Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 by 7 Comments
Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making homemade versions of household products has become something of a hobby for me over the last six months or so.

One thing I hesitated to tackle until recently, however, was making homemade laundry detergent. Every recipe I found either had some ingredient that was hard to find locally or required me to spend a ton of time grating soap.

Then, I stumbled across this easy laundry detergent recipe that only takes about 10 minutes to make.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

  • 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  1. Pour the liquid soap into a bucket. I used an empty plastic ice cream bucket for my detergent, which worked fairly well. When I was done, I just stuck the lid on the bucket and left it in my laundry room.
  2. Stir in the washing soda and baking soda.
  3. Add the vinegar in small quantities. The vinegar fizzes quite a bit when you add it to the mixture, which is why you don’t want to dump it all in at once. I added about a 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well in between each addition.
  4. The detergent looks like a thick paste at first, but turns into a powder when it’s dry. You will have some clumps that are hard to get out, but they don’t seem to affect the performance.
  5. Use 1/2  a cup for every load of clothes that you wash.

I’ve been using this detergent recipe for almost one full month. It’s successfully gotten out chocolate, tomato sauce, butter, and blood stains, so it seems to work as well as my regular store bought detergent.

If you want to add a scent to your laundry detergent, trying buying scented castile soap or adding a few drops of essential oils into the mixture.

I used the lavender mandarin Kiss My Face castile soap and was pleased with the scent. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties, so it would be a good choice to add if you already have some handy.

This recipe doesn’t make a large amount of detergent, so I’d suggest doubling it once you decide it works well enough for regular use. I won’t make anything larger than a double batch, however. When I tried a triple batch, it was very hard to stir.

Do you make your own laundry detergent? If so, what recipe do you use?

Photo credit: DuBoix via morgueFile

Posted in: For The Home
Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders lives in Iowa with her husband and son. She has been a freelance writer since shortly after earning her degree in journalism from The University of Iowa in 2003. She writes extensively about parenting, crafts, and creative ways to save money. Visit her at danahinders.com.

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  • Ruby T.

    Why would you make your own? Is it significantly cheaper? Does it help with allergies? Where do you buy castile soap, I have not heard of it. Sounds easy to make!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jackie.hammerscrowell Jackie Hammers-Crowell

    What is washing soda? Can you post a picture?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.hinders Dana Hinders

    Washing soda is a product made by Arm & Hammer. It looks like baking soda, but is grainier. It should be near the laundry stuff at Walmart or Target – probably in a big yellow box.

  • http://www.befreebies.com/ BeFreebies.com

    Ever since I saw the movie Fight Club (with scenes where they pour lye on their hands) I have been afraid to make soap. I did not know you could make soap without lye. This is great – Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.momhomeguide.com/ MomHomeGuide

    I would love to make my own laundry soap — its probably a great way to save money on laundry detergent.

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