean (Optional)

I have used this recipe both with and without OxiClean. Since I was trying to determine what was causing an allergic reaction, I removed the OxiClean. It worked quite well without it.

The most time-consuming part is grating the bar of soap. I ended up using a cheese grater, then crumbling the smaller soap pieces with a roller.

Use a cheese grater to make soap pieces to add to the laundry soap mix.

Use a cheese grater to make soap pieces to add to the laundry soap mix.

You can use any soap of preference. Since I was trying to eliminate possible sources of skin rashes, I use the mildest available soaps: Fels-Naptha and plain Ivory.

No time to roll the soap? Not a problem, this is how it looks when you are mixing it all together. This has both the larger soap pieces as well as the smaller crumbled ones. I include both because I was playing with the different sides of the grater.

This is how the finished mix should look with little yellow dots of soap mixed in.

This is how the finished mix should look with little yellow dots of soap mixed in.

Once done, store in a container. I repurpose old peanut containers because they have handles on the back side, making them easy to lift.

To use, it takes 1-2 scoops per full load. I use 1 scoop on my household and day clothes, 2 scoops on the gardening items where the washer water turns brown.

Store finished mix and make sure to mark it. I recycle these peanut containers for my detergent.

Store finished mix and make sure to mark it. I recycle these peanut containers for my detergent.

Earlier this year, I made a batch for a friend looking for a laundry detergent without all of the added perfumes. I picked up containers similar to these at a local big box store and added a label with her name on it. She asked for the recipe so the next time I make it for someone, I will include the recipe. She was so thrilled to get this I can say this would also make a nice housewarming gift!

Charlotte