The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have to admit: I am that weirdo–I really love to do laundry.

It sounds so silly, but it is one of my favorite household chores. It’s like you’re doing so much work with minimal effort–the washer works overtime for you. (We just won’t discuss the folding part.)

I used to buy… well, I honestly can’t remember now. I might have used Tide liquid detergent (I think?), and it was fine! I enjoyed the scent, and it always seemed to get the job done and last a while. However, it is so expensive! Unless you’re an extreme couponer (like my cousin who gets her detergent for like 25 cents… insane), then you’re typically just stocking up when you find a sale or just bitting the bullet and paying that insane amount for your detergent. Yall, I couldn’t stand it. I stumbled upon this recipe about 5 years ago for a homemade powder laundry detergent, and my laundry life was forever changed.

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Why do I make my detergent?

  1. I know what’s in it
    –This point is especially important for families who have some skin sensitivity. You can control what goes in your detergent.
  2. All of the ingredients are powerhouse ingredients
  3. It is the real deal, and not diluted
  4. Because it isn’t diluted, I can make a batch and it will last 6-9 months.
    –When we had a family of 5 (two couples + one infant, and you know how many clothes they go through + loads were split into the two families) our detergent lasted about 6-7 months. When it’s just Zack and I, it lasts/ right at 9 months.
  5. It’s more affordable
  6. It’s simple

What you need:


  • 1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz)
  • 1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg)
  • 1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz)
  • 2 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, grated
  • 1 big, glass cookie jar
  • optional, but important for families who have kids in sports or adults who get down and dirty at work (Zack and I don’t necessarily need it, but I do put this in mine!):
    • about 3.5 lbs total of Oxy Clean (depending on your brand and container size–I try to buy off brand–it can vary)
  • Some sort of grating tool
    • Now, this part determines whether you love making this detergent or hate it. I have a really good rotary grater. I love freshly grated cheese, which is why I have it. However, this grater is perfect to quickly grate your bars of Fels-Naptha… if you don’t have one, I suggest you get this one. It truly makes many kitchen tasks so much easier.  If you don’t have a rotary grater, just use a normal one. We had to do that for our first 2 batches because, we forgot we had a rotary grater. *palm in face* We literally just would sit down to watch friends, my husband and I each with a bar of soap grating. It was no biggie, but the rotary grater is just no comparison. You’ll thank me later.



Here’s what I do:

  • Grate your Fels-Naptha soap into a large bowl
  • Grab a trash bag
  • Dump all of your ingredients into the trash bag
  • Mix up your powders!
    • I do a little bit of each box at a time, so I don’t have to mix it up by hand as much!
    • Make sure you get all of the chunks broken up
  • When it’s thoroughly mixed, make a hole in the corner of your trash bag and pour into your jar.
  • Give it another mix when it is in the jar



Tips + Tricks

  • Use the scoop from the Oxy Clean to measure out your detergent. However, some brands have a different scoop. This recipe only requires about a tablespoon per load. Notice that I have two different scoops? I use the baby scoop!


  • When doing a normal load of laundry, I use only 1/2 of a scoop



  • I don’t use it on towels or sheets that aren’t white–I use a diluted detergent just for those. In my experience, the homemade detergent isn’t too strong for clothing, but it’s too strong for towels + sheets that are colored
    • White towels and sheets are totally fine
  • Get a rotary grater. I promise it is so worth it!


  • Do you like a little scent booster? I use these Downy Unstoppables for a scent booster for my clothing. I don’t always use it, and I really don’t think it needs it–it is definitely a personal preference!



Let me know if yall do (or have) tried this recipe in the comments below!



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