In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent (Dry)

A few months ago, I began looking into making my own cleaning supplies with the intent of saving money on our grocery bill.  I decided that as I ran out of cleaning products, I would replace each product with my own DIY version.  This week I will be sharing some of those recipes with you.

I’ll start by sharing the DIY dry laundry detergent that I have been using for a couple of months.  The following recipe is simple, and it smells good.  In my research, I found this to be a popular recipe among DIYers.  I have found that it leaves my laundry clean and fresh, and the cost of each batch is only $1.80!  It’s definitely a keeper for me!


1 c. Borax
1.c Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1Bar of-Fels Napthia Soap
(all ingredients found in the laundry section of grocery store)

I used Fels-Napthia bar soap, because the purpose of that particular laundry bar soap is to get out stains. It is about $1 a bar. In my research, I found this to be the most common soap in DIY detergents. My recipe is the same as the Duggar's, and I figure that if this recipe fights the stains of that many kids, than it works for me. However, if you are looking to save even more money, you can buy regular bar soap, although I have no experience using it for this recipe. If you are looking to be more natural and organic, you can use Dr. Bonner bar soap. Just be aware that Dr. Bonner is around $5 a bar, and for me it defeated the purpose of saving money.


Before you begin, you will need a grater, a spoon, a measuring cup and a container to store the detergent.

Using a cheese grater, grate the bar soap into your container. I bought a cheap grater at Goodwill, and I only use it for making detergent….not cooking. Some people throw the grated soap in a blender or food process after they grate it to make the soap finer and more powder-like. I skip that step, and my detergent seems to work just fine. The texture of the detergent is more of a personal preference for some.

Once the soap is grated, add the soda and Borax and stir all of the ingredients together, and that's it!  Couldn't be easier:)

Now let’s break down the cost of this recipe.  The total cost of ingredients is as follows:  55 oz of washing soda ($3.24), 76 oz of Borax ($3.38) and one bar of Fels-Napthia ($1).  The cost of each batch of detergent breaks down as follows: washing soda ($.45), Borax ($.35) and Fels-Napthia ($1 a batch).  That’s a total of $1.80 a batch, compared to  the $5.99 I was paying per bottle of Purex.   Using 1tbs. of detergent per load of laundry, one batch of detergent yields 40 loads of laundry.  That is also the same amount of loads I get out of bottle of Purex. 

In our house of two, I only need to do three loads of laundry a week, so I go through a bottle of detergent about every three months.  Since one batch of the DIY detergent only filled about half of my jar, I doubled the recipe.  One jar of detergent = 80 loads = $3.60 for six months……and if I only need to make it twice a year that’s a year of laundry for $7.20! Yay for saving money on laundry! Mission accomplished!!!


  1. This is amazing stuff…..tried it a GF house that I stayed with for a week and loved it. I came home, bought the ingredients and use it every wash day! Love it!

  2. I am definately making this!!

  3. ok do you know if this is safe for he washers? just wondering...

  4. May I suggest running the whole mix through your blender to get a nice smooth finish. It allows it to more evenly be mixed together. You may also try to add a cup of Oxy Clean. Or even better get the generic "Oxy Clean" from the dollar store, or Walmart.

  5. I just made this for myself! I couldn't find actual washing soda, so I'm using baking soda instead. Here's to hoping!

    1. Baking Soda & Washing Soda are NOT the same thing.
      You can add Baking Soda to your mixture, but without WASHING SODA it's not really getting your clothes clean.

  6. May I ask where you got your container?

  7. How much soap would I use in my HE topload washer?

  8. I have an HE washer, is this recipe ok for those kinds of washers?

  9. Is it 1 bar of soap per batch ? or per box of borax , and washing soda?

  10. How does it smell? Do you recommend adding a special scent of your choice?

  11. I have been making this for a couple of years, but I also include Oxy Clean (get mine from Dollar Tree), & Purex Crystals. Quite by accident I discovered if you unwrap the Fels Naptha soap for a few weeks, it is SO much easier to grate and is finer instead of clumpy. If I'm out of Purex Crystals, I add a few drops of essential oils for a nice scent. I get these at a local candle shop.

  12. Please be careful - you need to make sure it is grated very fine for a front load washer- If not it can gum up your dispenser badly- take it from someone who knows- I put the grated soap into my food processor with a little of the baking soda and make it sure fine because of this.