Clean and Organized, Homemaking

DIY Laundry Detergent

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Powder laundry detergent can help you slash your budget! 

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

Since I became a homeschool mom, I have done some weird things to save money: we have totally cut out cable tv, I learned how to make my own yogurt, and I did something I never thought I would do, I don’t buy laundry detergent. I make our own!

The idea of making our own detergent never occurred to me because I was only familiar with the liquid kind. That wouldn’t work for our family because we don’t have the space for it. I could never fit put 4 gallons of laundry soap in my 10 square foot laundry area. It wasn’t until I discovered homemade POWDERED laundry detergent, that I knew I had to try this frugal hack!

After a flea outbreak a few years ago, I was doing laundry every day. Side note: I would never wish fleas on my worst enemy. It is a long and tortuous process to de-flea your home. I still wake up in cold sweats about it. OK, maybe not. But you get the gist.

There are three things flea eggs love: carpet, bedding, and refusing to die. So to make a long story short, the process of getting rid of fleas involves lots of vacuuming and lots of laundry.

Because I was doing laundry daily, I wanted to save money on the amount of laundry detergent I was using. 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 us so much money! The first batch we made cost us 50 bucks (10 of it being the container it is stored in) and lasted for 10 months!!

shredded fels-naptha

Powder Laundry Detergent

I was 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 was just scrolling through Pinterest, and someone said “use food processor to grate soap so you don’t have to do it by hand.” 

Another reason DIY laundry detergent is so easy to make is that all the ingredients are readily available. Amazon even has a laundry soap starter kit. Click here to see what it includes!  I use the subscribe and save option on my Amazon Prime to get the remaining ingredients. It’s so handy!

shredded fels-naptha soap

And honestly, grating the soap is the hardest part of making this powdered laundry detergent. You can use fels-naptha or Dr. Bronners. We have used both and both work just fine for us.  We have a Kitchen Aid food processor similar to this one. I use it far more than I ever thought I would! More about my recommended kitchen tools in this post!!

mixing DIY Laundry Detergent

After the soap is grated you dump all the ingredients in a large garbage bag (these are the bags we use) placed in a five gallon bucket and mix it up!!

how to mix DIY Laundry Detergent

This detergent 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!

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!

Items Needed for Powder Laundry Detergent
3 Bars Fels-naptha soap or Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap
3 lbs Washing soda
4 lb Borax
3 lbs Oxi Clean
1 Container Downy Unstopables or other scent booster.
Box Grater or Food Processor
Garbage Bags for Mixing
Storage Container

DIY Laundry Detergent ingredients

Powder Laundry Detergent Instructions
1. Grate bar soap 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. Put detergent in storage container and store covered. I am in love with this container!
5. Use 2 tablespoons of detergent for each load of laundry. More if something is particularly soiled.


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

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