Laundry detergent can get expensive. But I may have found a cheaper solution! If you make your own homemade laundry detergent, you get to control what goes into it, and it’s cheaper than buying ready-made detergent.

This week, for the Self Reliant Skill of the Week, I made homemade laundry detergent. I’ve done a similar “recipe” before, but this is the first time I did it using this new “recipe”. I gathered several different laundry detergent recipes online, and modified it to this one. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m hoping it will be a success!

Making your own laundry detergent is super easy. I made mine in about 5 minutes. And that included about 3 minutes spent grating the soap!

It’s also very economical. The ingredients I used totaled about $10, and this will last me a really long time. Since this mixture is pretty concentrated, you only need to use about 2 tablespoons for each load. Maybe a little more for really soiled laundry.

This homemade laundry detergent is easy to make, with cheap ingredients!

Supplies needed

  • 1 box Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 box 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha soap
  • 1 container LA’s Totally Awesome Oxygen Base Cleaner (bought from Dollar Tree), or Oxi-Clean
  • Grater or food processor
  • Large glass jar or bucket with a lid

If you don’t want to get a good arm workout in, you can use a food processor to grate the soap. But I didn’t want to drag the food processor out, dirty it up, and have to make sure I got ALL the soap residue off of it. So I just did it by hand with a small hand-held cheese grater.

How to make homemade laundry detergent

Grate or chop up the Fels Naptha soap very finely. Dump in each container of washing soda, borax, and oxygen base cleaner. For my first time doing this, I only did a half batch, so I used 1/2 the bar of Fels Naptha, 1/2 the box of washing soda, 1/2 the box of borax, and 1/2 the container of oxygen base cleaner. Put the lid on the jar or bucket and shake until the ingredients are pretty evenly distributed. Or, if you don’t have enough room to shake it good enough to get it mixed, you can put it in a big bowl and stir with a spoon. Then just put it in the jar or bucket.

Label the jar or bucket, and store in a cool, dry place. Make sure the lid stays on to keep all moisture and air out.

When using, you only need 2 tablespoons of the mixture to get your clothes clean. This doesn’t leave a strong scent on your clothes, so you can add a scent booster to it if desired.

Store the ingredients separately

It’s a good idea to buy and store the ingredients separately, so you can just mix up a big batch when you need it. Each of these ingredients can be used in multiple different ways, so they’re good to have around the house anyway.

Washing soda is great for all kinds of cleaning and freshening around the house. Borax is also a good cleanser, and can be used as a pesticide as well. I like to put a scoop of the oxygen base cleaner when I wash stained clothes. And the Fels Naptha is great for pre-treating stains.

You should find that keeping these ingredients around the house will save you from buying a lot of other products. And then you can just combine them for your homemade laundry detergent!

Here is the video of me making this homemade laundry detergent:

If you’d like to make laundry detergent from nature, totally chemical-free, make sure you check out my post on horse chestnut laundry soap.

Do you store these ingredients?

So tell us, do you store these ingredients? Or are you going to try making this easy homemade laundry detergent? Please share in the comments!



  1. Hi, do you have a recipe that uses liquid soap as I am not able to grate soapor anything else as my hands will not tolerate that

    1. I don’t, unfortunately, but I’m sure you could find a recipe online that uses castile soap. Good luck!

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