The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Own Laundry Detergent: Save Money and Customize Your Clean

In the realm of household savings and DIY projects, one of the most practical and impactful ways to cut down on expenses is by making your own laundry detergent. Not only is this a fun and simple project, but it also yields a year’s supply of detergent for under $30. This guide will walk you through the process, providing you with a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a high-quality, cost-effective laundry detergent that’s perfect for your home.

Why Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?

The benefits of homemade laundry detergent extend beyond just savings. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to store-bought options, often packed with chemicals and wrapped in unnecessary plastic. Here’s why this DIY laundry detergent recipe is a game-changer:

  • Cost-Effective: Prepare to slash your laundry expenses with a recipe that costs around $30 for a year’s supply.
  • Customizable Fragrance: Add scent beads for laundry that smells divine or keep it unscented for sensitive skin.
  • Simplicity: With just six ingredients and no need for specialized equipment, this recipe is accessible to everyone.
  • Efficiency: This detergent works wonders in all water temperatures and is compatible with various washing machines, including HE models.

DIY Powder Laundry Detergent Recipe

Choosing between liquid and powder detergent? This guide focuses on the powder version for its ease and quick preparation time, though we also provide a nod to the liquid alternative for those who prefer it.

  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz.)
  • 20 Mule Team Borax (65 oz.)
  • Pure Baking Soda (4 lbs)
  • Fels-Naptha Soap (3 Bars)
  • Oxi-Clean Stain Remover Powder (1.3 lb Tub)
  • Optional: Scent Beads (26.9 oz) for fragrance
  1. Prepare the Soap: Microwave each Fels-Naptha bar for about 2.5 minutes until it expands. Allow it to cool, then crumble it into a powder. This can also be achieved by grating or processing in a food processor.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a large container or a 5-gallon bucket lined with a trash bag, mix the crumbled soap with the washing soda, borax, baking soda, and Oxi-Clean. If using, add the scent beads now. mixing homemade laundry detergent
  3. Store: Transfer your detergent to an airtight container.
  4. Usage: Use 1 tablespoon per regular load or 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled laundry.

Liquid DIY Laundry Detergent Variant

For those who prefer liquid detergent, here’s a quick overview:

  • Combine 1/4 cup each of washing soda and baking soda with hot water to dissolve.
  • Add a gallon of warm water, 1/3 cup of Castile soap, and your choice of essential oils for fragrance.
  • Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load.

Cost Analysis and Savings

While initial costs might seem high due to bulk purchases, the long-term savings are significant. With an average cost of $0.05 per load, making your own detergent can significantly reduce your yearly laundry expenses.


Making your own laundry detergent is not just a cost-saving measure; it’s a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. With this easy and effective recipe, you can take control of what goes into your laundry, customize it to your liking, and enjoy the satisfaction of a well-done DIY project. So why not give it a try and see just how simple and rewarding it can be?