Making Laundry Detergent

This one was made by a mix of members and smoothed out by Jennifer V.!! Thanks:)

Trying to find a wallet-friendly laundry detergent? Perhaps you or a family member has sensitive skin and you are looking for a perfume-free alternative, OR maybe you’re like me and you are on a DIY binge.

Consider this:

A 48-load (1.17 gallon) of HE Tide liquid detergent goes for $17.99 at Target.
A 96-load (1.17 gallon) of HE Tide ULTRA detergent goes for $17.97 at Walmart.
A 110-load (1.33 gallon) of HE Tide with Acti-lift detergent goes for $19.98 at Sam’s Club.

What if I told you that you could make 10 gallons (320 loads) of your own laundry detergent for $1.63, and that it works on both top-loading (regular) as well as with front-loading (high efficiency) washing machines.

Here’s the breakdown:
  • 1 box of Borax costs approximately $4.00. (I get it for cheaper actually) One box will give you enough for 19 batches.
  • A 4-pk of Ivory soap costs approximately $3.00, way less in some stores! Each 4-pk will give for 4 batches. You will eventually have to buy 5 of these 4-packs to use up just ONE box of the Borax.
  • 1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda costs approximately $4.00 and will be enough for 6½ batches. You will eventually need to get 3 boxes of this to use up just ONE box of the Borax.

(Remember you don’t have to buy ALL the ingredients for the 19 BATCHES of the laundry detergent right off the bat, you can just buy other ingredients as you need them once you start running out of the Super Washing Soda and the Ivory bars.)

Here’s the financial break down for the full 19 batches:
  • $4.00 – 1 Borax
  • $12.00 – 3 Super Washing Agent
  • $15.00 – 5 (4-pks) Ivory soap
Grand total? $31.00

$31 ÷ 19 batches = $1.62 per batch
1 batch = 10 gallons
10 gallons = 320 loads
$1.63 ÷ 320 loads = $0.00509375 per load!

Interested? Here is the recipe for the homemade laundry detergent!

You will need:
  • 1 bar of soap - grated (any soap will do but try basic ones like ivory or fels naptha...if you prefer you can also use a castile soap).
  • 1/2 cup of borax (can be found in laundry aisle of most grocery stores).
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Agent (make sure it says "washing agent" as the regular baking soda will NOT work), it can also be found in laundry aisle.
  • One 5-gallon bucket.
  • HOT water

Lets make it!!
  • Grate the bar of soap.
  • Put soap in saucepan and add water just enough to cover soap.
  • Melt over medium heat (will be thick).
  • Add borax and super washing agent powders to the empty bucket.
  • Add hot water (the hottest possible from your tap) to bucket, fill half-way.
  • Add the melted soap to the bucket and stir until everything is well blended and powders are completely dissolved.
  • Fill the bucket the rest of the way with cool water.
  • Stir once again, then cover loosely and leave to set overnight (might take a wee longer)
  • Laundry soap will be ready once it attains a slight jello like consistency

I use a tide bottle that has those pour spouts built into the bottles. Fill your container half way with the above laundry mixture, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with water making sure to shake it before each use.
(I actually use a immersion blender to fully mix it as I am filling my container…funny enough, I use an empty tide bottle that has a convenient pour spout)

Use 1/2 a cup (ok, more like 5/8 of a cup) per top loading laundry machine load. You use less for front loaders.

Oh and 19 batches?
19 batches = 190 gallons
190 gallons = 6080 loads

$31.00 = 6080 loads vs $35.98 for 192 loads of the brand name listed above…convinced yet?

My family has been using this homemade detergent for over a year now, our clothes come out VERY clean and over this past year our clothes have not shown any fading!

Give it a shot!!

If you like this idea then you will love the rest all of our members come up with everyday in our Home Farm Ideas group and page! Join us so we can all help each other:)

God Bless!!


  1. For my laundry detergent I use Fels Naptha instead of the Ivory. I also don't add the water & use it as a powder. It's been doing the trick :)

  2. Nice!! We will be posting another blog the lays out making the power detergent:) Be sure to subscribe for all future updates!

  3. You can use: 3 T washing soda, 3 T Borax and 3 T original blue Dawn in your old 1 gallon liquid laundry container. Add the first 2 ingredients to the container and fill halfway with hot tap water. I usually walk away at this point to let them dissolve. Then add the blue Dawn (yes, it has to be original formula) and slowly fill the rest of the container. I've tested it every which way possible (even the "Oops! I forgot it for 2 days!") and it comes out beautifully. It pours out like water from the tap, so that may scare some people off, but it works great. No color fading or leaching.

  4. I am with Sarah. That's how I make mine. It works well especially on my toddlers clothes.

    1. Also, no allergic reactions that I've seen:)