5 Homemade Laundry Detergents

I’ve never made homemade laundry detergent. Oh, it’s been on my {too} long to-do list of things I eventually want to try my hand at making. But much like homemade toothpaste, I just haven’t gotten there yet.

(It’s probably because I’m pretty satisfied with the natural and eco-friendly detergent I am already using!)

I have, however, been collecting homemade laundry detergent recipes and pinning them to my “For the Home” board on Pinterest. Maybe one of these day I’ll get around to making these.

In the meantime, you can try one of these homemade laundry detergent recipes and tell me what you think:

1. DIY Powdered Soap Nuts

This recipes from Eco-Friendly Family looks phenomenal. I have tried soap nuts a few times and still have some leftover from my last Jenuinely Pure review. I love that they are 100 percent natural!

This recipe is unique from other homemade detergent recipes in that it appears to be cloth-diaper safe! (In my eBook, I recommend staying away from many homemade detergents because those that use soaps like Fels Naptha or Ivory can leave residue on your cloth diapers.)

Image by Stacy Makes Cents

2. No-Grate Homemade Laundry Detergent

This detergent sounds like a detergent after my own heart! One reason I’ve never delved into making my own homemade laundry detergent was the grating. I don’t even like grating cheese; why would I want to take all that time to grate soap?

(Ok–I know I must sound really lazy here! But I am a mom of three little ones!)

Now, I haven’t tried this yet, but this is another homemade laundry detergent recipe that at least appears to me may be cloth-diaper safe! Since I use Dawn dish soap to strip my cloth diapers, I would not hesitate at least using this homemade laundry detergent on them occasionally.

3. Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

This one had me at “easy.”But, it does require some soap grating. However, the blogger does make it look not very hard at all–with the use of a food processor.

Image by moonlightbulb

4. Homemade Liquid Soap Nuts

As it suggests, this homemade detergent also uses the perfectly natural soap nuts as its base! Although I believe powdered detergent dissolves better when washing cloth diapers, I actually prefer using a liquid detergent to wash clothes.

5. Homemade Castile Laundry Detergent

Here’s another liquid laundry detergent. This one doesn’t require any grating and uses one of my favorite green cleaners–Castile soap!

Have you ever made homemade laundry detergent? How did it turn out? What’s your preferred laundry detergent?

Top image by brittreints

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  1. Joni says

    I make my own laundry detergent and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I use to use Armand hammer detergent and loved it because it takes the pee smell outta clothes and when you have a potty training toddler that comes in handy plus my son had a medical conditioner where he wet his pants till he was around 9 years old so i spent a lot of money on detergent. But after making my homemade detergent it’s just as great although I don’t have toddler or babies now mine are 9-13 but all 3 are boys and they sure do know how to get dirty lol

      • Judy Brandt says

        I have three boys and two of my three get so dirty just made my first batch of soap and my HE front loader broke before I could try it but I did try it in the laundry mat and let two other people try it and gave them the info to make their own waiting for a part will be happy to finally get back to my LG washer its been perfect since 2001.

    • Heidi says

      Hi Joni, I am wondering if you are willing to share your homemade recipe? I am looking for a great laundry detergent that I can make. Thanks!

      • says

        Hi Heidi (and everyone)
        I don’t know which one Joni uses, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one:


        The ingredients are: Arm & Hammer WASHING Soda / Borax / Fels Naptha & Water.

        Fels Naptha is a laundry bar soap. IF you can’t find it (most walmarts etc have it) I have used Zote instead – not as good. I’ve read you can sub any bar soap (ivory). I like to put my laundry on the soak cycle for 10-30 minutes, especially stinky towels or boy clothes. I no longer get that funky laundry stink. I was floored how great this stuff is. I’ll never go back.

        It’s fun & you feel good about making it your self. Not to mention how super inexpensive it is!! Have Fun!! ~Portia

        • Marianne says

          Hi Portia, I made the same soap about a month ago and absolutely LOVE IT too! I have 5 boys!!! It smells clean without extra scents and its softer than the high priced Tide pods I used to use! I will NEVER buy laundry soap again!
          Oh and just a heads up for the folks in Canada, we don’t get Fels Naptha here. Actually it’s was hard to find ANY kind of laundry bars of soap here. But i finally found and used Sunlight bar soap that I was able to find only at Superstore! I haven’t had a problem yet with it not cleaning or leaving a residue! :)

        • emily says

          I’ve been using this “recipe” since 2012 and LOVE it. I prefer Zote, though, it seems to keep our clothes whiter than Fels Naptha, but they are both awesome.

  2. Lori says

    I have made it before in several different ways, and it doesn’t work as well as I had hoped. The best all natural eco- friendly laundry wash IMO is Molly’s Suds. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t bother my daughter’s eczema. Our clothes come out CLEAN. It may seem costly but you only need 1 TBSP even in a top load washer, and so a 4 lb. bag lasts months for my family of 3. I will never use anything else on my family’s laundry.

      • Jessi says

        Erin, I love your blog! Thank you for sharing this list. I feel as though homemade laundry detergent has taken over my brain and I’d like to have the space back for more productive things…..what brand laundry detergent do you use? I’m sure if I did through your posts and comments I could find it but…..
        Thanks in advance, Jessicahassett!

    • Shelly says

      I just read the ingredients list for Molly’s suds, Sodium carbonate sourced from the Green River Basin in Wyoming, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate(heptahydrate), unrefined sea salt, organic peppermint (mentha piperita) oil. This should be easy to replicate. Sodium carbonate is washing soda, sodium bicarbonate is baking soda, magnesium sulfate is epsom salt, unrefined sea salt is just sea salt and organic peppermint oil is peppermint essential oil. I found the following recipe on pinterest. Borax-Free Powdered Laundry Detergent http://www.notsomodern.com/borax-free-powdered-laundry-detergent.html/ I would probably use less baking soda than washing soda because washing soda is a more efficient cleaner and it is listed first on Molly’s Suds ingredients also. This recipe may not be the exact measurements they used but the ingredients are usually listed from most to least so I am sure they used mostly washing soda and baking soda followed by each of the following in decreasing amounts. Very cheap ingredients. The company is charging $21.99 for 4 lbs of Molly’s Suds and they are putting in less than 5 dollars worth of ingredients. Of course they have to charge you for their labor, packaging and make a profit, but that is what all companies do. You can save a lot by buying your own ingredients and mixing and packaging them yourself.

  3. Jen says

    I’ve made the grating soap detergent but didn’t make it again when I found out about the soap residue affecting cloth diapers (I was only using it on my regular laundry, but I’m wondering if it was still affecting my diapers). I recently made the one with dawn and it was SO easy and I haven’t had any problems. Haven’t used it on my cloth diapers, but I feel like it would be safe to do so sometimes (like you said!). I also think my clothes come out cleaner with the dawn version – the smell is fresher. But maybe I’m just imagining things since I want the easy detergent to work better 😉
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    • says

      Haha about wanting the easier to detergent to work better! That sounds like me! Yes–I just have had a feeling the soap would leave residue on my diapers or machine, so that’s the main reason I’ve stayed away from those. Maybe I will try one of those recipes after all my kids potty train–but that will be a while! So glad the Dawn one worked for you! It sounds so easy, and I would feel perfectly fine using it on my regular laundry and don’t think it would be too bad on the diapers either!

    • Jen says

      Could you give me the recipe for the laundry soap with Dawn in it? Have made the recipe with Fels-Naptha and noticed a residue also…

  4. Sarah Yoder says

    Since I am a very busy mom of 5 we have not tried a lot of homemade laundry or any detergents. But we found a very great product called waush. It’s supposed to be all natural and earth friendly. Would like for you to try it and tell me what you think it’s said to use only 1/4 to 1/2 oz. of soap per wash load and it really does work good. They also have stain removers that I Really like! Please let me know if you are interested. Thanks!

  5. Amber says

    I grate my soap with a grating attachment for my kitchenaid stand mixer. FYI tell your husband your making laundry soap not food ;). My hubby thought I was baking and took a taste.

    • says

      That’s hilarious! OK–I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and didn’t even know they made that attachment! I do have an attachment for my food processor. I’ll have to try using that when I try these!

  6. Elaina says

    I’ve done a homemade detergent with fels-naptha, baking soda, borax and washing soda. We weren’t very pleased with it, and didn’t feel that it dissolved well in cold water washes. I suspected it might be leaving little spots that looked like oil stains on our clothes. We’ve switched back to Nellies all natural laundry detergent which we used for years before I tried to make my own, and always loved. I’m not really sure why I felt the need to make my own. They even have a large bucket you can purchase that brings the cost per load to just over 12 cents (that’s including the shipping cost). I’d also be cautious about the ones that use castille soap and vinegar and/or lemon juice. I’ve read a lot online that says these things shouldn’t be mixed with castille soap because they break it down and render it ineffective.

    • says

      Thanks for your thoughts and experience, Elaina. I have always wondered about the soap.I’ve heard great things about Nellie’s!! I personally use Country Save. I got it for a STEAL from someone on Craigslist. She bought a TON on Amazon and then realized it wasn’t for her. It’s lasted us for forever! Maybe I can check into Nellie’s when I finally run out! :)

    • Michele says

      I have been using the felsnaptha bar recipe with borax and washing soda powders. I melt the bar soap in a pot on the stove, stirring it. Then I add the powders and stir them till they melt in. I use a cup of each. Then I courage hot mix into a large bucket and add another gallon of cool water and mix. It works supper wel getting out stains and odors and the two gallons lasts months. From reading responses I would say the pre-melting on the stove is important to having successful results with the bar soap method. I only use about half a cup per load. I hope this helps someone!

  7. Janet says

    I have been making my own. I made my first batch with fels-napa and am just getting low. I already bought stuff to make more but this time I bought zote soap, I am not sure if it leaves reside or not, but I have learned that in town I could buy bar castle soap. I will use that for that for the next batch. I just know what I have made takes care of the smoke filled clothes of my fire fighting hubby. That is with just a vinegar rinse. I call that good soap.

    • Kanna says

      I use the zote soap, borax and washing soda. I make the liquid. My husband is outside and welds and does all the messy greasy yucky things along with food down his shirt… lol i still have to use Shout but other than that the soap works great . I always use warm water so.

  8. Tiffany says

    I’ve made two batches of laundry soap so far; I made two gallon batches each time although the recipe could easily be doubled to 4 gallons. I used Fels Naptha, borax, and washing soda. The first time, I grated the soap, and like you, I quickly tired of it and instantly wished I had another method. I then searched the web for recipes that microwaved the soap first.
    The second time I made it, I microwaved the bar of soap for two 30-second intervals, waited a few minutes so it was not too hot to handle, cut it in chunks and put it in my food processor. I processed it until it was pretty much a powder. That whole process took about 10 minutes total, and it only took that long because I have a really small (1.5 cup size) processor.
    Here’s my blog where I described exactly what I did including the microwave update: http://nicoletn11.blogspot.com/2013/03/homemade-stuff-laundry-detergent.html
    Here’s the website where I originally got the recipe and instructions: http://whynotsew.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-make-homemade-laundry-detergent.html

    And like other commenters, I use vinegar as a rinse/fabric softener.

    • Kanna says

      I use vinegar also. But use Downy dryer sheets that I get on sale and with a coupon. Making my own detergent has saved me alot of money over time.

    • Linda Wientjes says

      I made my soap exactly the same way you are describing how you make your laundry soap. I have made it by adding the water, but I do not like the water where I live so I started making the dry detergent. I think cooking it in the microwave first might dry the fels naptha out so it does not leave spots on the clothes. I can not see the point in doing all that work with adding and mixing in the water.

  9. says

    Thank you for sharing so many different DIY recipes. I typically use a recipe that’s like #2 – No-Grate Homemade Laundry Detergent but I’m interested in trying #1 – DIY Powdered Soap Nuts and seeing how it compares.

      • Ashley says

        It doesn’t apply to sal suds! We have been using sal suds to give an extra boost to our cloth diapers…and its very effective in keeping the stinkies at bay…although they always come! THEY ALWAYS COME! haha. I am still looking for a good cloth diaper routine. We us Sal Suds with a lemon infused vinegar to clean, and its amazing.

  10. g says

    thanks for your post. i use the same ingredients as #3 and i really like that it’s so easy. it requires grating the bar of soap, but that is IT. just two kitchen utensils– a grater and a spoon (or whatever, to mix it all up). very little clean-up, few ingredients and few tools needed. no other energy expelled (microwave, stovetop,… ). BUT more importantly, as mentioned by other commentors, #5 is NOT reliable. see here: http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292

  11. Alisha says

    Can anyone tell me where I can find the Nellie’s soap? I prefer powdered laundry soap and have been using Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha with a vinegar rinse for months. I love the low cost and how fresh and clean my husband’s many uniforms (police and military) are now. I just didn’t know the Fels Naptha was leaving a residue. I also like the Fels Naptha because it is made in the USA; Zote soap, (which I have tried), is not.
    Does anyone know if the Nellie’s soap would have a problem mixed with vinegar?
    Thanks for your input!!

  12. Beth says

    Country Save is basically Borax, washing soda, mild soap, and sometimes oxygen bleach (unless I am reading the ingredients wrong). So it seems like it would work very similarly to many of the homemade detergents. I have always used homemade detergent on my diapers, but we mostly use pre-folds and covers so maybe I don’t have the same issues someone using microfiber would have? I have read reviews of Country Save leaving residue too, so it probably depends more on your water quality and how much soap you are using.

  13. jen says

    hoping to try this next week *when i get money*. will it help with itchy sheets? (i dont have bed bugs)glad I found your website :)

  14. David says

    I just made my first batch of soap with:
    (1) 4lb box washing soda
    (1) 4lb box baking soda
    (1) 4 lb box borax
    (1) 3 lb container OxyClean
    (1) Zote bar (pink)

    I’ve only done a few loads, but everything seemed to come out nice and clean.

    For the Zote, I grated it with a cheese grater. It literally took less than 2 minutes to grate it all down, just like cheese. Then, I took a handful of the shavings, and put it in a food processer WITH a little of the baking soda. It was all pulverized into a fine powder in about 5 seconds. I have a really small processor so I did this about 6 times or so. Then I mixed all the other ingredients together in a large container.

    So far, no complaints, but I’ve literally only done a few loads. But, one load was some “garage towels” that we use to clean our dog’s feet before she comes inside and wipe up everyday “garage messes.” A few of those towels were even white towels, and they came clean.

  15. Aisha says

    I have been making my own detergent for 6 months. I cannot say that is it 100% Natural (I add something else for softening) however, I will continue making it. I LOVE the way my clothes smell, look, and feel. Much cheaper and the ingredients are almost all natural (80%) so it works for me and my family. Also, my friends have started ordering it from me!

  16. Patty says

    I use the original recipe that you have posted, but I make it a liquid. I start by shredding one bar of Fel-Naptha soap and heat it in a large pot with 4 cups of water. After you dissolve the fel-naptha, add your 2 cups of super washing soda and 2 cups of borax, mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once you can comfortable touch the soap, put 2 cups of the “floating solid soap”, 2 cups of liquid from the pot and 2 cups of water from the tap in the blender and liquidfy. It stores well in an old laundry detergent bottle, but you need to remove the pour spout. I find that this works really well and no oil spots. You only need to use 3 to 5 tablespoons depending how soiled the clothing is. I find it works better with my top load washer to put it in the tub and start running water in ask load in the clothing. Hope this helps.

  17. says

    I make my own. Recipe is grate a couple bars of Ivory soap, add a cup or so of baking soda or washing soda, and a little borax. Usually I just put it all into a big jar and use a measuring spoon to scoop out a few tablespoons into my load.

    I’m allergic to the perfumes and dyes in normal detergent, so I find this quite easy on the skin, and it’s cheaper than buying the dye-free detergents. Those with a lot of skin allergies sometimes have issues with the dye-free detergents as well.

    This works fine for normally-soiled clothes. I have not yet had any spotting issues. If you have heavy stains, you do still need to use a separate stain-removal product.
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  18. says

    I love to do laundry and want to try some of these home made recipes! I could include a recipe in with the “vintage style” clothespin bags I sell. I want to reach women that STILL line dry their clothes… Great input from the women that have used the home made detergents.

    • K says

      I’ve been using the homemade recipe for about 2 years. Love it! I have a HE washer. I use the Fe ls-naptha soap. And I have always line dried our cloths . Makes a huge difference. Also I use a small food processor to grate the soap. And if you use vinegar for your softener it will actually help in keeping your washer clean and fresh.
      GO GREEN!!

  19. Tammy says

    I have been using the homemade (powder) for about 8 months now, and we are just now using it up. FYI.. we are a family of 5, 1 in high school football, the other in wrestling, and a gymnast. That being said, I do about 8-10 loads a week. And the following recipe I use is phenomenal, and it is completely safe for the HE washer/dryer, which is what I have. I just put it directly into the tub. I hate grating too, but it really didn’t take long. My daughter, (who is 6), helped too. It took us about 10 minutes to grate the 3 bars. I was a die-hard Tide user, even though I was allergic to it. I wouldn’t switch for ANYTHING. My allergy got so bad, it sent me to the ER b/c I couldn’t breathe, so I tried this. I LOVE it! I love it MORE than Tide, and it costs about $18 bucks to make, and it’s lasted my family of 5 for 8 months!
    1 Box of Super Washing Soda [3lb 7oz]
    1 Box of Borax [4lb 12 oz]
    1 Box of Pure Baking Soda [4lb]
    3 bars of your choice of laundry bar soap, [5.5oz size]
    1 container of Oxy Clean, or equivalent [1.3lb]
    1-2 containers of fabric softener beads of your choice [28oz]

    Finely grate the laundry soap. Mix all ingredients together and store. It only takes 1-2 tbls of detergent per load. (I usually use 3 of the Purex Cystal cap fulls of detergent.)

  20. Becky says

    I make mine by grating and used my shredder on my Bosch:) took seconds. I then put my grated soap in a canning jar that was actually labeled soap and my poor hubby thought it was cheese and started to take a pinch and told me to throw it out because it smelled funny:)

  21. Krista says

    I make my own laundry soap using castile soap, washing soda, and baking soda (and it is cloth diaper safe). I hold off on the vinegar until the rinse cycle, to use as a softening agent, because it does break down castile soap and ensures a good, clean rinse. My diapers do occasion require a little stripping, but I am very happy with how this detergent performs on diapers and clothing!

  22. Jamie Garcia says

    We just use the liquid detergent recipe on the duggar family website, it breaks down to less than 5 cents per load I believe (non-HE machine, HE machines is less than 1 cent per load). I made some more than a year ago and I still have 1 gallon left (I have 3 under 5yo and a husband in HVAC, we do a TON of laundry here). What I love about it is it’s CHEAP, I cut $15-20 off my monthly food bill by using this laundry detergent, I have very bad exema on my hands and it doesn’t affect it, and you can customize it with EO (we use peppermint and lavender). It’s so worth the 20 minutes to make it!

  23. Jennifer Smith says

    I have an idea. Use a box of Kosher salt with your homemade detergent, you may have hard water so it would soften the water so you may not get that residue. When income tax comes in I am going to make my own laundry soap and dishwasher tabs. I use vinegar as my rinse agent in my dishwasher. It works great. I do not have any spots at all.

  24. Lori Lockwood says

    I have made the easy home made- laundry detergent- I made both the liquid and the dry version. I made them both about a year ago- using Fels Naptha soap -and I have used the liquid Most of the time. Both seem to work equally well. I also use white vinegar as fabric softener. Here is what I have learned. This laundry detergent is 10 x better than any name brand I used before. Even with a husband that eats on the run and drips grease on his shirts- stains that if I didnt catch it and pretreat would be ruined- I no longer have to pretreat- It comes out in the wash- cant prove it but I believe it also removed some of those spots that I didnt catch before and dried in the dryer before I found them.- I am not suggesting you try this on purpose but I will NEVER go back to the big name brands. It smells good with the fels naptha without adding any other fragrance – doesnt leave a residue and doesnt make my excema challenged family break out or itch !

  25. Tanya W. says

    I make my own by grating bar soap (Fels Naptha, Zote or unscented bath soap), baking soda, borax, and washing soda, and I use it powdered (1 bar, and 1 cup of each powder). I let the soap dry out a bit before grating with a coarse cheese grater. When everything is added, I shake it, then grab handfuls and smoosh it in my fist. This breaks up the bar soap into bits the size of the other ingredients. It takes about 10 minutes to make a batch. The big selling point for me was that the “homemade” detergent resulted in cleaner clothes and fewer hard water stains than with store-bought detergents.

    For the dryer, 8 unscented, felted wool dryer balls took about 30 minutes and $10 to (not including felting time). They reduce dryer time and disposable waste. I line dry inside sometimes, outside rarely, as wind is often too strong.

    Stains are pre-treated by soaking overnight in a strong (1 TBSP/Gal of water) solution of laundry soap, then rubbing a bit of bar soap into the stain, just before tossing it in the laundry.

  26. Traci says

    I’ve been making moms super laundry sauce from budget 101.
    I made the cooked version until I discovered the same recipe for dummies. It’s quite simple and effective for our large busy household. I have 8 children. Three are grown and they all use this detergent though they don’t live at home anymore!!! Even with three children gone our household total is seven! That’s a lot of laundry. Each batch if laundry soap I make costs less than $2.00.
    For 1 batch of laundry soap:
    You cut up 1 bar of Fels Naptha into cubes and divide it into 2 canning jars. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water in each jar, put a lid on the jar…..leave it for a day or until you are ready to make your laundry soap!!!
    When you are ready to make your laundry soap cut an X in the gelled mixture before adding to each jar:
    1/2 C Borax
    1/2 C Washing Soda
    Enough boiling water to meet the shoulder of the jar.
    * If you want to add scent this is the time to do it but it’s optional. When adding scent I add 1/4 C Gain Fireworks

    Now the fun part :
    Dump it all in your kitchen aid mixer with your whip attachment and slowly begin. As mixture thickens gradually increase the speed until you have reached a whipped mayonnaise like consistency. Your mixing bowl will be pretty full… So get more jars and a funnel and fill those jars full of fluffy wonderful goodness. I typically get three or four jars from each mixer bowl. Remember you’ve only made 1/2 a batch so far. What an economical laundry soap….and here’s why: it only takes 1 tablespoon of this laundry soap pr. load !!!
    My parents even use this after years of using Amway.
    Can’t say enough about this laundry soap.
    Go to budget101.com and look for moms super laundry sauce. There’s a long list of feedback to answer questions/issues.
    Happy laundering !

  27. Amy says

    I have made both liquid and powder laundry soap and I prefer the powder. The cheese grating was a turn off to me at first but I have used both my Kitchenaid Mixer to shred the Fels Naptha bar (it’s soap so it’s not as if I’m using something harmful for the next time I use it for food) and then I saw a tip to microwave the bar and it sort of puffs up and then you can break it up with your hands. It was messy but it worked, it sort of turns into a fine powder but the corners were a little harder to mash up so I used my meat tenderizer. Either way, I really like the blend and my clothes seem to be coming cleaner. I have a top loader, it’s about 15+ years old and we have well water…

  28. LaDonna Mazzorana says

    Just a caution….I just scanned the comments, mind you not read in detail….PLEASE, PLEASE, learn about your ingredients before you use. I would want to research all the ingredients, make sure there are not cancer & disease causing agents as in some dish soaps, etc. Good resources would be Dr. AXE, Dr Mercola & Dr Hyman to start with. Know what you are putting on & in your families bodies. The last 100 years we have been filtrated with chemicals that are little by little accumulating in our bodies and killing us. There really is no mystery with cancer and other diseases that are rising at alarming rates. All these chemicals are a long way from Genesis 1:29 wellness. The enemy is out there to deceive us from being all that God has for us…. with lack of knowledge. Be Blessed (& informed…LOL) Genesis 129 Wellness

  29. Suanne says

    I never grate my bar soap. Place in microwave for 3 min, let cool. Soap changes to something easy to grate. Then place in food processor. It becomes a perfect powder. You may want to cut bar into 3 pieces before processing.

  30. Kasey Adkins says

    If you’re worried about the residue try using a Downy ball with a half cup of vinegar thrown in at the start of the wash. Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and removes the soap residue. for added softness and static reduction, use dryer balls.

  31. Erickajen says

    I use an equal part of borax, washing soda, and oxyclean. Got approval from customer service for fuzzibunz!

  32. Charlene says

    I have made my own detergent for years until recently learning it still has fillers in it. So after lots of reading, I have been using basic original Dawn dish soap and vinegar. I have a HE and use 1-2 tsp of dawn with 1/4c. vinegar. The vinegar not only cuts the suds from the dish soap to keep it safe in the machine, but it helps to strip the buildup of previous detergent fillers and softens clothes. The best part is, It does not require me to assemble!

  33. Lindsay says

    Ok, so I am definatly going to try your method of making laundry soap. I have been using cloth diapers for almost 4 years now for my 3 children. You mentioned you use dish soap for stripping….how do you do this I would love to know. I have stripped them in the sun but it seems to take two full days for them to go completely clean and white…that means my baby then is using disposables till they are ready to wear again. What is your recipe in stripping them with Dish Soap?.

    • Charlene says

      Lindsay, what I read online to strip diapers is very much the same thing for clothes. They recommend boiling in vinegar (1/2-1 c,) (like colors) and may put a squirt of dawn in. There was no time given, so for a few articles of clothing, I boiled for a half of an hour, and for large amounts (boiled in my canning kettle) I let them go for one hour. Then I let them cool off a bit, and spun them out in washer. After that, I washed the clothes as I normally would with 1 tsp. dawn and 1/4c. vinegar and dried as usual. This was the process described for stripping diapers. Hope that helps (: Charlene

  34. Penny says

    I can’t believe how many people fall for this….this concoction is no better than bottled soap:
    #1…it’s Not homemade if you have to purchase ingredients from the store!
    #2…Most bar soaps are made with pork fat…need I say more?…
    #3…borax contains boric acid (if you’re using that); washing soda contains boric acid and salt.

    SMH…people, just boil your clothes to kill the germs and stop putting more poisons in your body…JS

  35. Danya says

    You don’t have to grate soap to make this. I have only used Ivory so I am not sure how the other soap works but if you put a bar in your microwave and just watch it, it will look like it is foaming. After a few seconds take it out and it crumbles for you. You will have to repeat the process as necessary or end up with a full microwave of soap.

  36. Suzette May says

    i love homemade laundry soap and I used to use the mule team/washing soda/feels naphtha combination but it faded a years supply of my husbands nice dark jeans for work (high school shop teacher)! An expensive mistake!

  37. says

    This is my 4th yr making my own laundry det.Cost me about $25.00 a year there are 4 of us here my whites are so pretty,colored are brighter I just love it makes about 4 gallon milk jugs mine is all dry ingred.

  38. Holly says

    I make my own detergent and love it! You can use a food processor for the soap shredding. But I prefer to just shred by hand. It takes less than 10 minutes. Also, be sure to shred in those tone soap chips left in the shower. I have adjusted other recipes until I got this just right-

    1 bar Zote soap shredded (I like to use the pink one so I can see if it’s mixed)
    2 cups borax
    2 cups walking soda
    2 cups baking soda

  39. Laura says

    If grating hard bar soap is stopping you from making your own laundry detergent, I have a suggestion for you. Put your fels naphtha bar into a plastic bowl with a lid-cover with very hot water and cover with lid. In a few days begin to chop soap and add more hot water. It takes 7-14 days but soap will completely melt into a soft cake. You can now add to hot water and other ingredients and you are done.


  1. […] Recipes abound for homemade laundry detergent. A simple solution of vinegar and water (1:1) works wonders as an all-purpose cleaner that is safe to use around kids and pets. (For extra shine and fresh scent, add a bit of fresh lemon juice.) Baking soda is amazing for it’s ability to whiten and remove odor. One of my personal favorite uses: Soak plastic bibs in water and baking soda to get rid of that cheesy smell. Infant saline drops are easy to make yourself using baking soda and salt. Castile soap is the best thing for washing bottles, as well as your babies; hospitals usually send new parents home with a few packets. It’s gentle on skin and tiny digestive systems. […]

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