DIY laundry powder

You’ll love this homemade laundry detergent: it comes together in 5 min with 3 simple ingredients and it cleans all your clothes effectively!

Let me just say this right away: a lot of blogs and websites have a laundry detergent recipe. So why do I write about it, too?

Well, because this is so easy, simple, inexpensive, and effective that it just had to be on my blog, too. Sometimes things are so good that we can’t repeat it often enough.

Generations ago, people used very simple ingredients for their everyday tasks. Laundry included. These days we seem to be so obsessed with cleanliness while being bombarded with advertisements for yet another better product. Most laundry detergent contains a whole plethora of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. Most if not all have them have been proven to be bad for your health.

However, I think there is a better, simpler, healthier way. This homemade laundry powder checks all my boxes: it is simple, it only takes 3 ingredients and 5 mins (okay maybe a bit more if you’re making it for the first time), it’s non-toxic, yet effective, and cheap!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Ingredients for your homemade laundry detergent

Washing soda, borax, and soap. Yep, that’s it!

washing soda borax soap detergent

You can buy these ingredients in most grocery stores or drug stores. If you can’t find those ingredients locally, you can easily get them online : washing soda, borax, castile soap. This recipe with these ingredients is so “famous” that amazon even sells them as a bundle 😜.

How to make:

grate soap bar for detergent
  1. Grate a soap bar with the fine or coarse side of your grater. You can also grate it in your food processor. Sometimes, I grate it on the coarser side and then put the shavings into my food processor. It comes out as a fine powder of about 2 cups.
  2. Add 1 cup each of borax and washing soda.
  3. Mix ingredients well and put into a container with a tight lid.
  4. Use 2 TBSP to 4 TBSP for a load of laundry, depending on the size of your washing machine, the size of your load, and how dirty your laundry is.

That’s all.

simple laundry powder

Mostly, I like things clean and unscented. However, it’s nice to have the bright smell of lemons or the calming scent of lavender.

diy laundry powder lemon scent

Now, you could just add some essential oils to your powder. Lemon works great, a combination of lemon and grapefruit, lavender, whatever you like best. Plus, you can change it all the time. When I do, I add about 20 drops of essential oils to my detergent.

How much does homemade laundry detergent cost?

Even though it can be a bit tricky pricing this out exactly, I will tell you what I paid. Keep in mind that we live in California where things tend to be a bit more expensive. Meaning, depending on where you live, you might be paying less.

For my single box of washing soda I paid $5.00 at the store but I know you can get it for less online.

The borax I still had but you can buy it online for about $5.00 a box.

The price for the soap varies greatly, depending on where you live and how many you buy at a time but I am assuming about $1.50 per bar.

Then I went ahead and calculated how much I would need for this recipe. Very, very conservatively calculated 2 TSBP of this homemade laundry detergent will cost > $0.18.

A quick google search will confirm that a homemade laundry detergent is most often wayyyyyy cheaper than store bought.

Homemade laundry detergent has even more advantages:

  • I like laundry powder much more than liquid (for some reason powder seems to be harder to find)
  • I like how I am saving a plastic bottle or other packaging
  • it works in both top-loading and front-loading washing machines

Shop this post:

Super washing soda: https://amzn.to/3cVhPNQ

Borax: https://amzn.to/3tEab05

Fels-Naptha soap: https://amzn.to/2Lwst2e

Kirk’s castile soap: https://amzn.to/2Ob313c

Stainless steel box grater: https://amzn.to/3q2izof

Lemon essential oil: https://amzn.to/3jvHgqp

Have you made your own laundry detergent? What are you experiences? Do you prefer liquid or powder? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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19 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent”

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  4. I’ve made ours for years (borax free)! Such a budget saver. I’m so grateful to know how to make simple household products like this for my family.

  5. Thank you for the recipe! I used to make a liquid version of this soap…. We have a front load washer- would I put the soap in the washer with the clothes, or in the dispenser drawer?:)

    1. We also have a front-loading HE washer. I always put the detergent into the dispenser drawer. Clothes come out nice and clean all the time πŸ™‚

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