Laundry Detergent Made Simple

Making your own laundry detergent isn’t as strange as it may sound.  It saves a lot of money…close to 80% less expensive than a store brand.  Also, clothes are clean and smell fresh.  Why not give it a try?

A Simple Recipe

You can find lots of recipes for laundry detergent on Pinterest and by searching the Internet. Most of them involve purchasing certain brands of ingredients.  Some ingredients even have to be special ordered!

We found a recipe that did not involve strange soaps and cleaners.  We needed something that was already in our house:

    • a bar of soap
    • a box of baking soda
    • 1.5 gallons of water

Tools for Laundry DetergentHere’s how we do it.  I say “we” but this is really my husband’s creation.  Here are Michael’s tools and process:


    • Large stockpot
    • Chopping tool (we use a crinkle cutter)
    • Cutting board
    • Blender (optional)
    • Rubber spatula
    • Whisk
    • Pitcher for transferring to containers
    • Several plastic bottles (we reuse large Gatorade bottles)


  1. Heat 3 to 4 inches of water to boiling.  Then reduce heat to medium.Chop & Crush Soap
  2. While water is heating, break up a bar of soap.
    1. Chop & crush soap to a fine powder.  (Some people use cheese graters for this.)Blend soap to fine powder
    2. If you have a blender:
      • Make sure blender pitcher is COMPLETELY dry
      • Chop bar of soap in very small pieces before putting in blender
      • Blend into a fine powder
      • Let it sit in pitcher for a second before opening
      • Use rubber spatula to release from blender pitcher
  3. Pour powdered soap into heated water.Whisk and melt soap
  4. Start whisking together over heat immediately and constantly for about 2 minutes or until soap is completely dissolved.  If foaming occurs, reduce heat or tip pot off stove to stir.
  5. Run hot tap water.Slowly add baking soda and hot water
  6. Take stockpot to sink and slowly add and whisk together baking soda and water.
    • Soap will begin to foam as water and baking soda are added.
    • As you stir/whisk, the foam will thin and allow you to add more water or baking soda.
    • Michael uses our kitchen sprayer with the hot water barely turned on to help prevent foam overload.
  7. When baking soda box is emptied and stockpot is filled, stir to make sure there is an even mix.
  8. Pour soap immediately into a pitcher to transfer to container.Pour prepared soap in plastic bottles
  9. Fill containers (plastic bottles) about 80% full.  Allow to cool before putting on tops.  (You will see separation after cooling.)

How To Use

I simply shake the plastic bottle (with lid on of course) to remix.  I pour about a cup of the detergent into my washer with a load of laundry.


  • It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete a batch
  • Have everything out and ready before you start the process
  • Use a basic natural soap
  • A batch covers about 25 loads of laundry and costs roughly $1.25

We all look for ways to save money.  You do have to balance time and money when it comes to store bought versus homemade.  Sometimes it is worth it to just buy something pre-made.

We have found this recipe to be the most effective though in saving money and the most efficient in use of time.  Not sure we will ever go back to the store for laundry detergent…

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Disclosure:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.