Tutorial: Homemade Laundry Detergent (Powder)

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I use homemade laundry detergent and I love it.  Not only is it super, super cheap–around 2-3 cents per load of clothes–but I love how I can customize the scents.  I also like how good it is on sensitive baby skin, how it’s low in suds, and how “home ec-ky” it makes me feel.

I was going to do a picture tutorial on how to make it, but decided it was just too easy.  You only need three basic ingredients: washing soda (Arm and Hammer), Borax, and Ivory Soap.  I wash my old linens in Borax so I already had it on hand and we use Ivory Soap in the shower.  Both can be found at any grocery store or Walmart.  Now, the washing soda is a little harder to find.  I actually ordered mine off ebay, but you can also find it on Amazon and in some grocery stores too.

Here’s the recipe I use:

1 c. grated (do it as fine as you can by hand first and then put it in a food processor–I use a Magic Bullet) Ivory Soap

1/2 c. washing soda

1/2 c. Borax

Mix it all up.

It’s that easy.  During the summers I make cold-process (lye) soap and I was imagining a scary, time-consuming, caustic project like that when I set out to learn how to make laundry detergent…who knew it was going to be *this* easy?!  I store mine in my Martha Stewart glass jars, but you could use just about anything.


I should note that I also use fragrances in my laundry detergent.  I use the “essential oils” that I use with my soaps.  I make pina colada, garden sage, and “clean baby” scents.

Also, I have a high efficiency front-loader washer and I have no problems with this detergent because it produces so little suds…but don’t worry, it still gets your clothes clean.  For HE washers I use 1 tablespoon per load, for top-loaders I would use 2 tablespoonfuls.

So, there you have it.  Easy and cheap.  Could it get any better?

3 Responses to Tutorial: Homemade Laundry Detergent (Powder)

  1. Mandy March 19, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    thats what I used and had to stop after a while. It was fine on everything but hubbys work clothes, after a while the grease in his clothes did something to the detergent and made his clothes smell really bad and greasy. Oh well, I tried.

  2. Beth March 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    I love this! Thanks for sharing!


  1. Our Old Southern House » Blog Archive » I’m a Penny Pincher, I Admit It - April 30, 2010

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