DIY: Homemade Laundry Detergent

November 19, 2012

My sister shared with me her friend’s recipe for homemade laundry detergent. She’d been staying with her friend just the few days before visiting me and used the laundry and soap and really liked it. So we picked up all the ingredients at Wal-Mart and I mixed up a batch today.  Here’s how it goes:


  • 2 bars Fels-Naptha
  • 1 Cup Mule Team Borax
  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Oxi-Clean
  • 1/2 Cup Downy Unstoppables, your favorite scent (optional)

You can grate the Fels-Naptha with a cheese grater, but it’s easier to use a small food chopper or food processor. Make sure you cut the bars into small chunks and don’t add too many chunks to the appliance at one time or the blades will stick and lift. I experimented a bit and it worked best if I manually pulsed the soap chunks for several rounds, then put it on full speed until the soap was the size of little pebbles or pellets.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and transfer to a small seal-able bucket, large jar or plastic bag. I found that mixing it in a large plastic bag worked really well also.

Use just 2 Tablespoons of detergent for one load of  laundry. The cost is only about three cents a load. It’s even less if you omit the Downy Unstoppables.

Inexpensive, effective, environment-friendly and easy to make. What good be better?

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