How To: Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

2 Feb

Last week, I introduced you to the Green Team, a small group of friends and co-workers cutting costs consciously both on the job and at home.  During our interview, they mentioned making their very own homemade laundry detergent.  When I laughingly asked if the products would explode when I try to make my own laundry detergent, they all looked at me with an emphatic “no.”  Wow!  For long-time popular detergent brand-name users, they sure seem convinced that this simple inexpensive way to wash is the new way to go.

Several readers have requested the recipe’ to make their own laundry detergent.  Our friends found all 3 ingredients at Kroger in Palestine, Texas for under $9 in total.

That’s right, $9 for all 3 ingredients.  That equals 3/10 of 1 penny per laundry load!

Powdered Laundry Detergent

You will need:

  • Fels Naptha Soap
  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Kitchen Grater
  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Airtight Container

Blend these ingredients in mixing bowl and store in airtight container.

  • 1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap (use cheese grater)
  • 1/2 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon.  For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.  Also, to get out major stains, let clothes soak in soapy water as a pre-wash.

Hint:  there are no suds because there are no chemicals or fillers.

You may also choose to scent your homemade laundry detergent with your favorite essential oil(s).  For example, freshen up your bed linens by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to the wash or create a spa feel in your bathroom by adding a few drops of lavender oil to your bath towel wash.  Remember only to use true natural essential oils and avoid any natural essence you have an allergy to.

Pure-Castile soap also makes a great laundry soap and in diluted forms can serve as a shampoo, body wash and dish liquid.  I use it in my refillable hand soap dispensers.

Green Team friend Jennifer Rowland was a little worried to use the cheese grater to shave up the Fels Naptha Soap but later remarked that it was cleaner than ever after she washed it from the soap grating.

Jennifer also passed along a few websites that inspire her to cut costs for quality and continue to support the environment, saying “The 4 women behind these websites inspire me to live frugally, plan meals and cook from scratch.  Two of them are really young also!  Guess there’s no age-limit for being wise with your time and money.”

Check out,, and  Also, be sure to visit my website at and share your favorite hints and tip for economizing and going green at home.

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