Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

3 Materials
45 Minutes

Of all the DIY cleaners, laundry detergent is the one that I haven't wanted to do. I would start reading ingredient lists and directions and instantly look away. It's always been easier to buy laundry soap (even the not-so-great stuff) then turn my kitchen into a soap-making factory. Until I found this easy recipe for homemade liquid laundry detergent.

You might want to make your own laundry detergent for any of the following reasons:

  • Making laundry detergent for sensitive skin
  • Saving money
  • Knowing exactly what ingredients are in your clothes
Ingredients and Supplies
  • 16 cups of water
  • 1 cup borax 
  • 1 cup washing soda 
  • A 5 oz. bar of Dr. Bronners soap (unscented or scented)

  • Medium size pot for cooking
  • Large pot for mixing
  • Storage container
  • Knife 
  • Spoon
  1. Shave off the soap with the knife into the pot or use a cheese grater to grate the bar soap. 
  2. Add 6 cups of water and heat slowly on medium heat until the soap pieces dissolve. Heat just under boiling or gentle boiling - do not let it boil over! Keep stirring to prevent the soap from bubbling over the top (about 15-20 minutes).
  3. Add in the washing soda and borax and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour this mixture into another larger pot or container. (The 2-gallon or 5-gallon buckets from the hardware store work great for this. Make sure they are clean and don't have an odor in them, though.)
  5. Add 10 more cups of water. Stir together. Let cool.
  6. Pour into your storage container and seal.

*Depending on a lot of factors, you may find that the finished laundry soap will gel a little bit. This will be perfectly fine and will not affect how it performs. Just give it a quick mix or shake it up before adding to the laundry as you do the loads.

How to Use

Use about 1/4 cup of soap per load of laundry and wash as normal.

Interested in more green cleaning recipes? Check out my Fizzy Toilet Bowl Cleaner recipe.

And this Natural Odor Eliminator that works like Febreeze does.

Resources for this project:

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Kimberly Button
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 36 questions
  • Gayle Gayle on Sep 13, 2021

    Where do you find this bar soap??? 🤷‍♀️

  • Kampung Kampung on Sep 13, 2021

    is this ok to use on HE laundry machine?

    (Sept 13, 2021)

  • Julie Julie on Sep 19, 2021

    Can you use this in cold water wash?


Join the conversation

2 of 73 comments
  • TammyJ TammyJ on Sep 13, 2021

    I've used a similar recipe. I love homemade laundry detergent. Never heard of Dr. Bronner's soap. I'll have to look it up. Thanks for sharing.

  • DiAnna Tolle Greer DiAnna Tolle Greer on Sep 13, 2021

    I've never used Dr. Bonners in my recipe. My recipe calls for Fels-Naptha bar soap or you can actually use any bar soap you wish. Fels-Naptha bar soap can be purchased at Kroger's for certain, in the laundry aisle.