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Eco-friendly and Cost-effective: How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

by on Aug 15, 2023

Are you tired of spending money on expensive laundry detergents packed with harmful chemicals? We have the answer!

In this blog post, we will show you how to make your own DIY laundry detergent that saves you money and contains natural ingredients you can feel good about.

With just four simple ingredients and our step-by-step instructions, you can create a powerful and all-natural detergent that is safe for your clothes, the environment, and your wallet.

Let’s dive in and discover the secrets to making your own DIY laundry detergent.

Why switch to DIY laundry detergent?

Switching to DIY laundry detergent is beneficial not only to your wallet (making your own detergent is at least half the cost of the cheapest laundry detergent brand) but for the environment and your health.

Traditional laundry detergents often contain harmful chemicals that can irritate your skin and cause respiratory problems. By making your laundry detergent, you know exactly what ingredients are used in it. Perfect for people (or pets!) with sensitive skin.

Additionally, DIY laundry detergent is often more gentle on clothes, which means they’ll last longer, and it will save you even more money in the long run.

Yield: 40 loads

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

laundry soap bubble

With just four simple ingredients and our step-by-step instructions, you can create a powerful and all-natural detergent that is safe for your clothes, the environment, and your wallet. Using a tablespoon of detergent for a regular-sized load, this makes enough detergent for about 40 loads.



    1. Gather your ingredients: Collect the necessary ingredients for your DIY laundry detergent, including washing soda, borax, fels naptha soap, and essential oils.
    2. Grate or melt the soap: Use a cheese grater to finely grate the soap into a bowl. You could also use a food processor if you don't mind cleaning it up after.
    3. Mix the ingredients: In a large container or bucket, combine the grated soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are well-blended. If desired, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance. It all dissolves without being warmed up 🙂
    4. Store and label your detergent: Transfer the mixture into airtight containers, such as glass jars or plastic containers. Label the containers with the date and contents to quickly identify the detergent. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
    5. Using your homemade detergent: Use a tablespoon of detergent for a regular-sized load, adding the detergent to the washing machine before adding the clothes. Follow the instructions on your machine for water temperature and cycle settings.
    6. For extra fabric softening, you can add a small amount of vinegar, instead of fabric softener, to the fabric softener compartment of your machine.
    7. Enjoy the benefits: Now that you have made your own DIY laundry detergent, enjoy the benefits of clean and fresh clothes for a fraction of the cost and without harmful chemicals.


For a standard washer, use three level tablespoons of this homemade laundry detergent per wash load. Use less for small loads and one-fourth cup for extra large loads.

For both front load and top load high-efficiency washers, use one tablespoon per load. Increase to two tablespoons for large loads.

tidy laundry room

Tips for storing and using homemade laundry detergent

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your homemade laundry detergent, here are some tips for storing and using it:

  1. Store the detergent in an airtight container to prevent it from degrading.
  2. Use a measuring cup or spoon to measure the detergent for each load.
  3. Shake the detergent before each use to redistribute the ingredients.
  4. Experiment with different essential oil combinations to create your favorite scent. Our favorite oils are citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint.


While homemade laundry detergent is generally effective, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

Soap residue on clothes

If you notice soap residue on your clothes after washing, try using less detergent in your next load. Additionally, thoroughly dissolve the detergent in water before adding it to the washer.

Stains not coming out

If you find that certain stains are not coming out with your homemade detergent, pretreat the stains with a natural stain remover before washing. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water or hydrogen peroxide.

laundry basket with folded clothes

Comparing the cost of homemade vs. store-bought

One main advantage of making your laundry detergent is the cost savings. On average, a 32-ounce bottle of store-bought laundry detergent costs around $10. This bottle can wash about 64 loads of laundry.

On the other hand, the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent, including washing soda, borax, and soap, can cost around $10 and can be used in multiple batches, averaging around 128 loads of laundry.

This means that homemade detergent can save you up to 50% compared to store-bought detergent.

As you start making your own DIY laundry detergent, remember that with each load of laundry you wash, you aren’t just saving money – you’re investing in a more sustainable and eco-friendly laundry experience.

Cheers to cleaner clothes, a healthier lifestyle, and giving inflation a run for its money – all thanks to the magic of DIY laundry detergent!

More cleaning ideas from Curbly:

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