Homemade Laundry Detergent is an amazing way to save significant money in your weekly budget! Given that, this post will walk you step by step through the three most popular recipes, along with comparing the pros and cons of each. However, learning how to make your own laundry detergent is really quite simple and can you believe it only costs a few pennies per load?
What I Love About Homemade Laundry Detergent
With six kids, money is always tight so I have to find creative ways to make the budget stretch where it can. Homemade laundry detergent is one I’ve been using for over 10 years. Surprisingly, my older children are completely embarrassed that I am posting these recipes. Apparently, the fact that I only pay pennies per load of laundry is completely “not cool.” I beg to differ completely! As you can understand, a family of 8 makes A LOT of dirty laundry. (Especially when one of those people is a 15 year old girl who tries on at least 10 different outfits a day and throws what doesn’t make the cut into the dirty clothes hamper….)
I am the first to admit, I would obsess over some original scented Tide. I love the way it smells. What I don’t love is the price I pay, especially for the high efficiency safe stuff. So a while ago, I began making my own homemade laundry soap. The first recipe I tried cost me $2.30 to make 10 gallons!!
And I know what you are going to ask before you ask it. Yes, each one of these DIY laundry detergents are safe for HE machines because they are low-sudsing. That quality is the only “secret” to HE detergent. I have a HE machine myself and love my results with each recipe
How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent
Once you have some basic ingredients, learning how to make laundry detergent is quite easy. It’s all about ratios and if you prefer powdered or liquid laundry soap.
- Choose between liquid or powder detergent – this comes down to personal preference more than anything else. Both types of laundry soap work well in all types of washers.
- Grate a bar of laundry soap – the most common choice is Fels Naptha soap, but Castile soap is also a great choice, especially if you have sensitive skin. The bar should be 5 ounces. For the 5 gallon recipe, you will melt the soap after grating it.
- Add washing soda powder – this is not the same as baking soda so do not make that mistake. Washing soda is a natural, non-toxic cleaner and softener.
- Add Borax powder – this laundry booster is really effective at helping the detergent work better. Because Borax adjusts the pH level of the water, it allows the detergent to clean better.
- Add essential oils, if using – while this step isn’t necessary, some like the addition of scent to their homemade laundry detergent. They even make an oil that smells just like Tide!
The 3 Best Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes
I have used each of these three recipes throughout the years. Included below are both the instructions on how to make your own laundry detergent, plus the pros and cons of each variety. If you’ve never made your own laundry soap, pick the recipe that seems do-able to you. As you’ll see, the ingredients are almost identical so you can’t go wrong.
Easy Homemade Laundry Liquid Detergent
If you prefer liquid laundry detergent over powder, this is an easy recipe that is the one I use the most. Not because it works any better than the others. Just a personal preference, probably because there’s no bar of laundry soap to grate 🙂
- ¾ cup Borax
- ¾ cup washing soda
- ½ cup Dawn original dishwashing liquid
- 16 cups very hot water
- Essential oil (optional)
Easy Homemade Laundry Powder
This homemade laundry detergent recipe is definitely the easiest of the three to make because it is all dry ingredients that are mixed together. Then, store it in an airtight container to keep the humidity from making it clumpy and you are good to go!
- 2 cups washing soda
- 2 cups baking soda
- 2 cups Borax
- 1 bar Fels Naptha or Castile soap, grated finely
- Essential oil (optional)
5 Gallon Homemade Laundry Soap
While this DIY laundry detergent is the most involved recipe and you need a bucket, it makes the most laundry soap…and is the best price per load! Even though it “makes” 5 gallons of detergent, when you use it, you mix it with equal parts of water…so you actually have TEN gallons of laundry soap from this recipe!
- 4 cups + 4 ½ gallons hot water
- 1 bar Fels Naptha, grated
- 1 cup washing soda
- ½ cup Borax
- Essential oil (optional)
Please, don’t let this weird, coagulated gloop keep you from giving this stuff a try. It may look weird and have a consistency you have never before witnessed, but it works like a charm and will save you a boatload of money. I really like the scent it has naturally but feel free to add your favorite essential oils to customize it!
DIY Laundry Soap FAQ’s
Is homemade laundry detergent safe for washers?
Yes, despite the rumors or “experts” you see online, each of these three recipes is completely safe. Like any other laundry detergent, what causes damage to your washing machine is when too much soap is used.
Many people wrongly assume that more soap will result in cleaner clothes. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Hence, if you want clean clothes that don’t get detergent build-up on them or in the washing machine, just remember less is more!
How much money can you save making your own laundry soap?
If your main reason for trying out DIY laundry detergent is to save money, you have hit the jackpot my friend! Based on current Walmart prices, here is a price comparison chart for the three different types of homemade laundry detergent, as well as store-bought brands. If these numbers don’t convince you, I’m not sure what will!
|Recipe||Total Cost||Recipe Makes||HE Amount per load||HE Cost per Load||Standard Amount per Load||Standard Cost per Load|
|Easy Powder||$4.90||7 cups||1 Tb||$0.044||2 Tb||$0.088|
|Easy Liquid||$2.13||18 cups||2 Tb||$0.015||¼ cup||$0.030|
|5 Gallon Liquid||$2.30||10 gal||¼ cup||$0.004||½ cup||$0.008|
Is homemade detergent effective at cleaning?
Homemade laundry detergent is extremely effective at cleaning clothes. As long as you use an appropriate amount of laundry soap in every load, it works perfectly. And, for the two liquid recipes included in this recipe, you can use each one as a spot treatment as well. Just rub a few drop of the detergent into the fresh stain and let it set for a few hours before washing.
Is homemade detergent safe for HE washers?
As long as the proper amount of homemade laundry detergent is used for your type of washer, yes they are safe! Carefully read the washing instructions for the recipe you choose and follow closely the HE measurements. Because the key to high-efficiency washing machines is that the soap is low-sudsing. The use of washing soda in all three recipes is the secret to these recipes succeeding in HE washers.
Looking for More Great DIY Cleaning Recipes?Print
3 Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes
The 3 best homemade laundry detergent recipes that are only a few pennies per load!
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 7 cups – 10 gallons 1x
5 Gallon Laundry Soap
- 4 cups hot water
- 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
- 1 cup Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Borax
- essential oil (optional)
Easy Laundry Powder
- 2 cups washing soda
- 2 cups baking soda
- 2 cups Borax
- 1 bar Fels Naptha or Castile soap, finely grated
Easy Liquid Laundry Soap
- 3/4 cup Borax
- 3/4 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup original Dawn dishwashing soap
5 Gallon Laundry Soap Instructions
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the grated soap and water until the soap is completely dissolved.
- Fill a 5-gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot water. Add the washing soda, Borax, and melted soap mixture. Stir well until dissolved (I use a yardstick).
- Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water and stir well. Cover and let sit overnight. The finished mixture will resemble a loose, liquid form of Jello. At this point, you can add 50 drops of the essential oil of your liking to the soap.
- Fill your soap dispenser (I use my old Tide container) 1/2 with water and half with soap. Shake well before each use. For front load washers, use 1/4 C per load. For top load washers, use 1/2 per load.
Easy Laundry Powder Instructions
- Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. If you want a finer consistency, you can run the finished powder through a food processor. Store in an airtight container.
- For HE machines, use 1 tablespoon per load. For standard washers, use 2 tablespoons.
Easy Liquid Laundry Soap Instructions
- In a 1-gallon bottle, add half the hot water, then the Borax, washing soda, and Dawn. Gently agitate the mixture to combine. Add the remaining hot water. The end result will be quite thin.
- To use, shake the bottle well before measuring out 1/4 cup for HE machines, or 1/2 cup for standard washers.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Cleaning
Keywords: homemade laundry detergent
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Debbie S says
I whipped up the shout and laundry soa tonight, laundry day tomorrow Smells great! 🙂
So glad you tried them Debbie! I was on my walk today and someone yelled at me…”Hey! I love your laundry soap!” 🙂
Debbie S says
I love your recipes! The shout was a little bit thick and wouldnt spary even out of the shout bottle, added a little water and works great! I am really impressed, had no idea it could be made so simply. How long can you keep a 5 gallon bucket of the laundry soap?
My 5 gallons last me about 9 months before I run out, so at least that long!
Denise Scott says
I currently buy the very large purex laundry soap. If I reuse these containers will it be the same, 1/2 mixture to 1/2 water?
Hi Denise! Yes, keep the ratios the same no matter which container you use
Newbie here! I have been using an all natural brand that ships to my home once a month but I am not loving the results. Clothes sometimes don’t feel clean or smell all that clean and I have to wash them several times to get the smell off of my hubs gym clothes. I am hoping to try this & see if I get a bit of better results.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
Hello Carole. I have recently joined Pinterest, and that is how I found you. Someone “pinned ” one of your posts, the shout one. I also have a family of 8, and I am constantly looking for ways to save money and run things in my home more efficiently. Thank you for posting the things that you have found. I don’t have creativity, I use other peoples creativity. 🙂
Welcome to my blog! Pinterest has become my #1 referring site over the past few months so I am well aware of their great service. Hope you enjoy joining in on the craziness 🙂
I have been looking for a recipe for laundry soap, but every one I find calls for that weird soap and washing soda. They are both unavailable to me, I live in a very rural area. So I wondered if you may suggest any substitutes for these 2 things. I am however able to get Borax.
You can make your own washing soda from baking soda. Place a couple of cups of baking soda on a raised edge cookie sheet spread evenly and bake in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour. Stirring to mix it up about half way through. Stir slow as it get very powdery as it heats. Take it out and let cool and store this in an air tight container. Oh and no I’m not a genius or a mad scientist.
Thanks Patti for that great tip! I will have to give it a try next time I am out of washing soda -Carole
Carol Brown says
You can find the Fels-Naptha and the 20 Mule Team Borax in any store that sells laundry soap. If they don’t have it they can get it for you. This is really good soap. I have used it for about 6 years and would not use commercial soap ever again.
Thanks Carol for your great comment and I too haven’t used commercial soap in years
Anonymous: I also live in a small town, so I feel your pain. I know some people have used regular bar soap instead of Fels Naptha, but I wouldn’t think it would work as well since Fels Naptha is concentrated and specifically made for clothing. Both the Fels Naptha and the washing soda are available on Amazon, so don’t give up yet! It is worth it!
Hello, I just joined pinterest and seen your recipe for soap. Sounds super easy and i wanna try it but I wanted to know if there was anything else besides oils that I could add to get a fresh amazing scent??? My husband is for sure all about the smell of his clothes after he sweats all day doing construction. Any ideas would be great!..Thanx for sharing!
MommaRose – Glad to have you here! I have only ever added essential oils to my recipe, but I would think any type of fragrance additive would work. My husband really wants me to find a “Tide” fragrance, but I don’t think they sell that 🙂
Leah C. says
I, too, LOVE great smelling laundry, (I am a Gain fanatic) so I started adding a large bottle of the Gain scented Unstoppable fragrance pellets to mine homemade batches. I add it to the pot right along with the grated soap. It melts like a charm, makes the whole house smell like Gain, and makes my clothes smell great! I LOVE it!
That is a super idea Leah! Thanks for sharing
Amanda Hack says
Hi, just wondering if you really use that much water. Add it to the container you put it in too? Please help.
Hi Amanda! Yes, I really do use that much water. If you read the directions and the post closely, I share that I store the concentrated detergent in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and use an old laundry detergent bottle to dilute it into the proper strength for use in the washing machine.
Oh oh oh! I also love the smell of Gain (Original) and love the smell and miss it with this recipe. Will try this and am so glad I stumbled over your post!
Be sure and come back to let me know what you think Karen!
Just stumbled upon your site thanks to Pinterest. I’ve seen this laundry soap recipe before, but the Shout recipe was a new one and I’m looking forward to trying it out. In response to the earlier post from Anonymous, I too live in a pretty rural area. But I did notice that our local Wal-Mart now carries all three ingredients needed to make this soap – it was all right there in the laundry aisle. Maybe your Wal-Mart has them too?
Quick tip regarding the consistency of the soap. Get a 5 gallon paint/compound mixer they cost five bucks and attaches to any drill. Put it in the drill and the slowly start blending the soap for about three minutes. It will be more creamy and easier to scoop.
LIssa- thanks for the wonderful tip! I will definitely get that attachment for my drill.
As I’m working on laundry from the flu here I am grateful for your recipe! Thanks for giving it to my mom so we could have some!
Hope you feel better soon Brittany! This recipe is a huge money saver for my large family!
Becky L. says
I cannot wait to try your soap! One question though, to use a 1/2 or 5/8 of a cup for a top loader couldnt you just not dilute it by half when you transfer to a regular bottle and use 1/4 of a cup?
Becky- you could try doing that, but it is a very thick, gelatinous mixture so I’m not sure how well it would distribute without diluting it with water first. If you try it, let me know how it works!
David white says
The only thing I do different is add a bottle of original dawn to get the grease and other stains out.
We are making it today Carol, I will let you know how it works. Thanks
For the people that can’t find the Washing Soda and the Fels Naptha- I found it at my Ace Hardware store! I’m pretty sure there are Ace or Westlake Ace Hardware stores all over the country. By the way, can’t wait to make your fabric softner!!!
Julie- Thanks for your input! I am amazed at how many smaller, local stores are now carrying all three ingredients due to customer demand. This recipe has spread quickly and people are hooked! I hope you love the fabric softener as much as I do 🙂
I have made this recipe too, only the dry version, and I used a bar of Kirk’s Castile Soap. It smells wonderful, very clean & fresh, and it’s completely natural too. It’s working well, so I don’t know if the Fels Naptha recipe works better, but I will try that one in my next batch. I am wondering if anybody has compared results with the liquid laundry soap vs. the dry. Is either one more effective than the other?
I have seen the dry homemade laundry soap recipe as well. I have never used it, but when I used store bought soap, I always preferred the liquid. That is why I chose the liquid for my homemade version as well.
I’ve been using this for a while, I only make 5 gal since I have a topload and it works great- just shake well!! 🙂 Also I stopped using dry soap after my repair man chastised me- they tend to not breakdown all the way and build up in the tub where you can’t see them or some such and not good for the washer. AND the tide essential oil- there is actually a company that makes it actually!!! I just got dove scent, ask a store that sells the oils or an apothecary if they can order it. 🙂 That seems like a lot of info to pass on! Lol
I will definitely be looking into Tide essential oils!! Thanks!
Here you go Carole, a link to the tide scented oil 🙂 https://www.sweetcakes.com/product_info.php?cPath=8&products_id=184 Thanks a bunch for the recipe too. I can’t wait to try all of the laundry ones you posted!!!
I am interested in making your laundry detergent and I’m a big fan of essential oils but I’m not sure if I would want to add that to the detergent or not. If I did, how much essential oils do you add to one batch? I saw the link to the tide essential oils, but what other essential oils have you put in your laundry detergent?
If adding essential oils, I would add them as I mixed up each batch with the water. I wouldn’t add them when I made the 5 gallons or it might lose some of it’s potency. The amount is completely up to you. I add about 1/4 tsp to about a gallon, but you could always go more or less depending on what you like.
Have you noticed a lot of fading or fuzzies on your clothes from the soap? I’ve noticed that sometimes if I buy some of the cheaper detergents they seem to age my clothes a lot quicker. So excited that they make Tide essential oil!
Do you need to cover it in the 5 gal bucket? I would assume so, but i just wanna be sure before I dive into this, so to speak! I’m a single dad, and also a miser, so this fits right in with all aspects of my personality/situation 🙂
aA – You do need to cover it. Hope you love it as much as I do!
Steffanie – I haven’t noticed anything when it comes to fading or fuzzies. Granted though, doing 3 loads of laundry every single day, I’m just grateful to get it done and that it does a great job cleaning 🙂
Carol, my daughter & I just made the laundry soap last night (we’re sharing a batch) & were both eager to try it. When we were cleaning up our funnel (we’re storing the concentrate in milk containers) I noticed how minimal the suds are & wonder if this could be used in a dishwasher. Any thoughts to this?
We love the clean smell of this soap and can’t believe we’ve been wasting so much with purchased laundry soap. THANKS for your recipe!
Unknown – I have never thought to use it in the dishwasher. I wonder how well it would do on greasy stuff? If you try it, let me know!
Ronsgal – Glad to have you here and that the soap is a success for you as well!
FYI, I’ve used a similar recipe with OTHER bar soap and it did NOT turn out as well, didn’t wash as clean. I recently made this one and it washes BEAUTIFULLY!
Hello! I just made the soap last nigh. Got up this morning and yuck it was a constancy I have never seen!
I do have one question. I mixed it with half water and shook it well but it still had some small clumps in it. Is that ok? I started a load so I guess I will see but just thought maybe I should ask. It smells great and I am excited to get it going!
Clan6 – Yes, the consistency is quite off-putting! I wouldn’t worry about a few small clumps, but be sure you mix up the concentrate well before mixing it with the water. I also leave a bit of room at the top of my dispensing container so I can shake it well before using it.
I can’t wait to try this! I am all about reusing right now with the economy (living right next to DC doesn’t help!) and I was wondering about using a pump-style detergent holder. I have one that uses 4 pumps per load, I’m not sure if that would clog the pump. Thoughts?
Katie: As long as you mix it up really well, it should be just fine. Also, be sure you shake your container each time before using.
I have made laundry soap a few times. The recipe I have used does not use Borax. What does this do? Also, the one I have made says to just use a cup of the soap right out of the bucket (Don’t mix with water). I have tried the Fels Naptha, Ivory, and I just made some with the Kirks Castle soap. They all seem to work well. The last one with Kirks didn’t gel up like the others though.
Hi Carole! I used made this and used for the first time today. I have an HE front loader and it didn’t dispense from the dispenser – too thick I guess. I had to flip the dispenser up as though I were using powdered detergent and it slid on through. Any suggestions? Thanks! Susan
Lisa – I would hesitate using this undiluted because it is quite thick, but if you do try it, be sure to use half as much.
Susan – Did you use the recipe straight from the bucket or did you mix it one part water to one part detergent? I have an HE machine and it isn’t a problem. In fact, the end result should be really liquidy compared to store bought stuff.
I did end up pouring into another container half way and then filling up with water and it dispensed just fine. So I’ve done 2 loads now and the clothes do seem clean. It’s just getting used to not having that fragrance, but that’s ok. 🙂 I didn’t even use fabric softener. Thanks again! Susan
Love this soap. I’m wondering if you or anyone bought the tide fragrance oil and if so how much did you use and how did it turn out???
Jenny Hadley says
I also found a shop on etsy that sells the tide fragrance. The other websites either have a minimum purchase and high shipping rates or didn’t work.
Super easy and fast. https://www.etsy.com/shop/bluewaterfragrances?ref=seller_info
Does the sunlight bar soap work as well? I havent been able to find Fels Naptha
Anonymous: I am not familiar with Sunlight bar soap, so I really can’t give you an honest answer. If you can’t find Fels Naptha in the laundry section of your store, Amazon has it as well.
I made this yesturday. But after the 24 hours, it wasn’t gel. It was watery. HELP…… what did I do wrong?
Lavonne: it should be a bit liquidy. I would call it a loose jello texture. If it is 100% liquid, then I am not sure what happened. It will not be thick like a store bought detergent
Do u have a recipe for fabric softener also?? Made my first batch tonight of the detergent and am so excited to put it to use for our family of six!!
Stacie; yep. I do have a recipe for fabric softener and homemade shout. Look under the “non-food” label on the right hand side of my home page. They will all be under there. Thanks!
Ok, I feel like this may be a silly question but I’m going to ask it anyway as I’m planning on making this today:
Is the 4 cups of hot water just the amount you use to melt the soap? You then say to fill the bucket halfway with hot water and then even more after you add the soap so I’mm assuming you end up using a lot more water by the end (around 5 gallons or so :-D). Is that right?
Thanks for posting this. I’ve been excited to try making my own and my big costco container just emptied yesterday so it’s finally time! 😀
Yes. The four cups is only to melt the soap in on the stove. You will fill your bucket halfway with water, add the other ingredients and then fill the bucket the rest of the way. Also, the result is a concentrated soap so you will mix 1 part soap to 1 part water before using it.
Ijusts made this and it seems the thick goop is at the bottom, do I stir it or just leave it a lot before I put it into my laundry container?
If you read the directions, you will see that you need to thoroughly mix once again after it sits overnight. This will be sure the ingredients are well mixed before you add the additional water when using.
Thank you! I read the directions a couple times and after it says sit over night it doesn’t say mix again. So I wasn’t sure :), but I actually stuck my arm in it and although the bottom had a lot of the goop the entire bucket was definitely the consistency you had said it would. I did half the detergent and half water into a empty tide container and used it, it seems very watery. Is that normal or should it have a thick consistency?
The end result will be quite thin so no worries!!
I made this yesterday and today it is all liquid, no gel or goop to be found. I stirred it up again very well and will check again tomorrow. I hate when I follow the recipe exactly and get odd results. Lol
I dont guess it hurts you to smell the fels naptha soap as it heats up? Nothing harsh?
Is this cloth diaper safe?
Hi there! I was wondering if Sunlight pure bar soap can be used in place of the Fels Naptha…?
LOVE your recipes! While crusing your site I came across your recipe for “Homemade Laundry Detergent” and felt compelled to post my comment. As the wife of an Appliance Repair man, I need to let you know that the repairs for machines using this type of recipe for soap has increased 10x since the recipe went viral. Here’s the problem…Fels Naptha AND Zote have a base of Tarrow, which is derived from Animal fat/hooves. It is gelatin based and this apparently creates HAVOC with your Washers, innards! This goopy stuff becomes caked on the pipes and tubes ect. The last repair he did for a “Homemade Laundry Soap” household ended up costing more than the Washer was worth, so the homeowner ended up having to replace the Washer. Please know that this doesn’t happen overnight,but the more you use, the quicker the build up. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to post this information. Appreciate it!
Carole: I just made this yesterday and was surprised at how much fragrance was in the Fels Naptha. I have chemical sensitivity to fragrances so I may or may not be able to use this (won’t go to waste though, I’ll give to my daughter). I was wondering if you were aware of any fragrance free soaps that may work. I know Dr Bronner’s makes a bar soap that may work and I buy some from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods but all of these are for bathing. What do you think?
Pammy-I think another fragrance free laundry bar soap would work well. I know people have substituted other laundry bar soaps. Let me know how it works!
How do you grate the bar? I have a really hard time grating it, it sticks to everything!
Stephani – I just use a box grater like for grating cheese. It certainly takes some muscle and time since the fels naptha is hard.
Does the grater and the pot used for melting the soap leave a residual? Or, can you just wash and continue to use for food prep?
Great question! The Fels Naptha was right off so no special ones required. I rinse them off well and then just stick them in the dishwasher.
ON NUMBER 4. IS THIS THE SOAP DISPENSER ON YOUR WASHING MACHINE ?
Not the dispenser in your machine. Good question! Just some container that you can mix half soap and half water, mix well and dispense into your machine. I use old Tide bottles that I fill up half with water, half with soap.
I made this up last night, left the bucket covered to sit overnight. Today I have a bucket with a very firm 1inch cake ontop and very watery conditions below. No goopy gloop at all.
I used a handmade bar of soap that had been given to me a few years ago. It’s ingredients were very basic and it was labelled soap.
Has this happened to anyone?
Am thinking I may need to whizz the firm cake in the food processor just to break it up again.
Or maybe even start again with new ingredients?
Emma- I think your problem is due to the homemade soap instead of Fels Naptha. I would try again sticking with the instructions. Good luck!
Lee Shin says
spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i’m impressed, i must say. i’ll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.
Hi! I was wondering if it is possible to use the concentrated formula instead of diluting it the second time in the smaller container and just using half as much in the washing machine? I have a top loader and was thinking I could just make sure it got diluted in the machine a bit before I put the laundry in the machine. What do you think?
Cindy- my main concern with that is the thickness of the concentrated detergent. I don’t think that gelatinous mixture would be good for your machine unless it was first thinned. Just my thoughts.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I don’t use water when I make this detergent – one cup of each, mix it together, stick it in a zip lock bag. I use one T for each load in my front loader HE washer. Works great. MUCH easier than all that boiling and water and NO five gallon bucket!!
Could I cut recipe in half?
Auntie Stina says
I’ve been making this recipe for years, though not from your site. The other site just said to use whatever bar of soap. (Ivory or the Costco brand is super cheap)
Either way, this stuff is the bomb! The last batch I made, I added baking soda. Still works awesome!~
I’ve tried adding essential oils to it for scent, but it never held up to the rinse cycle.
I’m going to have to try your recipe for the fabric softener!
Cecelia Shofner Buie says
for those who cannot find Fels Naptha……castile soap is a good substitute. Most stores, drug stores, and even places like Cracker Barrel will carry Castile soap. Use the Kirk’s Castile bar soap not the liquid.
Anyone have trouble with the soap starting to eat through the bucket? My bucket is leaking.
Thank you for your article. It was kind of you to share what’s on your mind. I appreciate you for spending some time to publish this.
I have a question about the laundry detergent: My husband has sensitive skin, so we use the Tide free and clear; do you know how people with sensitivities react to this?
Carole, I have been making this detergent for about a year now. I always dissolve my washing soda and borax in the water while I’m melting my fels naptha. I really like the soap, but if I shouldn’t do this please let me know.
Linda- if it works for you, then I wouldn’t change :). Carole
You can now order all the ingredients need on Amazon in one set!
Where is the recipe for Shout? Id like to try it also.
Hey Jennifer! Here you go https://www.mykitchenescapades.com/homemade-laundry-detergent/
This may seem like a dumb question but here it goes anyway.
The recipe says it yields 10 gallons but I only read where you need only one 5 gallon bucket? Am I missing something?
Hey Jennifer! It isn’t a dumb question at all. So the recipe creates a concentrated 5 gallon bucket of detergent, then if you read the directions, you see that you mix at a 1:1 ratio the concentrate with water, which will yield 10 gallons.
I have used this recipe for years and always been very happy with it. When I first made it the directions said that it wasn’t for use in cold water. These days so many of our clothes call for washing in cold water. Can I adjust the recipe for cold water washing.
Hi Rosie! So happy to hear you love it as much as we do! You can use it in cold wash just like you do in warm or hot.
Live in Lacombe, Alberta and don’t shop online. I can’t find the Fels-naptha bar soap.
Hi Kathy! The easiest option is to shop online but if you aren’t comfortable with that, you can talk to your local store manager and see if they are willing to order some for you. Good luck. It really is amazing stuff!
Use only 1-2 Tablespoons. I m the kinda girl who thinks if a little bit is good, then a lot must be great. Don t do it. This homemade laundry detergent doesn t contain all the fillers that store-bought detergent has. You really only need 1-2 tablespoons. Using too much could create a film.
Devaney Dawn O'Brien says
I have all the ingredients so I’m going to give it a try! Your recipe said (for front-loading machines) to use 1/4 c to 1/3 c per load but in your comments, people have said to use only 1-2 Tablespoons. Any thoughts on this?
All I know is my own experience with the recipe. I think those who didn’t add water to the concentrated detergent used 1-2 Tablespoons.
I’ve made this 4 times now it separates in my five gallon bucket after it cools down. Any idea why it would do that? Does this happen to anyone else? I use a paint stirring attachment for my drill to stir it.
Mine doesn’t separate, but some of the liquid does come to the top after it sets. I use a 5 gallon paint stick in mine to mix it up just a bit.
Thank you! This was so helpful with the price of detergent right now
i would not recommend using Dawn dish soap, it’s very toxic, and is loaded with synthetic fragrance. nor would i
use fels naptha. that one is bad, as well. you can just use a clean liquid dish soap, like Bio Clean, or 7th Generation….or you can merely mix the powders together, and just use that as your laundry powder. simple….