homemade laundry detergent

in an effort to save money and be frugal, i googled "homemade laundry detergent" and found this recipe:

  1. grate 1/3 bar of soap.


     2. add grated soap to 6 cups of water in pot or saucepan. heat until melted.


     3. add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda to melted soap. stir mixture until dissolved.

     4. pour 4 cups hot water into 5 gallon bucket.

     5. add soap mixture to bucket and mix thoroughly.

     6. add 1 gallon plus 6 cups tepid water {lukewarm} to bucket & stir until mixed well.

     7. add 10 drops of essential oils {optional}.

    store detergent in bucket covered.  stir once a week.

    to use: add 1/4-1/2 cup to washing machine. may be used in cold, hot, warm water; on delicate cycle and on denim!

    t i p s
    • i thought tripling the recipe would be a good idea so i could use a whole bar of soap.   it wasn't.  luckily i had a nearly empty 1 gallon detergent container from my last purchase.  about 1 gallon or so of my homemade detergent fit perfectly.  i highly recommend reusing a detergent bottle if you can- so much easier to dispense.
    • my grocery store sells all of these products {and i live in a very small town}, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them near you.  Zote soap {14.1 oz} is what they have in-stock, it's available in pink or white.  i used pink and it's really pretty! {Because pretty detergent makes a difference!}  there are other brands.  you can even use Ivory soap from what i understand.   also, the Zote soap is super easy to cut.  if i had known that, i probably wouldn't have tripled the recipe!  really- how hard would it be to cut 1/3 off??   learn from me.
    • i ground the Zote soap in my food processor, rather than "grate" it.   smaller pieces should dissolve faster and the food processor saves you the elbow grease!
    • the Pink Zote smells really fresh and clean, so i didn't bother adding essential oils.   feel free to use whatever scents you like, or none at all.
    • it's important that you are patient and let it melt/dissolve properly.   i'm not sure that i was.  but it'll be a l-o-n-g time before i'll have to make it again ;)
    • i used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, but you could use just Arm & Hammer Washing Soda if that is all you can find.   Washing Soda is made of sodium carbonate and Baking Soda is sodium bicarbonate.  {that's as far into that science lesson as we'll go for now. haha}
    • i do know that Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda should not be used on wool or silks.  better to have those items dry cleaned.

     today was my first time to use this recipe.  i've never made homemade laundry detergent before!  i've heard about the Duggar family on TLC making their own, but that was after i found this recipe, as i've never seen their show.  i'm really excited to try it out.  let me know how it works for ya!


    1. Great idea! I am excited to hear how it works on your cloths. Will it turn your whites pink?

    2. Good news! I washed my daughter's quilt, along with a few whites, on the warm/cold setting and nothing came out pink! It all smelled nice and clean :) The pink color is really faint and probably isn't any different than the colored liquid detergent you buy from the store.

    3. OH JILL THANKS! I might just have to go to the store and do this for FHE tonight :)

    4. I heard about this from my mother-in-law and have been waiting forever to get the recipe. Thank you!!