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Homemade Laundry Detergent

Here it is, folks: your key to spending LOTS less on laundry detergent.  This 5-gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap lasts for months and costs just pennies per load.


4  Cups – hot tap water

1  Fels-Naptha soap bar

1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda* (has to be “washing” soda, not baking soda)

½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap/water mixture, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, cleaned, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)


  1. I like this idea. If I have a Costco sized container of dye-free detergent and use the empty to fill, will this recipe produce too much for a container that size since you still add more water?

    I’m interested in trying this!

    • Laurie says:

      Yeah, you’ll definitely need the 5 gallon bucket to make the original batch, but then you can put it into your Costco container, filling it half-way, and then adding water to the top, so you can utilize the pump or whatever. Let me know how it works for you!

  2. Anna Menchaca says:

    I don’t like the liquid stuff, I make the powder and it lasts me almost all year. Just put 2 Tbsp per load.

    1 bar of Zote (grated) of FelsNaptha
    2 cups Borax
    2 cups Washing Soda (buy it at the Pool Supply and its cheaper in the long run)
    2 cups OxyClean
    Mix everything up in a bucket and use 2 Tbsp per load.
    We don’t have hot water in the laundry room right now and the soap does not clump up at all or leave white powder stains on the clothes.

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