Index of Thoughts

Thursday, June 14, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

I am a subscriber to a Small Footprint Family blog and I just love all of her info & ideas on a sustainable lifestyle.  Recently she posted about ways to save energy and $$ at home.  One idea was making your own laundry detergent.  It's so easy & sooooo very affordable.  I gave it a try and used it yesterday.  I am pleased to say that it worked great!  I even threw in some dirty baby clothes and they came out soft and clean.

I also made my own toothpaste and dishwasher detergent that day too.  But, the toothpaste - I like but the kids don't like it so I want to work on the recipe to see if I can get them to use it.  I really like the toothpaste though.  I will post my results when I have them.  The dishwasher detergent recipes were all so different from many sites.  The one that I chose did not wash my dishes at all but left a greasy, cloudy film on them.  So, again I will work on that recipe too before posting.  Stay tuned!!

Here is the link to recipe & all the great info about commercial laundry detergent from small footprint family.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Makes about 200 loads


4 cups Borax
4 cups Washing soda
2 cups Baking soda
4 cups grated bar soap (2-4 bars) (Choose a non-toxic, real bar soap—not a “beauty bar” like Dove or a clear glycerine soap. I used Dr. Bronner's Lavender soap. Omit for cloth diapers.)

Cut the bar soap into large chunks with a knife.
Grate the soap chunks with a fine cheese grater or throw the chunks into the food processor and blend into as fine of a powder as you can make. Let dust settle before opening processor, so as not to inhale it.
In a large plastic tub or bucket, mix the Borax, washing soda, and baking soda together. Wear a dusk mask or bandana to avoid breathing in the powder while you mix. You will need to let the dust settle a few times before continuing to stir. If you can seal the container, you can shake it vigorously to mix with no dust.
Stir in the grated/powdered bar soap.
Store in a covered, airtight container.
If your powder has trouble completely dissolving, try mixing it in a little hot water before adding to the laundry.
Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. (Adjust for your machine.)

** Update:  It is Dec. 11, 2012 and I am making my second batch of detergent.  I really liked it and it cleaned dirty kid clothes good as well as my subcontractor husband's nasty carhartts.  And it lasted this long with a family of 5.


  1. What is washing soda?

    1. Yes. Arm & hammer washing soda. Not all grocery stores carry it. I am still using my laundry detergent today. It has lasted this long and I still have probably several weeks of use left.

      Here is a link on how to make your own washing soda from baking soda! Pretty cool!


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