Jun 072016

So lets talk laundry detergent… I don’t know about your house, but in ours we ALL have sensitive skin. Trying to find a laundry detergent that all of our skin agreed with was very painful to say the least. It can not have any scents or dyes added to it. No parabens or sulfates…. It is a headache to stand in an aisle and read label after label so I decided to make my own.

DIY Laundry Detergent

I started my research and asked some friends locally who made their own and what they liked. Right away I knew I did not want to mess with the liquid form. Seemed like a lot more work than I wanted to do. So powder it was. Now which of the thousands of recipes did I want to try.

My first recipe contained the Fels Naptha soap in it (picture below). With that recipe you had to shred the bar of soap into your laundry detergent….. So I grabbed the cheese grader…. And lost half of my knuckles I swear. This is a very tough hard bar of soap. But success, between me and my hubby we got 2 of them shredded. Mixed up the recipe and fail. The fels naptha did not dissolve in the water. Instead it stuck to the clothing and I had to run an extra rinse to get it all out. NOPE!! Back to the drawing board.

DIY Laundry Detergent1

So once back to the drawing board I found a recipe minus the hard, non dissolving soap. I have since used this recipe for almost 5 years.

DIY Laundry Detergent2

! box of borax
1 box of Baking Soda
1 box of Super washing suds
1 container of Oxi Clean ( We use Oxi Clean Free in our house )
Just mix equal parts together and store in an airtight container.
Add 1 TBSP of detergent per load. This is a concentrated mix so it does not take much.

I have been told it is HE safe. I have not use it in an HE Washer before but research says yes you can. When I upgrade to HE I will continue to use this as well.

I am lucky enough to have a big container that I am able to just dump each of these into stir and store. If you do not just measure out equal parts into your container and mix as you need it. This is my old Chlorine container I mix in and then I have a small container on the counter.

DIY Laundry Detergent3

Now if you are one who likes to have scent in your laundry you have a couple of options. You can mix any of the scent crystals that are on the market today directly into your mix. This is not a choice for us. For those on the more all natural or sensitive spectrum you can add essential oils. This is the option we go for. You can add a few drops to your scoop of detergent just before you put it in or you can make a DIY fabric softener with it in it.

For a DIY Softener you just mix vinegar with a splash of rubbing alcohol and your drops of essential oils and shake. The Rubbing Alcohol helps the essential oil stay mixed with the vinegar. The Red is my vinegar mix. I add about 20 drops of oil to that container. The green is just baking soda with essential oils added to it for extra stinky loads 😉 Works like scent boosters in a way.

DIY Laundry Detergent4

My last little bit of DIY Laundry tip is for the dryer. Dryer sheets are full of chemicals and scents. Another no no in our house. My solution is wool dryer balls. I actually make my own. You can place a few drops of essential oils directly to the dryer balls, toss in the dryer and run it. The dryer balls help keep the clothes separated and decreases drying time as well as adding the scent from the essential oils on them.

DIY Laundry Detergent5

Any questions or tips that you have feel free to add them below I am always up for tips on laundry 🙂

About Brandi Christian

Stay at home mom, Stepmom and Girl Scout Leader with a passion for a healthy lifestyle.

  102 Responses to “DIY Laundry Detergent”

  1. I have heard great things about homemade laundry detergent. I still have quite a bit of Purex left from a previous campaign, but when I run out, I want to try making my own.

  2. I make my own laundry soap. It’s not that hard! It so much healthier, and cost effective.

  3. Interesting. Do you think the homemade version cleans as well as the commercial brands?

    • Yes I do!!! I love it. I used this when my husband climbed cell phone towers and got super dirty and washed them up like new. My son is 3 and well we all know 3 year olds and his clothes come out like new 😉

  4. Great tips! We are scent sensitive so these are great. I like the dryer ball as well. Way more affordable

  5. I enjoy making my own laundry detergent. I started making it back and we were trying to get out of debt and needed to be really frugal.

  6. Thank you for the tips. I am a huge fan for the smell of clean laundry so using oils would be a fabulous option for me.

  7. I never thought to make my own but it looks simple enough and with as much wash as I do Im sure it could save me tons!

    • I buy the stuff to make this twice a year since I mix such big batches. Its $20 wish a batch!!!!!! Huge savibgd

  8. When I was growing up my mom was use to do our our detergent using natural products thanks for sharing you made me remind a special time with my mom

  9. I’ve never tried making my own detergent, but it sounds pretty easy. I would love to be able to save a little money by making it at home.

  10. TY so much for pointing out what a pain it is to grate Fels Naptha. I’m glad your recipe uses something else!

  11. I never thought about doing this before, but since you made a powder, I might do it. I tend to use powder or packs all the time!

  12. What? You can make your own laundry detergent? Who knew! Great idea.

  13. Awesome tips! We are allergic to scents, so these are a great option! I like the dryer ball!! Love your post!!!

  14. Such a smart idea to DIY! We spend a fortune on detergent, so believe me, I’m game!

  15. I never try doing this, honestly I didn’t know there was a way to make your laundry detergent. I’m kind of excited to try it.

  16. this is good to know as my daughter has skin issues – I may look into this

  17. I didn’t even know you could make your own and that it was so easy! What a great solution for sensitive skin.

  18. Great DIY tips. I don’t know if I want to mess w/ making my own laundry detergent, but I love all of the reasons WHY it’s a good idea, thanks!

  19. This seems so simple, I have always wanted to make my own laundry detergent.

  20. I have never made my own laundry detergent before! This looks like a great way to save money and also know what exactly is in your laundry detergent as well!

  21. I have sensitive skin too and it is very hard to find a detergent that won’t break me out. I can’t wait to try your laundry detergent and I love that you only need to use a TBSP so it will last me awhile.

    • Being able to control the ingredients is so important for those with allergies and sensitivities. It really is nice you could make it yourself.

  22. I’ve never tried making home made detergent before. If I ever need to, now I have a place to go to learn!

  23. What a great idea! I have never had the thought to make my own laundry detergent, but now seeing how easy it is, I want to try!

  24. My family has sensitive skin and severe allergies. I have been making homemade laundry detergent for years and love it! No hives, itchy skin, or complaints ☺

  25. I have been trying more DIY cleaners for my home. I will have to give this detergent a try.

  26. This is a great idea. I have never tried to make my own laundry soap before. I am excited to give it a try.

  27. My kids have sensitive skin. This would be perfect to try for my family.

  28. I have made my own detergent, but I have never made my own dryer balls! That is such a good idea!

  29. I love all of these handy DIY laundry recipes! I am sure they cost significantly less than the typical store bought versions too.

    • Substantialy less. I mix this twice a year roughly and each batch is $20ish !!!!!!!! Huge savings

  30. I have seen DIY laundry detergents around for a while but have never thought of doing it myself. I’m pretty sure that I’ll save tons of money doing it too.

  31. Wow! That’s so cool. Your very own laundry detergent
    How awesome is that.
    Can’t wait to show my mum this

  32. I tried making homemade detergent once but my husband is a Gain man so he was not happy with the outcome. It smelled good even though he said it didn’t smell like his Gain. I call him the label ho now because of it 🙂

  33. What a great recipe for DIY detergent. I just got into Essential oils and love them! I am curious what oils you add to your detergent? I love the lavender and lemon oils. 🙂

  34. I know a lot of folks are making their own laundry detergent these days. I have an easy recipe which I’ve used to. It was sort of fun to do.

  35. Never thought to make my own laundry defendant before. Sounds pretty easy and straightforward. May try it for fun to see how it works.

  36. I am super excited that you guys are so excited!!!! I have saved so much money making my own!!! I mix this roughly twice a year since I am able to make a big batch. It costs roughly $20 for one batch!!!!!!!!!! That’s $40 a year for laundry detergent!!!!!!! How great is that!!!! Some have asked the scents I use and I love Lavender for most anything. If it is super stinky or dirty I will use a cleansing blend. It is a citrus style blend. Any other questions hit me up!!!! I try to sit and read comments over coffee 😉

  37. I have yet to make this but think I need to. Would save us so much money, we do so much laundry that a DIY detergent sounds like the option we’ve been waiting for!

  38. I have never tried to make my own detergent, though I do have all the supplies. I’ll have to give it a try!

  39. I will try making my own laundry detergent too! I think this would be more economical! Just 1 Tbsp of it per washload? Awesome. Thanks for sharing your “recipe.”

  40. DIY laundry detergent is great when you have sensitive skin. Even better, it saves you a lot of money too. The brand name detergents can be a bit expensive when you have to do laundry for 4-5 people! lol

  41. When my stash of laundry detergent runs out I will make this. I love saving money!

  42. I have been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for a while, but I still haven’t. My kiddos have sensitive skin, so it would be ideal to make my own versus paying the extra for the less harsh detergents I’m paying for.

  43. I love all the ingredients you have used. You will have very clean and great looking clothes.

  44. I would never have thought to make my won laundry detergent. That would save us so much money as we do laundry nearly every day.

  45. That is AWESOME! I could save so much money doing that.

  46. This is such a great idea. Thanks for the directions on how to make it. I have been wanting to make my own detergent.

  47. I make a similar laundry soap. It saves SO much money.

  48. Let me thank you for posting this article – NOT – it just reminded me of all the laundry I have been putting off doing.No one here has sensitive skin so I just buy whatever is on sale at the moment,

  49. I’ve heard quite a bit about making your own laundry soap.
    I will have to try it one day.
    Thanks for sharing. Worth bookmarking

  50. I am going to pin this. Right now I need to use up some natural goat soap but will try this when that is gone. Thank you for posting this… I have been looking for a dry one as most are liquid recipes.

  51. What a simple way to make your own laundry. I will have to try this as it seems like it will save some cash!

  52. I love finding new products to DIY. This sounds really easy so I will have to try making my own laundry detergent.

  53. I have always wanted to make my own laundry soap. I guess I was under the impression it would take a lot but this seems easy enough. What a great way to save money as well.

  54. This is similar to the recipe I use. I need to get back to making it because it has been awhile. My family was shocked how well it works!

  55. I have used Borax to make a flea killer for my house before. We got one poor dog who was eat up with fleas and they got in our carpet. The Borax did wonders to stop the fleas. That stuff must be pretty good. If it can do that to fleas, using it in soap would be great!

  56. I recently started adding Borax to loads of laundry. I’m not sure if I notice a difference yet, but I do think it helps when I hands wash items.

  57. I’ve always used the commercial version, but this looks healthier

  58. This recipe sounds so easy. I’d love to make my own detergent. I could save some money and know exactly what’s going into the product, too!

  59. I make my own laundry detergent as well! I bought a food processor at a second hand shop for $5 and use that to grate my soap (I don’t use it for food related stuff). I’ve never had any problems with the soap not dissolving. 🙂

  60. I never thought to use those little scent beads in my diy detergent. What a great idea, I am trying this for my next batch!

  61. I have never made my own laundry soap. funny enough, I do have all these ingredients at home though!

  62. I’ve never tried DIY laundry detergents before, that’s really interesting. It’s nice to have a homemade option, at least you know what goes in the detergent and you can definitely limit your spending in the grocery! I’m also curious about the dryer balls. They are useful!

  63. I have been thinking of trying this myself. I’m not much of a DIY type, but am hoping this works for me.

  64. This is such a great idea. I think I may try this for my own home. At least I know what is really in it!

  65. i have never made my own DIY laundry. Sounds like a great idea and more affordable

  66. This is really great, I love the idea of making my own laundry detergent. Seems like it has more washes in it than what I regularly buy.

  67. I am going to try to make this, I keep telling myself I will make my own laundry detergent some day .. with having three kids and all but I never do it.

  68. I was just thinking about switching detergents because I’ve been noticing some irritation. My skin can sometimes be sensitive partially because I have eczema but I am definitely going to have to remember this detergent recipe. This might be the answer.

  69. I have seen a lot of recipes for homemade laundry detergent and I think I need to make my own now. Great post!

  70. I can’t believe that you can make your own laundry detergent, this will help me saved a lot of money!

  71. This is cost effective too! I need to try it again.

  72. I have had a recipe for my own laundry detergent and never actually sat down to use it. Now i really want to. I LOVE the DIY dryer balls!!!

  73. What an interesting concept! I’ve never tried to make my own detergent (HE washer, so anything other than my usual brand scares me), but this seems like a great idea!

  74. I have never thought to make my own laundry detergent but it would save a lot of money. I am going to give this a try and see how my clothes come out.

  75. We make and use our own detergent too for our non-gym clothing!

  76. My mom made a laundry detergent when I was a kid, I like it because I can’t have some allergy attacks from DIY detergents.

  77. I want to make a DIY laundry detergent and fabric conditioner too. I’ve been spending too much on laundry products.

  78. I have always wanted to make my own laundry detergent! It doesn’t sound like it’s too hard, either. Definitely going to try this

  79. Thank you for your thoughtfulness on sharing this hack, I will definitely try this.

  80. Seems like a great idea. Might try using some DIY laundry deterget too, soon!

  81. This is such a creative idea.
    I am very curious to try this mixture out!

  82. I’ve heard great things about making your own detergent. I’ll have to give it a try!

  83. There is a lot of interest in the dryer balls. If everyone wants me to I will get a blog on how I made them 😉

  84. What a fantastic idea. Oxi Clean is such a great ingredient and I bet this DIY laundry soap works really well.

  85. Wow, this is so incredible. I never thought to make my own laundry detergent! I might try to create the wool balls. Such an amazing concept.

  86. I do have sensitive skin & I would prefer a detergent that is homemade using natural items. This is such a wonderful tip to make something on your own & I love that dryer ball as well.

  87. I use a similar recipe 🙂 I actually grind up Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint bar soap. I have noticed that if I put it in the freezer first, or if I open it and let it kind of “dry out” it grinds much better into powder, and then I don’t have issues.

  88. I have sensitive skin so I definitely have to be careful about what detergent I use so this looks great for me.

  89. I love this idea! I am going to make some as it sound easy to do!

  90. This is great! I am trying to get into making my own things as much as possible so I can control all the ingredients! Never thought to try making my own detergent.

  91. Awesome way yo start your own business! Or save some money!

  92. I did make homemade laundry before. Unfortunately, my husband told me that homemade laundry caused his skin rash. I think that he is allergic to some soap. I have to figure out what kind of soap he feels comfortable. :-/

  93. Wow! I never thought to make my own laundry detergent. But this sounds fun and good for your clothes and the environment.

  94. This is really great I’ve always wanted to try this! I’m going to have to do it now after seeing how easy it is to do.