Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes...

When my Cleaning Routine started to transition to Homemade, I started simple and then I got addicted and couldn't stop!  I started with simple cleaners and recipes and then it just made sense to do it all.  It really isn't that difficult once you get rolling, and it's so much fun (the kids love helping too!)  So, I got the desire to move further and try out laundry detergent.  I sought out all the homemade recipes I could find, compared them all, tried out a few and decided what worked best for my family.  For Laundry Detergent, I investigated and compared the recipes of Homemade Mothering, Simple Mom and Jill Savage - and I have been very pleased.

I have been using these recipes consistently for a couple of years now.

I always tell myself - when trying something new - "If I don't like it, I can go back to my old way.  No big deal!"

But, I'm hooked - I'm a believer.  I'm saving significant money, being a wise steward of our earth and protecting our bodies.

So here you go...

Here are 2 options for you.  I've used both, and they both do great.  I am currently using the gel consistently.

Homemade Laundry Detergent...

Powder Detergent
1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
For light load, use 1 tablespoon.
For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.  

*I double this recipe when I make it!

Liquid (gel) Laundry Detergent
This recipe is for a 2 gallon bucket, but I always double it and put it in a 5 gallon bucket.

1/4 bar Fels Naptha soap
1/2 bar Ivory soap
2/3 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
A 2 gallon bucket with a lid – I found a 5 gallon bucket from Menards - and I double this recipe!

This will last you a few months, so don't be scared by the directions - and it doesn't take too long!
Very finely chop the soap and put it into a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 6 cups of water and, stirring often, heat until the soap melts. Stir in washing soda and borax. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Carefully add the hot soap mixture and stir. Fill the bucket with water (about 22 cups more). Let the soap sit overnight to allow it to gel. Stir well. Keep in mind that the consistency of this detergent is different from what you buy at the store – it is a liquidy gel.

Use 1/2-3/4 cup per load (I use the top of an old detergent bottle). Remember that this is a low-sudsing formula, so don’t expect to see a lot of bubbles.

Fabric Softener:
I use 1/2 cup white vinegar in place of store bought fabric softener.  You can put this in a Downy Ball or just add it to the rinse cycle.

Fels-Naptha® Laundry Soap Bar: Made by the Dial Soap Company, so any store that carries Dial should be able to get it for you. If they carry it, it will be found in the bar soap or laundry soap aisle at your regular supermarket. It is usually on the bottom shelf. If you can't find it in your area, try Ivory Soap instead.  I've only used Ivory so far, but plan to try Fels-Naptha soon next.

Super Washing Soda: Washing Soda can be found on the laundry detergent aisle.  I've only been able to find this at Meijer.  It comes in a 55-ounce yellow box. Baking soda SHOULD NOT be used in place of washing soda. They are completely different products, although they are both made by Arm & Hammer.

Borax: One brand name is 20 Mule Team® Borax.  It is also found on the laundry detergent aisle, and I've been able to find this at most stores. 

So, here you go!  Let me know what you think.  :)


  1. So glad you like the laundry detergent!

    I am really enjoying your blog - nice work!

  2. Myah - can you clarify your gel soap recipe? In the directions, you give various measurements for water. Are those the amounts for a single recipe, or the amounts you add when you've already doubled the other ingredients? I'm going to try some - but don't need to do a double recipe when it's just me. Thanks - Joan


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