Homemade Laundry Detergent

November 13, 2008 at 6:28 am (Uncategorized) ()

Laundry Detergent

I know that this isn’t a meal, but it took some searching for me to figure out how I wanted to make my own green laundry detergent and I thought that someone else might be interested. Originally I was going to make liquid, which is pretty much the same thing except boiled. However, when I heard that it sometimes goes bad (and thinking about having to store liquid detergent) I quickly researched other options.

Some notes about the ingredients. I found the laundry soap in the laundry/stain removal section of the store. I used zote. For the Arm and Hammer washing soda, it is simply sodium carbonate or soda ash. I could not find the washing soda, but if you have a pool supply store soda ash is the same as the pH up chemical. Just make sure that the only ingredient on the label is “sodium carbonate”.

This detergent is great for HE washers. It is low-sudsing, so you can just use less and get the same cleaning power. I sometimes use a little bit of Oxi-Clean.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
Adapted from multiple sources.


1 cup grated laundry soap (such as Fels Naptha or Zote)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Container large enough to hold 2 cups laundry detergent


  1. Grate laundry soap. Note: I grated it with a hand grater. It helps to keep the soap as cold as possible, next time I might stick it in the freezer before grating, to make it a little easier.
  2. Freeze the grated laundry soap.
  3. In a small food-processor (I use our chop-chop) combine the laundry soap, borax, and washing soda. Pulse until the laundry soap is a powder.
  4. Store in a sealed container.
  5. Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. If you have an HE machine, you can use less.

I am not going back to purchasing laundry detergent. Making my own is so much cheaper and better for the environment. It is so easy, I was really worried about doing it the first time but now I would never go back!

Edited to add:

I also wanted to mention that I use plain white vinegar as fabric softener. It gets the soap residue out, and it is much better for the environment (and you, since you’re not inhaling all those chemicals). Also, it is safe to use with towels. Normal fabric softener makes it so that your towels don’t absorb as much liquid, but vinegar is great for them. And no, they don’t come out smelling like vinegar, they come out smelling clean!



  1. gaga in the kitchen said,

    Wow, impressive. I’ve seen other recipes for homemade detergent that just seemed like too much trouble. This looks very doable. Maybe I’ll give this a try after I finish my current box. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Niki said,

    how cool!

  3. fueston said,

    I have been considering this for a long time. It’s the only cleaner in my house that isn’t “green” right now.
    I also love your site. Fabulous looking recipes. I’ll be sure to try some of them out.

  4. jesstyler said,

    I’ve found washing soda near the borax … at least, I think that’s where it was. I’ll have to try this.

  5. Taryn said,

    You have obviously done a lot of research about homemade laundry soap. I have just started making my own soap too- isn’t it amazing?

    I have one question for you- I read on one site that you should avoid using kitchen products to grate the soap because the soap can leave a reside on the grater (or chop-chop). Because of this warning, I bought a new grater just for grating soap. Are you finding that the soap leaves a residue?

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Alissa said,


    I wanted to reply to your question about using kitchen products for making laundry soap.

    I bought a hand grater to use for the soap that I use first, but I have discovered that when I was my chop chop in really hot water I don’t have any residue. I make sure to clean it out well, with really hot water. The hand grater I wouldn’t use for food, I am to worred about one of the flakes getting in a hard to reach place and getting in the food.

    Hope that helps! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store-bought!

  7. carlene Lague said,

    Interesting Read! Very detailed blog,thanks for sharing

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