Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent Tutorial

After seeing millions of bloggers and Pinterest posts, about homemade laundry detergent, I have decided to give it a go. There were hundreds of recipes out there, all pretty similar, so I went with what was going to meet my needs best. I decided to use this recipe because it's in cups. Which means that one can make a small batch, or a huge batch, very easily. I like that because, in case the recipe is not a success, there will be no waist. I will be sharing half of this detergent with my friend S. so I made a fairly small batch. In this way we'll both have about half a gallon to experiment with. I feel this is just enough to give it a good trial, but not too much to be stuck with it in case we don't like it ^__^

Here is the recipe (adapted from

1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup oxyclean free
1 cup grated bar soap (fels naphta, zote and right guard - in my case)

Here are all my ingredients ready to go (I am missing the right guard in the photo, as it was a last minute addition. I had it on hand and since we don't use body soap I just decided to recycle it here).

The soap bars needed to be chopped and grated.

To grate them I used my electric salad shooter. I did not want to spend half a day grating. I made sure to be gentle and not push the soap through too hard and it worked like a charm. 

I grated all 3 soaps into the same bowl...

...and then I mixed them well. I love the colors. The textures are different since Zote was more 'fatty' and moist and Naphta and Right guard were more 'dry' and brittle.

At this point I got a large bowl and added the ingredients as laid out by the recipe: bar soap, borax, baking soda, washing soda and Oxyclean.

I kept repeating this 5 ingredients step until I ran out of grated soap. So basically, I multiplied this recipe's amount by 6 times, since I grated 6 cups of soap. At this point all I had to do was mix it well.

I scooped the detergent in my container, et voila'. Done! Honestly it took me longer to write on the container's tag than it did to make the laundry soap! ...and that's not a joke! LOL. 

This laundry detergent is super easy and fast to make (if you have an electric grater of sort) and it will end up costing between 4 and 5 cents per load. Even if one is not worried about all the harsh chemicals, found in traditional laundry soap, the savings alone should make this worth it! The soaps and chemicals used in this recipe are much milder than those in traditional detergent, so that's good both for the skin and for the planet. It's a win-win situation in my opinion. So, as long as I am happy with the results, I will be avoiding regular detergent as much as I can. 

If you use fabric softener for your rinse cycle, and would like to go the green-and-thrifty way, you can substitute it with white vinegar. No, it does not leave a smell residue on your clothes. I use it anytime I don't have any home-made fabric softener on hand. I will upload a recipe for my proven laundry softener too the next time I make a batch. Happy laundry!


  1. Have you tried using this in cold water? Does it dissolve ok? I only wash in cold water.

    1. And almost forgot, you didn't mention how much you add for each load. Thanks, I made the liquid version last year and the huge amt lasted me for a year.