Homemade Laundry Detergent – Just 4 Ingredients!


The recipe that I use for our homemade laundry detergent is super simple (4 ingredients) and not that time-consuming either. It’s perfect for me, since I don’t have much free time, lately, AND it’s also really cost-effective. Both in purchasing the products AND in then using the homemade detergent. Once you have the detergent made, depending on how much laundry you do, you can go 6-7 months (or more, if you’re us and only have 3 humans in the house) before needing to make more.

Another bonus is that when you buy the supplies, they’re good for at least 2 batches (the soap, if you buy the one I do, is good for 2 batches. The other i) and I haven’t even counted how many batches I’ve done when using the remaining supplies. Seriously, if you can take the time to make your own detergent, it’s well worth it. You save so much money!

As for whether or not there is soap residue/build up on your clothes from this? We’ve been using this recipe since 2013 and haven’t seen any residue/build up on our clothes. Now, we did mix and match a few recipes that we found online and that a friend gave us. It works well for us and we don’t have any reactions to it. 🙂

Ok – here it is!


1 cup Borax

1 cup Baking Soda

1/2 bar of Zote soap (you can also use fels naptha soap – in which case you use the entire bar as it’s smaller than the Zote bar)



Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting on that to boil, grate the soap.

Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and add the grated soap, slowly, stirring in-between adds. If you add too much, too quickly, you’ll have bubbly soap everywhere. 😉 I like to make sure the soap is dissolved before I add more. It really doesn’t take long at all.

Once you’ve added all the grated soap to the pot and it’s all dissolved, turn the heat off and transfer the mixture to a large 5 gallon bucket (we use a Home Depot bucket). You’ll be adding more hot water to fill the bucket up, so I like to have the bucket in my sink and just run hot water directly from my faucet, but you can always find what works for you.


Once the mixture is in the bucket, I add 1 cup borax and 1 cup baking soda (some people also mix in some Oxi-Clean, and I think eventually I’ll try this method, but it’s not in the budget, yet!). Stir well and then SLOWLY add hot water. Again, if you add the hot water too quickly, you’ll have suds everywhere.

I just put the faucet on a slow drizzle and allow it to fill the bucket up, stirring occasionally.

Once the bucket is full, I stir a final time and put the lid on. Your soap is now done!!! See? All in all, it takes me MAYBE 30 minutes.

Now, my final step is that I transfer the detergent from the big bucket (using a funnel) into an old laundry detergent bottle, waiting at least 24 hours after I’ve made a batch (so it can properly mix and settle). Then I can do laundry without having to dip into a bucket every time. 🙂 Before we transfer the soap, however, we do stir the mixture as the soap will all rise to the top and the water goes to the bottom of the bucket (you’ll need to stir every time you want to transfer). How do we do this? Well, my husband attaches a cement mixer to his power drill and stirs! 🙂 I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but we’ve found this method most effective, and efficient! 🙂

Also, I shake my detergent bottle every time before I do laundry – just to make sure the soap is well-mixed again.

There you have it! I feel it sounds more labor-some than it really is. It’s super easy and extremely cost-effective. We’re really happy that we switched to making our own and I don’t see us stopping any time soon!!

If you have any other recipes you use, please feel free to share!

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