In my ongoing efforts to rid my home of nasty chemicals I am experimenting with making my own cleaning agents. Laundry detergent is used daily, so I decided to start there and do my own homemade laundry detergent. This recipe makes just over 2 gallons.
Homemade Laundry Detergent (liquid)
You will need:
- 1 bar of soap
- 1 cup of Borax — where to find
- 1 cup of Washing Soda — where to find
- 2 gallons of water
Grate your bar of soap into a very large pot using a cheese grater (this one is the grater I use). This part is kind of fun because it grates so well!
Fill a gallon jug with water and pour it into the pot with the soap. Cook until the grated soap dissolves.
Add Borax and Washing Soda
Bring everything to a boil.
Turn off the heat. Pour in an additional gallon of cold water to cool it down. Mix well with a large spoon.
Pour into desired containers. (I now use my husbands old “whey protein” containers because they are huge and I can just dip a measuring cup in to get my detergent). Use 1/2 cup per load. This detergent does not suds up, which is normal. It will thicken as it cools and might even need to be shaken up if it thickens too much.
27 Replies to “Easy Liquid Homemade Laundry Detergent”
Would love to make a liquid but am not thrilled with Borax. Any suggestions? Also Ivory has toxins in it. You may want to look into an alternative
Yeah, this was one of my first blog posts and I have learned a bit more since then. You can use washing soda and castile soap.
So I have a box of washing soda and a bottle of Dr. Bonners Peppermint Castile soap….. what would the ratio be or does it need to be bar soap that is grated? I recently had the Borax discussion with a friend and you can’t really get a good read on if it’s ok or not. On a side note I am totally making your Elderberry Syrup soon. That is a fabulous find
@Chelsea, for what it is worth my oncologist told me Borax was ok as long as it is not ingested so make sure the utensils/pot etc are reserved just for this. Boric Acid is made from Borax so that was my concern. However, Boric Acid exists a long time in the environment so. A good alternative to laundry detergent is soap nuts. You put 5-6 of them in a little bag, tie it shut then drop in the washer for the entire wash rinse load. You reuse the bag full 4-5 times, then replace the used soap nuts w/ new ones and repeat. It is 100% green, and economical.
Thanks Victoria. I am using soap nuts. I am just not crazy about them. I am trying to soak them in some hot water before adding them to the load so that the oils release a bit more. I also think it requires smaller loads than I am used to doing.
I make my own bar soap. I use the same laundry recipe but use 2 bars. For my laundry bar soap I do not use a water discount, which means it is 100% soap. Regular bar soap has a water discount of 5 to 8 percent. This is needed or the soap will be to strong for your skin. Once you use home made soap (bar and laundry) you will never go back to store bought.
I have had that happen, just stick the handle of a wooden spoon in there and break it up. Stir vigorously and it will not re-gel. But it will be a bit chunky
I wonder if it will be safe for my HE machine.
have you used liquid castile soap for either recipe on clothing detergent? I would love to try that
Best detergent recipe yet. Cleans our clothes better than Tide! Thanks for sharing.
Awesome! So glad you like it. Nothing better than clean clothes without all the artificial chemicals 🙂
Do you still mix and heat the same if you’re using castile soap instead of borax?
No, the heat is to dissolve the soap. You should just be able to mix it all together
Is this safe in HE washing machines?
Yes it is because it does not suds! 🙂
Hello Kate, I was wondering a couple things about making the detergent for our HE washer. Sounds like i could use a bar of castile soap, skip the borax, 2 gallons of water, but I am wondering what the washing soda is about. Is it possible to sub a cup of Dr. Bronners castile liquid soap for the washing soda, or is this some cleaning agent i just dont know anything about? How is all this stuff on colors and whites? Thank You!
I am not completely sure if you could sub the two, and I also think the Castile would be too sudsy for a HE washer. They are only supposed to use non-sudsing detergents. It works great on colors and whites!
okay, lots of feed back and different ratios floating around in the comments, so I have a bar or the castile soap that I would use, do I use the whole 5oz bar and then follow the rest of the recipe with the washing soap and borax?
That’s how I do it Cheryl 🙂
Just alittle confused here. Is there a new way to make this without the Borax? Also what would be good to use with an HE washing machine?
You can use it in a HE washer because it does not foam. The borax is a necessary ingredient to get the clothes clean
Do you have an updated DIY liquid laundry detergent recipe. Getting kinda lost with how you would make it.
I agree Mica, an update would be very helpful please. thank you
How much Castile liquid soap do you use?
I am also interested in knowing what quantity of Castile liquid soap do you use ?
Could you write your recipe with it ?
Feeling so excited about this.