Making my own laundry detergent

Saving money and cutting cost can be very difficult in any family.  These days, it seems that our grocery bill just seems to be getting more and more expensive as we continue to cut out processed foods and increase fresh whole foods to our diet.  When we began this process over a year ago, I began to look for other ways to cut expenses on consumable products.  Around that same time, some of my friends started talking about making their own laundry detergent, and I thought I would try it for myself.  I am now hooked!  I had no idea how simple it was to make detergent, nor how inexpensive it is.

One thing I was concerned about is how it would mix with the water – I have had issues with some detergents making our clothes smell funny depending on where we live and the water we have available to wash with.  I also questioned how well home-made detergent would actually clean our clothes.  I mean, companies put a lot of money into developing and marketing enough detergents to fill an entire isle at the store, could it really be that simple to make my own?

I am here to tell you that YES it is that simple!  I have never had any issue of my clothes smelling funny while using home-made detergent, and my clothes are just as clean if not more so with our detergent vs. the popular brand name detergents I was buying from the store.  And, best of all, I have saved literally hundreds of dollars over the past year on laundry detergent alone!


This is the recipe I use.

1 bar Fels-Naptha Laundry soap

1 cup Borax

1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)

Grate Fels-Naptha Laundry soap. I like to put mine in the food processor to save time.


Combine grated Fels-Naptha Laundry soap, Borax, and Washing Soda and mix until well incorporated.


Use 1 Tablespoon per load.

And, that’s it!  Very simple.  I have used this with a regular top loading washer and a front loading high efficiency washer.  It works great in either one.  For a really dirty load you can use 2 Tablespoons of detergent, but I’ve never needed to use more than 1 Tablespoon.

I know picking up a bottle or box of detergent at that store is a lot easier, but this really doesn’t take much time.  I make a quadruple batch each time I make it which takes maybe 15 minutes and it lasts us approximately 6 months for our family of 3.  Being a stay-at-home mom, it really makes me feel good that I can save money for our family which makes my husband very happy! 🙂

Happy washing!! 🙂

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10 Responses to Making my own laundry detergent

  1. Chris says:

    Can this be used for people with a gluten allergy?

    • I would think this would be fine for gluten allergies. After a quick Google search, I don’t see that any of the products used have any gluten-containing ingredients. You can always make a small batch and if you have a reaction, discontinue use.

  2. Pingback: Saving money by “working” for my family | More Than Simply Living

  3. samantha says:

    Do you know of anyone who has used this detergent with children with excema or very sensitive skin??

    • Yes! I have several friends who have children with sensitive skin and use this detergent without any problem. Many have started to use this because of their issues with so many other detergents! I would suggest trying a small batch and see how it works for your kids. Would love to hear the results!

  4. Amber Jones says:

    This is the same exact recipe that I use. I love the smell so much!

  5. Lorree says:

    I have seen this before and am looking forward to trying it! Somehow, regardless of the stage of life we are in, we always need to look for ways to save money, don’t we! My question to you is where do you find these products? They may be simple to find, but it would be nice to know before I run out to get some! 🙂

    Thanks, Kimberly!

    • They can all be found in the laundry detergent isle of any grocery store. I get mine from Wal-Mart, and they are actually right together on the same shelf. I always look for the box of Borax (like the one in the picture) and then find the rest along side it. Just be sure that you buy “Washing Soda” and not “Baking Soda” as they are also side by side on the shelf. I’d love to hear how this detergent works for you! 🙂

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