Home Management, Housewifery

DIY Laundry Detergent

Dave Ramsey says, “Debt is normal. Be weird!” Along your debt-free journey, you will do some weird things to save money: no cable tv, make your own yogurt, and, something I thought I would never too, make your own laundry soap. I never considered making my own laundry soap because I thought I didn’t have the space for it. Where would I put 4 gallons of laundry soap in my 10 square foot laundry area?! However, this method for making powdered laundry detergent is just another thing in a long list of things that makes me weird.

After a flea outbreak a few years ago, I was doing laundry every day. Because of the amount of laundry being done and soap being used, I wanted to save some money. I found a recipe for dry laundry detergent, and it looked simple enough so I figured I would try it. And I am so glad I did. This laundry detergent saved our budget. The first batch we made cost us 50 bucks (10 of it being the container it is stored in) and lasted for 10 months!!

I was always hesitant to try homemade detergent for several reasons, one being grating bar soap by hand. What I love most about this method, and why I started making this soap in the first place, was you don’t have to grate the fels-naptha!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO GRATE IT BY HAND!! You use your food processor. Flipping genius. I wish I could give credit to the person who first gave me this idea. I was just scrolling through Pinterest, and someone said “use food processor to crate soap so you don’t have to do it by hand.” So whoever first came up with this, I salute you!

And honestly, grating the soap is the hardest part of making this powdered laundry detergent.

After the soap is grated you dump all the ingredients in a large garbage bag placed in a five gallon bucket and mix it up!!

This soap is so easy to make but it is also easy on your skin. Myself and youngest daughter have reactions to certain types of laundry detergent, but we have had no skin reactions with the homemade kind. It also has no trouble getting out tough stains. My husband is a trucker after all! Which means this soap gets out grime, grease, and diesel. As well as a sweaty jiu-jitsu uniform. And whatever messes two young children get into!


3 Bars Fels-naptha soap
3 lbs Washing soda
4 lb Borax
3 lbs Oxi Clean
Downy Unstopables or other scent booster. I use the bigger bottle to have more scent to the laundry, but I have used the smaller bottle. It doesn’t affect the cleanliness of the clothes. Just the smell 🙂


1. Grate fels-naptha in food processor. I use the larger shredding disk and leave it at that. The soap breaks down into smaller pieces as you mix it up.
2. Dump all the ingredients in a large garbage bag placed in a five gallon bucket.
3. Take the bucket outside or to a well ventilated area and mix. Get in there with your hands and combine. Make sure you use gloves when mixing it by hand.
4. Once combined, grab the garbage bag, close it, and shake it around and mix. It really gets everything well incorporated.
5. Use 2 tablespoons of detergent for each load of laundry. More if something is particularly soiled.

Overall, I wanted to make sure making my own laundry detergent would really save me money. I paid around 35 dollars for this batch of laundry detergent, the most expensive items being the Oxi Clean and the Unstoppable. It lasts around 9 months on average. 8 months if you do an enormous amount of laundry, which breaks down to about 3-4 dollars a month for detergent. I say that is money well spent!

Laundry is an endless chore in any house. This method for DIY powdered laundry detergent will change the way you do laundry. Click here for recipe!