Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

laundryHave you ever wondered how to make homemade laundry detergent? Below you will find a homemade laundry detergent recipe shared by a friend of mine. Let me know if you try the recipe or have a homemade laundry detergent recipe of your own!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe


  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (It has to be the Super Washing Soda, baking soda or just Arm & Hammer will NOT work!)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Empty laundry containers or any kind of pour container


  1. Grate your bar of soap into a sauce pan with the 4 cups of hot water.
  2. Stir continually on low-medium heat until all the little flakes of soap melt.
  3. Fill your 5 Gallon bucket halfway full of hot water and pour in the borax, the arm & hammer, and the melted soap mixture and stir until all the ingredients are completely melted. Then fill the remainder of the bucket full with hot water.
  4. Stir the mixture once more, just to ensure everything is mixed well. Then you need to cover the bucket (if you have the lid to the bucket, let it have a little bit of breathing room, because it will expand since it’s full of hot water) and let it sit overnight to gel, it will gel HARD. Then take your dispenser (old tide container for me) and fill half with your laundry soap (I have to use a funnel) and half full of water and shake well each time you use. Will be very liquid-y but works great!

This recipe makes 10 gallons of homemade laundry detergent so if you want to make less simply reduce the ingredients by half, etc.

If you’re interested in other natural, homemade cleaning products then check out these resources:

40 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

  1. Amanda Greene-Lebeck

    I have been wanting to make homemade laundry detergent, and am so excited to have found this.  I pinned it on Pinterest so I can have access to the measurements when I am ready to make it.  Thanks a bunch!

  2. KarenHand

    I saw this recipe online several months ago and I’m so excited to try it.  I have all the ingredients, but I’m still waiting to use up all the specials on laundry detergent that I bought last spring.  I have bookmarked this site so I know the exact measurements.  Thanks for the reminder.

    1. krista grandstaff

      @jcmoffatt  I make a dry detergent, and mine only smells as much as the soap I use…my kiddos have eczema, so I use bars of Ivory… but if you use and unscented soap, or want to add essential oils for scent, you could certainly do that :) You can also use fels naptha soap, but to me it tends to smell a bit medicinal…so grab a bar in the soap/detergent aisle and give it a sniff first and see if you’d like it!

  3. Maddie K

    I make my own detergent but I use it dry, not liquid, because I don’t have room for a 5 gallon container. I just put some hot water in the washing tub first then add the detergent. I also add one cup of purex crystals to my mix only because I like the smell of it and though it isn’t a lot it still makes the laundry smell nice.

  4. KarenHand

    I copied your recipe for the homemade soap, but must use up the soap that I have first.  I had hit a sale about a month ago and still have quite a bit, so it will be a while before I am able to try this, but I have all the ingredients on hand when the time comes.  Thanks.

  5. Lisa R

    how much do you think it costs to make because Ive been noticing that you can get detergent on sale for under $2 these days
    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  6. tisonlyme143

    i have made homemade soap before for my laundry and love it, and with a big family as mine every penny counts, thanks for sharing @tisonlyme143


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