quick and cheap homemade laundry detergent

I know everyone and their mom has their own version of homemade laundry detergent, but I want to share with you the kind that I tried. I first made this detergent back in September and wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I’m totally a Tide brat but I figured I’d give it a whirl if it could save us some cash. It is a dry detergent and is safe in High Efficiency machines also. It’s a low suds soap, but remember: bubbles do not equal cleaner clothes. I made a half batch at first so I could test it out and see how it did. It lasted over four months, our clothes came out clean, and the smell was nice. Can’t argue with that.

a few of the ingredients you'll need

a few of the ingredients you’ll need

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 box Super Washing Soda

1 box Borax

3 bars Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated**

2 cups Baking Soda

1 container OxyClean (I used the Sun brand from Family Dollar)

1-2 containers Purex crystals (just choose your favorite scent)

Combine all ingredients. Use two tablespoons per load of laundry. I have a small scoop that I use. It probably is a bit more than two tablespoons, but my husband’s clothes are pretty dirty after work so I don’t mind.

**Note about the grated Fels Naptha: you don’t HAVE to grate it. You can also microwave it or throw it into a food processor, but I highly suggest grating. The first time I made this I thought I’d take the easy way out and pop it in the microwave. I cut it up into 1″ pieces and microwaved until it puffed up, then crumbled it up after it had cooled. Seemed like a good method aside from the chemical smell. I figured it would fade in a few hours. I was wrong. The strong fumes lasted and lasted. I tried to air out the house but it was like the smell had absorbed into my microwave. It lingered in there for weeks despite my efforts to steam it out with vinegar. Also, if you decide to use a food processor, make sure it’s one you truly don’t care about/don’t use/is about to bite the dust and you’re gunning for a new one. Or maybe I’m the only person that asks for (and gets excited about) a food processor? Anyways, the second time I made this detergent I grated the soap. It really didn’t take that long and I only complained a tiny bit! ;)

the finished product

the finished product

laundry rules


Since my laundry sign is vintage-inspired, I thought this metal pitcher would be a cute container to hold the detergent. The remainder of the detergent goes into various other containers because I have yet to find something that will hold the rest. It makes quite a bit!

Happy Laundering!


3 thoughts on “quick and cheap homemade laundry detergent

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