When I started this whole "living cheap - being frugal" thing I began to think that whatever I bought pre-made had to have been made by someone, right? There had to be a recipe for nearly every processed food or cleaning supply floating around out there somewhere. So as I started to replace things with their homemade versions, one of the first places I started was with cleaning supplies...namely Laundry Detergent.

I've been using my homemade brew for months now and I have to say that honestly it was an adjustment to my senses because it isn't all perfumy and chemical smelling like store bought. Even the texture is a little different. But as far as cleaning goes I don't notice ANY difference. And at a penny a load and at least two loads a day for the six of us, you just can't beat the savings.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I double this recipe and make it in a 5 gallon bucket but I'm going to post the original recipe and you are welcome to double it on your own if you like.

What you'll need...

  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1/2 cup Borax powder
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • a bucket
  • water
(If you live in my area, the ONLY place I've been able to find all the ingredients is at Win-co.)


First, grate 1/3 of the soap and put it into a saucepan. (I use my food processor to grate it finely so it melts quicker.)


Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.   Now add the washing soda and borax, stirring until it is dissolved.


Pour 4 cups hot tap water into your bucket.  Add your soap mixture and stir it together.


Add another 22 cups of water and stir to combine.

Let the soap cool and set up for about 12-24 hours. The finished product jells up. It won't have a normal consistency. Part of it will be like jello and part will remain liquid. It's all the same thing and dissolves in the laundry tub. No need to try and break it up.

Each load takes about 1/2 cup of laundry soap.

And to let you know the purpose of each ingredient....

Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens the water.

Washing soda cuts grease and neutralizes odors.

Fels Naptha is a stain remover.

Now go and save yourself some money!


10/16/2013 9:57pm

That was nice blog and the nice technique of making soaps i like the way in which you can make a soap keep sharing so more blogs.

07/07/2014 9:08pm

In the homemade laundry detergent recipe, do you really add another 22 cups of water, or was that a misprint?

07/16/2014 2:51pm

I've been making this for over a year and I LOVE it! But I have a question. Mine always gets clumpy after I make it. Is that normal? What can I do to prevent it? Thanks!


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