Hi! I'm Karen, a stay at home mom and blogger. Mostly I write about the new foods and recipes I've been making at my house. I like nutella, avocados, muddy buddies, mushrooms, tomatoes, peaches, berries, beans and rice, dark chocolate, cilantro, peanut butter, fried eggs and a million other types of foods. Most of the time, I like to make really easy and simple recipes--that's why I use my slow cooker a lot! I hope you find my posts helpful! Please comment and let me know when you make one of my recipes!

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for CHEAP (and it works)!

make your own laundry detergent for super duper cheap!


My friend Stacey told me about this “recipe” and I’ve been using it lately.  First off, it lasts forever.  Second, it is sooooo much cheaper than that expensive laundry detergent at the store.  I cannot believe how much laundry detergent costs and how quickly we go through it at our house.  So this was the perfect solution for me!  I hope you can benefit from it too.  I found all the items I needed for the detergent at Walmart.  Look on the top shelf and you’ll find the Fels Naptha.

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent (best for top loader washing machine):

  • 12 cups Borax
  • 8 cups baking soda (find the big box in the laundry aisle)
  • 8 cups washing soda
  • 4 bars of Ivory bar soap, grated
  • 2 bars of Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap, grated
  • Optional:  add about 20 drops of essential oil made specifically for soap to make the detergent smell good

Mix all ingredients well in a large bucket or container.  Store in a sealed tub.  Use only 2 Tbsp of powder per full load!


Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent (best for front loader washing machine):

  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
  • 1 c washing soda
  • 1/2 c Borax
  • Optional:  essential oil

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.   Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.   Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.   Fill bucket to top with more hot water.   Sir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser (or a gallon milk carton) half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water.   Shake before each use.   (It will gel)

Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per each 2 gallons.

For a front load machine add 1/4 cup per load, for a top loader at 1/2 cup.


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Comments (10)

  1. facebook_michelle.j.criss 04/04/2013 at 11:48 am

    Sorry, just wanted to say, I make my own dry mix like the 1st one, but please Don’t use Ivory. It is way greasy! Left little gross greasy spots on clothes. I don’t even use a bar of soap because that is what the Fels-naptha is for. I do like the idea of using essential oils tho. Lavendar would be wonderful. so many options! 🙂

    • Karen Petersen 04/04/2013 at 1:39 pm

      Good to know about the ivory…I haven’t noticed that with mine but good to keep in mind!

      • Beth W. 04/09/2013 at 1:56 pm

        A friend of mine says she uses the Ivory but grates it with a super fine grater and it does not leave greasy spots, but can see that if you use a larger grater that it would leave spots. I am going to give it a try myself.

        • Karen Petersen 04/09/2013 at 8:26 pm

          yes, mine was grated really really fine so maybe that’s why I haven’t noticed!

  2. April 04/09/2013 at 9:21 am

    Can you use these combos for he washing machines?

    • Karen Petersen 04/09/2013 at 8:28 pm

      I’m not totally sure but my guess is yes because it doesn’t make suds really at all. my sister uses it in hers and it seems to be fine!

  3. margie 04/09/2013 at 9:49 pm

    The liquid soap recipe sounds a little unbelievable–according to the directions you would get 10 gallons of laundry detergent out of one bar of naptha soap, 1 c of washing soda, and 1/2 c of borax! A 5 gallon bucket full, plus diluting it by 1/2 again = 10 gallons!

    • Katie lee 09/30/2013 at 2:25 pm

      It says to fill it half way, then finish filling after mixing. Yield 5 gallons of detergent and it works very well:) it’s the one we use

  4. Debbie 04/27/2013 at 8:29 pm

    What kind of a grater did you use when you where on fresh living? How do you fine grate if you don’t have one?