Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Don’t laugh! Making your own laundry detergent is quick and easy and will save you tons of money. I first made this laundry detergent here, but I have refined it a bit and I love my new concoction.

Supplies Needed:

  1. One 55oz Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Walmart) (you will use one cup)
  2. One 76 oz box of Borax (Target) (you will use one cup)
  3. One 14.1 oz Bar of Zote Soap (Walmart) (you will use 1/4 of the bar)
  4. One small bottle of lavender essential oil (I had some on hand) (optional)
  5. Downy Unstopables (1 cap full)
  6. One large pot (it should hold at least one gallon of liquid)
  7. Cheese Grater
  8. Two – One gallon buckets with lids – Argee Corporation Versa-Tainer (Smith’s)


  1. Cut the Zote Soap bar in half and grate with a cheese grater. Place gratings in bottom of large pot.
  2. Measure in 128 oz (1 gallon) of water into the large pot.
  3. Turn on the heat to medium high. Stir occasionally until the soap is completely melted.
  4. Add 1 cup of the Borax and 1 cup of the Washing Soda to the pot.
  5. At this point, I also added the 1 capful of Downey Unstopables (I used Glow Scent). I wanted my detergent to have a little more “smell” and I thought I would try this. This is OPTIONAL.
  6. Stir until the mixture boils.
  7. Remove from heat and add about 20 drops of the lavender essential oil if you wish. DO NOT ADD if you added the Downey Unstopables.
  8. Let cool a little if you want (I didn’t).
  9. Measure 64 oz of detergent into each of the one gallon buckets. Add 64 oz of water to each bucket and stir well.
  10. Let the mixture cool overnight.
  11. In the morning, use a hand mixer or wand mixer to mix the laundry detergent again (or you can mix by hand). I found that using a mixer helps the detergent not to separate as much.
  12. The laundry detergent may separate a bit, but I keep a big spoon in my laundry room and stir as needed before using.
  13. I use about one half cup per load of laundry.

TIP: Save the lid from an old bottle of liquid laundry detergent and use this to scoop out your laundry soap. I usually pour the soap into the washing machine and then toss the lid in as well. I remove the lid from the laundry before putting my clothes in the dryer.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
How much will you save?

Here is what I spent on the products that I bought:
Zote Soap – $4.99 (use 1/2 – $2.50)
55oz Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $10.25 (use one cup – $1.49)
76 oz box of Borax – $11.35 (use one cup – $1.20)
Downy Unstopables – $7.49 (use on lid full – $0.36)

This translates into $5.55 for 2 gallons of laundry detergent. You only need to use 1/2 cup for each wash which means that it costs:

.08 cents per load!

Originally, I made this laundry detergent for only $0.06 cents per load, but this recipe calls for more Zote Soap and the Downy Unstopables adding to the cost. Compared to approximately $0.80 to $1.00 per load when you buy your laundry detergent. If you do 5 loads of laundry per week, you will save over $215 per year!

I am really happy with the results. The clothes come out just as clean as with store-bought detergent and the smell good too!

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  1. I’ve made my own laundry detergent before, but adding essential oils sounds wonderful!

  2. I keep saying I will do this and you make it seem so easy!

  3. My son and I have very sensitive skin. Our safe laundry detergent is super expensive, so making a cheaper version is something I really need to look into!

  4. I have always wanted to do this but I’ve never seen a recipe that looked good enough to try… till now! Thank you so much for sharing this!


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