Making your own Laundry Detergent {Worth the cost?}

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe - Spend $20 for a quick recipe that you just mix up and it lasts a whole YEAR

 Making your own Homemade Laundry Detergent

I finally decided to try and make my own homemade laundry detergent using ingredients you can buy at your local supermarket. I was a little bit worried when I saw how many ingredients I needed to buy to make this, and wondered if this would really be cost effective or not. But after making this, doing the math and using it I can tell I will always be making and using my own homemade from now on. It’s a great way to save money!

Here are the cast of ingredients to make your own homemade laundry detergent:

1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz. ($3.24)
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size ($3.38)
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb. ($2.12)
3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or you could also use Ivory soap ($0.97 x3)
1 container of Oxy-Clean 1.3 lb ($3.86)
*optional: Purex Crystals 28 oz. for scent (or you could use Downy unstoppables ) ($5-$6)

All these ingredients cost a total of $20.27 out of my pocket (Walmart prices).

And that was without using coupons. If some coupons become available you will spend even less. 

The first step is to grate your Fels-Naptha Bar. You can use a cheese grater to do this, but I used my food processor as it was a lot quicker. Using my food processor I first grated the bar like cheese, and then used the regular blade to grate down fine.  You could use Ivory soap (just microwave it and it will foam where you can just crush it into a fine grade).

Next I grabbed one of my plastic tote bins and put a black garbage bag inside of it. Then I poured each one of the ingredients inside like so.

Mix all these ingredients up well. Possibly throw in some free child labor.

Then add it all to your container of choice.

There is quite a lot of this homemade laundry detergent. In fact it is 18 lbs. worth!

That is 18 lbs of Laundry Detergent!

You only need to use 1-2 tablespoons per load, and yes you can use it in your High Efficiency washing machines (that’s what I have been using).  Some people worry that just 1-2 tablespoons is not enough, but this stuff is concentrated and works really well!  I have been using it for months now.  My daughter has really sensitive skin, and this has been wonderful for her since all the others out there have add-ins.

But is this cost effective?

So I did the math of course, to figure out how much per load this recipe makes. I am super excited about the results because it is as low as $0.04 per load which is a stock up price when it comes to laundry detergent and using coupons. But watch for coupons on these items to even make the cost lower.

By Comparison –

Ultra Tide powder 143 oz. box, 8.9 lbs. = $17.97 at Walmart ($0.12 per load)

This Homemade Laundry Detergent recipe makes 18 lbs (or 288 oz.) and costs $20.27.  1 lb of this is about 28 tablespoons.  18 lbs equals 504 loads @ 1 tbsp per load. Final price is just $0.04 per load!

So $0.04 per load homemade versus $0.12 per load (Tide).

So even the largest box of Tide detergent at Walmart which has 102 loads won’t last as long as this homemade stuff. And you can save so much money by making this yourself. Give it a try, you won’t be sorry…I promise!

4.6 from 74 reviews
Homemade Laundry Detergent
  • 1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz.
  • 1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size
  • 1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb.
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or you could also use Ivory or Zote soap
  • 1 container of Oxy-Clean 1.3 lb ($3.86)
  • *optional: Purex Crystals 28 oz. for scent (or you could use Downy un-stoppables)
  1. Finely grate the Fels-Naptha. Mix all the ingredients together and store in container of your choice. Use only 1-2 Tablespoons of detergent per load.

Homemade Laundry Detergentcosts $20.27 to makecan last a whole year or even longer (504 loads)

Updating this post: this recipe has lasted 10 months for my family of 6!! Plus I wanted to share this awesome comment posted from Nick (thanks for your service Nick!):


I think that is the best comment ever!744 Comments

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PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. I don't shop @ Walmart says:

    2 month ago RA had Arm& Hammer liquid soap on sale for $.035/load, no extra work needed ;-)

    • sabrena says:

      I cant wait to try this im super excited and will it work for baby clothes and does it take out stains

      • It’s pretty decent at getting out stains.

      • I buy an extra bar of Fels Naptha to use in removing stubborn stains. Just wet the area and scrub with the bar. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes then throw in the load. It works better than any other stain remover I’ve used, even grease!

      • Yes, it’ll work better than anything on the market for removing stains. For very soiled clothes, fill the washer up and let them soak an hour before washing them. (Just push the knob in to stop the washing process. Pull it back out to start it again.) PS: If things are very soiled, smelly or stained you can also pour 1/2 a cup of household ammonia in that soak. You won’t even need a softer if you make it with the smelly crystals. The baking soda softens as it cleans your clothes.

        • I have been making this for a while. Tweaked it a bit as I had found other recipes. I use 2 boxes washing soda, 1 3# box of biz, Epsom salts, 3-4 bars of zote and essential oils in the salts ( a tip I saw instead of using purex crystals). I spend just under $20 and get 256 loads (approx). I figured it about .07 a load which still beats the .13 for Tide in my area. Mostly I like that I know the ingredients. Thanks for letting me share.

    • I don't like to shop at Walmart either says:

      I don’t mean to sound snarky if I end up sounding like that, but .035 cents a load for liquid soap sounds good. I just question how much you had of that and how much you would need to buy yearly and how often that sale is. -shrugs- I rather make this and save lots more money.

    • Wow! Hey I don’t shop @ Wal Mart!. . . . . Unlike ‘I don’t like to shop at Walmart either’, I don’t mind sounding “snarky” since you already set the tone . . . So I guess you either have more money than the rest of us OR you just don’t want what money you have for anything in particular or for anything special. . . Personally, I’ll take .04/load over .035/load ANYTIME! But hey, that’s just me! >BIG SHRUG< and as for any "…extra work needed.", I think Karrie pretty much already took care of the "heavy lifting" for us! Here's where I WILL make a genuine apology, IF I'm wrong, but I have this feeling that anyone who would be SO RUDE to the hostess while "visiting her house" by making such a comment is probably just to lazy to do the "extra work" in order to save any money!

      Oh, since you're not interested in saving money, I'd be MORE than happy to accept your check in the amount of $156.24 ANYTIME you're interested in just giving it away! (that's the amount saved by doing such laborious work when using Karrie's laundry detergent "recipe"!)

      My truest and deepest apologies if I have offended anyone with my remarks.

      • Jennessa says:

        Love it! Well said!

      • You do realize that .040 is more than .035.

        • it was .04

          • I agree with Shelly that it is a touchy subject to be snarky when visiting another person’s blog. However, .04 is the same as .040 (there are actually an infinite number of zeros at the end, we just don’t write them because- who has the time?)

            Consequently, .04 is .005 more than .035 per load.

            I personally choose to make my own detergent because I appreciate that less plastic packaging is wasted and it is worth the extra 5 thousandths of a penny to me. I skip the downy scent things for the same reason. Also, Wal-Mart isn’t the only place to buy this stuff. My locally owned grocer keeps these things in stock for about the same price. I buy by the case and save even more. When you shop locally, you can often make friends with the staff and they are always happy to pass bulk savings on!

          • Alicia Copeland says:

            Shelly, .035 is 3.5 cents. But “Shop” is right, the sale is temporary. My batch was made last February, and I’m still going strong! Have even given “samples” to friends to try, and I probably have maybe enough to get me through December! What I love is that I don’t even have to hit the laundry aisle in the store or lug the heavy box into the house every time I hit the store! I just started buying 1 ingredient at a time when I got to the halfway mark, and I have everything I need for my next batch!! To me that’s worth the extra half cent per load!s

      • Why would you take 4 cents per load over 3.5 cents per load any day? That doesn’t make any sense. As another person stated, .04 is higher than .035.

        • It cuts down on waste, which in itself has cost involved

        • In general, I wouldn’t. The great thing about this recipe is that it is consistently inexpensive, no sale needed. The BEST thing about this recipe is that my very sensitive-skinned family does not react to it. As a bonus, they love the way it smells when I make it with ZOTE. I can’t afford to use whatever detergent is on sale as everything but Tide makes my husband’s eczema flare up; I really can’t afford to have him spend another week in the Cleveland Clinic because of his eczema. If we all had normal skin, I’d stock up on the cheapest (effective) detergent every time I found a great sale like the one Jen mentioned.

      • i’ve been using this recipe for a year now. but in mine i use 4 bars of Fels-Naptha not 3. and works in my opinion better than most soaps. and its mostly for sensitive skin for my daughter and scent free for my clients. i work in a spa.

        but here’s the kicker it cost me 25.00 to make it and lasted 11 months. it saved me roughly 210.00 that’s not including taxes. thats based on the price of the soap i was buying and how many loads a month i was doing.

        hmmmm….. yea i’ll grind the bars.

      • I also have a spray bottle of 3parts peroxide and 1part water I spray tough stains with let it sit for a bit then through in wash it doesn’t hurt coloring on any clothes and this mixture here I used at my Aunts while visiting her and oh my goodness did it smell wonderful and cleaned as well as brightend our clothes now I am going to make some.

      • Applause & standing ovation! I couldnt have said it any better.

    • Look on the bright side of things here, at least you KNOW what’s in this..

    • I love this recipe it lasts us a year and it really cleans are clothes. We do alot of laudry too.
      You can buy ingredients at Ingle’s or any grocery store , Target has some ingredients too.


    • Arm & Hammer laundry detergents have bad ratings because of chemicals. That’s what we are trying to steer clear of.

  2. Do you have a HE frontloader? I read the liquid works best in those because powder will remain and sometimes “cake up” in the detergent holder. So I have always used liquid. Do you have this problem with this recipe? I would love to do this. And all you need for HE’s is 2 Tbs, 3 at the most. I like that you try things out before posting them and broke down the math for us too!!

    • Hi Heidi, Yes I have a HE frontloader. I removed the little cup thingie for liquid (read the manual on that one..ha ha) so that I could use powder. Its been working perfectly fine for me. I use 1-2 tablespoons of this detergent max with this recipe, you just don’t need too much of this detergent. A little goes a long way.

      • So for an HE frontloader, do you put the powder in with the clothes, or in where you normally would pour the liquid soap? I just made a batch of liquid degergent but my husband doesn’t like it. I used the recipe that uses Fels Naptha, Borax and Super washing soda. Could I just add some oxy clean to it?

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          Hi Kelly, I have a HE frontloader and I removed the little cup thingie (super scientific, right? :) ) for liquid so that I could use powder. It’s been working perfectly fine for me.

          I have never added Oxyclean to a liquid detergent recipe after it has been mixed but I think it would be worth a try!

        • I have a front loader and I put the soap in with the clothes. I have not been using the soap dispenser, I can but I just put the soap right in with the clothes.

    • I have been using this recipe for nearly a year now. One batch keeps my family’s (there are 6 of us, and 3 are teenagers) laundry clean for about 5 months. I have a front loader too, but only use about 1 tablespoon per load and it never cakes up. I was worried about that also, but it has never happened. The great thing about this soap is this: It gets rid of hard-to-get out odors too, like cat pee and the grease and coal dust my husband comes home from work with. I have NEVER seen Tide get rid of cat pee smell (unfortunately, when we moved, one of my cats began peeing on my daughter’s things). I am sure my kids use more than they are supposed to use, but even considering that, it is much cheaper for me to make this than to buy branded detergent.

      • okay I have made the laundry detergent today. Do it suppose to make suds?

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          With this detergent you won’t ever see much sudsing. But don’t let that fool you…the clothes get clean just without a lot of suds in the machine! :)

        • As My grandmother always said, If a detergent is making suds, its not cleaning. It just making suds!

          • joan maglitto says:

            I’ve always heard the same about shampoo .When I said one time a certain one wasn’t any good years ago for the same reason (no bubbles)

        • bigpenguin says:

          No, this does not produce any suds but is super effective at cleaning so don’t worry that you don’t see any suds!

    • I have a front loader, and what I do (my hard water doesn’t like liquids very much) is when I use powder, I put the powder in, then the clothes. There is no residue in the holder, and none in the washer itself. The borax and washing soda will clean the drain hose as well from buildup from other detergents (at least it did mine). I have sensitivities to the optical brighteners in some detergents, so I either have to use free and clear detergent or make my own. This is close to what I’ve done in the past, but I didn’t think to add the fabric softener pellets.

    • Ok there is also a liquid version of this, when i make it i don’t used the fabric softener (i don’t use if for the dry either) or the oxyclean. But when you make the liquid you see that this rinses CLEAN. The bucket i make it, all i do is Swirl water in it and there is NO reside at all. I go back and forth between the liquid and powder version but it has been 2 years now and build up is not a problem

    • Just mix it with Water before you throw it in a load. Add a little ammonia to get them really clean. :)

    • This is a great way to make washing powders I love it but there is an easy way for those who like the liquid instead of powder. You grate the soap put it in a pan of water cook on medium until it is all melted then have a bucket or large container filled with about 2 to 2 and a half gallons of water add the soap then add the other products stir well and let it sit for about 12 hours give or take and it will turn into a gel you can just scoop right out of the container or put in your own bottles. It works either way I for one will not go back to buying washing powders thank you for putting this recipe on here hope this helps.

    • I have a frontloader and it dissolves great….

  3. This is so awesome karrie! I am excited to give this a try. :)

  4. I’ve been making the liquid version with less ingredients in it for about 3 years, it works GREAT. You just grate the fels-naptha, melt in 4c of water. Fill 5 gal bucket half way with HOT tap water, dump in fels once it’s all melted, 1c broax, 1 c super washing soda fill rest of the way with HOT tap water. Fill any smaller laundry container that’s empty half way, then fill with water, shake and VIOLA. Less ingredients, fast, easy and CHEAP. Costs me around $13 per year on average.

    • Awesome Kala! I have yet to try a liquid version, but I just might have to someday. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • When you put your solution in an empty laundry container, how much of the soap do you use? Do you use the measuring cup that comes with the original laundry soap container and follow the amount scribed on the measuring cup?

      • I’ve used the liquid and it’s great, but it’s really messy and you have to stir or shake before each load, my daughter keeps a 5 gallon bucket full and siphons it into a small jug and that works, but I’m excited to try the power! thanks!!

      • Gretchen says:

        Lynn, I use the liquid form also and it sounds the same as Kala’s. I use a half cup each load and it works great! Though, I am planning on trying Karrie’s powder recipe now, too.

      • Denise says:

        I found the scoop that comes in the Oxy-Clean is 2 tablespoons and the lid on the Purex top line is 2tablespoons.

    • Alicia Copeland says:

      How much of the liquid dpo you use per load?

  5. I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a couple of years now, I love the fact that this recipe is dry as mine is always liquid. I only use three ingredients; Ivory soap (because it’s whats I can always get for free with coupons), washing soda and borax I usually spend at most $8 dollars and with the above ingredients I can get about a year worth of laundry soap. I love making it, and once you learn how to make it, it doesn’t take long at all to make!

  6. Forgot to mention I also make my own dishwasher soap, super simple recipe with almost the same ingredients as the laundry soap; vinegar, washing soda, borax, and salt.

  7. Melanie Ferrell says:

    I have been using this recipe for several months now… I love it!! I like it better than tide… I think my clothes come out looking way better! I don’t use Purex, but I do run a rinse cycle with vinegar, and my laundry looks great. And, the vinegar rinses out anything my family might be allergic to… we have some sensitive skin issues in my home.

  8. I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out when I finally ran out of my stocked up laundry detergent and have to admit I LOVE IT! I have a front loading HE washer as well and it works great even with just grating the soap. You can also use Zote soap and I think it’s a little cheaper than the Fels-Naptha. I used to go thru a lot of soap having boys who do the laundry but this is so nice cause I just put the teaspoon measuring spoon in and you’d think they were baking cause they make sure it’s exact :) I have super sensitive skin and this works great and doesn’t bother me at all. I also make my own fabric softener, dish soap, and household cleaners from recipes I’ve found on Pinterest and it’s amazing how much less I spend even if I don’t get to use coupons all the time.

    • Tandell Estrella says:

      Theresa I would be interested to hear about the fabric softener receipt. I have been wanting to try the home made laundry stuff but haven’t done it yet. But I think I will be giving it a try soon so would love to have the ingredients ready to buy all at the same time. :)

      • Just add vinegar to your clothes for a less chemical easy fabric softener fix. It doesn’t make your clothes smell like vinegar. Once they’re dry you’d never know!

      • For my fabric softener I use one part vinegar to one part water in a two liter pop bottle. I also use that little bit of conditioner thats left in the bottle from washing your hair for scent :) Just add water, shake it up, and pour it in the pop bottle as part of the water that you add to the vinegar. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and my clothes are soft and smell minty (because my conditioner was Organix in the green bottle). Sadly, I switched to the no-poo method a few months ago and won’t be buying conditioner anymore. I need to come up with a new recipe!

    • Please consider using Fels Naptha instead of Zote. Zote is imported whereas Fels Naptha is Made In the USA (creating jobs in the US)! The price difference between the two is neglibile when you take into account the Zote has a much higher water content.

  9. I would like to try this but I was wondering when you wash your whites can you add bleach to the homemade detergent?

    • Yep, I just add bleach to the beach section of my washer.

    • You can, or for a more natural approach, you could add a cup of hydrogen peroxide. It gets your clothes clean and white without the hazards of bleach and it doesn’t weaken the fibers of the clothing (thereby making you replace them less often) as bleach does.

      • I think this works MUCH better than bleach and is better for the environment as well. I have very iron-rich well water and even with a water softener and filter, I get iron stains on everything. Since I have been using this, my whites have looked so much better. I think the bleach might have actually made the iron stain even more than using nothing at all. Is that possible???

        • Do you think hydrogen peroxide is a better whitener than the biokleen? My 6 year old has white uniform polo shirts. Ugh…yes white of all colors and they can’t have any stains or I have to replace them.

    • There is a warning on the side of the Oxy Clean container that warns against mixing with bleach. My husband actually pointed that out.

  10. My dishwasher soap recipe is: equal parts borax and baking soda. rinse cycle with vingear for a little extra clean. I have noticed I can get the water spots so I will sometimes run a few loads of the dollar store like Sun brand dishwasher soap. But borax is AMAZING. you can use it for carpets and other stuff!! thanks for posting Karrie!! More people need to know how easy this is! And how effective! (for a more ‘natural’ option you can use Dr Bonners bar soap also, for less toxic soap….I haven’t made this yet cause I need to find a screamin deal on that soap but for people worried about less toxins this would be a GREAT choice I think.)

  11. how does this stack up to the homemade liquid detergent? i have used it for a while now but it doesnt get our clothes very clean.
    i would like you to respond to me email address

    • I absolutely love the powder detergent compared to the liquid. The liquid is more of a hassle to make and I agree about it not getting the clothes as clean. I use more detergent when I use the liquid so I am not sure if it is cost efficient or not. However with the powered detergent recipe from above I have been using it for 2 months now and love it. I use 2 tbls the clothes smell great and the stains come out well. A big plus for me is that my 6 year old’s rash has gone away and we had tried everything from dreft to hypoallergenic everything and it never went away.

      Hope this helps anyone hesitating about trying this.

      • Deana Bryan-Sexton says:

        i agree , don’t care for the hassle of the liquid , but i love,love,love this recipe it makes everything smell great, i use downy unstoppables cause i get tons of coupons and kroger always has sales for downey where i live , and instead of oxy clean i use finish dish washer detergent , i know it weird but it works so great i never even pretreat our stuff anymore , this gets out any stain we have ran across even red wine ! love it!!

        • Eirykah says:

          Finish dishwasher detergent??? Is that an oxygen bleach? Wow. I have to google that one.

          • Alice's mom says:

            If you’ve ever read the oxyclean label you’ll see a bit that says you shouldn’t mix it with water and cap the bottle for a long period of time. Oxyclean starts to react when mixed with water, so it becomes less potent as time goes by. I think I’ll stick with the powdered recipe.

    • I used to use the liquid and my clothes were getting dingy. I switched to this recipe (one difference… my recipe calls for 2 containers of OxyClean) and my clothes sparkle!! I love this recipe, and the Purex Crystals make it smell so nice!

    • I think the abrasive quality of the powdered recipe helps to “scrub” out grime. I have found it to work better than the liquid. The powder is easier to make also, so maybe give that a try to see if you have better results. I use Epsom salt rather than the fabric softener crystals, put white vinegar in the rinse compartment and use felted wool balls into the dryer (no static!). I also use hydrogen peroxide in the bleach compartment with my whites. I can honestly say that this works as well as or maybe even better than Tide, which I swore by for most of my life. I have iron-rich well water and have even noticed a reduction in iron stains. (My machine is a front-load HE washer.)

  12. So did you use just the 1.3 lb container of Oxi-Clean or the 3 lbs of Oxi-Clean for the recipe?

    Pamela B.

  13. Hi Pamela B. – In my picture I used the rest of my 3 lb container which was only about 1/2 full, so I used the 1.3 lb size. I think if you are at a stage with a lot of stains happening for your clothes to use the larger, but if I don’t have babies or toddlers so the 1.3 lb size worked best for me.

  14. Michele M says:

    Just thought I would add that I have my local grocery store order Fels-Naptha soap by the case for me. It is quite a bit cheaper this way. I make a huge batch of detergent, using the whole case of soap. I like that I don’t have to think about running out for a long time.

  15. Does it work well with cold water washes?

  16. I have just started researching about making my on laudry soap. Some people say they can make the soap smell like gain it any scent you like. Where do you get the scents? Thank you.

    • The only scent I used was from the purex crystals I used..otherwise it would be nearly fragrance free. I am guessing you could add in some drops of essential oils perhaps?

    • I have heard about using powdered laundry detergent in place of the bar soap. That way it might smell like Gain or Tide or whatever you choose. I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure how much scent it would have.

    • Gain makes the fabric softener pellets that are like the Downy or Purex ones that you see in the picture. I have one of those from Gain, and in the bottle it smells almost like baby lotion. You could use one of those…I think Gain has at least two scents. (These don’t seem to bother my sensitive skin as much as liquid softeners do depending on the smell).

    • Gain makes their own line of own scent crystals, so you can choose from their scents and add instead

  17. Thank you I really am tring to save more money and it hard to live on unempoyment and It don’t go far and have not been able to find a job. Thank you and God Bless you..

  18. How much of the Downey unstopables should I add

  19. I just found this the other day and cannot wait to try it! I was curious though… Do I need to use fabric softener or dryer sheets or is that unnecessary with this detergent? I found a recipe on Pinterest that was harder to make and didn’t require using fabric softener so I wasn’t sure about this one.

    • Most of the time I don’t use a fabric softener unless it’s for towels (what can I say, I am a sucker for super soft towels). So I use Suavitel I think it’s called… or you could use dryer sheets. But honestly I don’t use anything for the other clothes.

      • Sam you can also make a “bean bag” filled with Epsom salt to throw in the dryer. And add essensial oil if you like scent. I use it until the softness runs out, for me a long time, because I like to air dry everthing except towels. I throw jean in for about 10 after they are dry to soften them up. Saves $$ and feels good.

      • karyn m says:

        Karrie, try not using softener except vinegar for a load of towels against a load with downy ect and see the difference in the absorbancy. this is also true with baby cloth diapers.

      • Darlene Barth says:

        It is recommended that you should not use fabric softener with towels as it reduces the absorbency of the towel. In 30 years I’ve never known that. . . . I don’t add the softener to my towel loads anymore and my towels are lasting much longer. I use homemade laundry detergent without adding softener pellets and my towels still come out “soft”!

  20. I just made my first batch of this! I did some research to decide between Fels-Naptha and Zote and decided to go with the Zote since the ingredient list is readily available. I bought the pink bar since its my favorite color and I thought it would look nice. Beware, it’s pretty soft so it will stick to your grating attachment on the food processer. To combat that I put it in the freezer for a while and grated afterward. Worked like a charm! I mixed everything up and have never been so anxious to do laundry! I’ll let you know how it works soon. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • I use Zote too. I just grated it with my large hand grater and didn’t grate it into tiny bits. It only takes about 5 minutes to grate it this way.

    • Nysheika,
      Add some of your soda to your food processor and it won’t stick….that method works great for me!

      • Colleen says:

        If you cut the Fels-Naptha into chunks and microwave for 2 minutes it removes the waxy stickyness. Then drop the cooled soap puffs into the food processor and they break into nice granulated powder. No sticking on your blades and melts in cold water wash.

    • I grated mine once then again in food processor with borax. It helped it not stick and allowed for smaller particles of ivory soap. Almost like the oxy clean size.

    • hi karrie! i too used zote soap and here is a trick i found ……..grate the zote as usual put in food processor pour some washing soda over over that process till finely grated. the washing soda helps it not to clump

    • If you cut the Zotes up into chunks and put it in the food processor with some of the borax, it will not clump up. It saves so much time. Grating the soap takes too long. I can make a batch of detergent in 5 minutes.

  21. Ashleigh says:

    I made this today! I love it, it smells so FRESH!!! I had no problem with it in my HE washer! Thanks for the recipe. Have you tried making any other soaps or household products?

  22. Did you ever get the recipe for dishwashing soap? I would love to make that. I recently lost my job and my pay and hours have been cut in half. I am looking for any all ways to save money.

  23. Philomena says:

    I’ve seen the recipe you’ve used but with only the Borax, Washing soda, and Soap.. just the 3 ingredients.. I can imagine the extra benefit of the OxiClean.. but does the added Baking Soda do much for it or is it just filler? I imagine leaving out the Baking Soda and Oxi would make it a lot more concentrated.. this is my first time so i’m just trying to figure out the proportions of what to do first.

    • Philomena says:

      i mean more concentrated in that if we still used the recommended dose per wash we may be getting too much of the Borax and Washing Soda..

    • Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, maintains pH balances, and neutralizes acids and bases so it works really well in washing clothes. The Oxi is for stain removal mostly. You can definately try it out using just the 3 ingredients and see how it washes your clothes. In the olden days they used a bar of soap only, so I feel like this is a step up from that. ;)

      • I have been using the the recipe with just the 3 ingredients for over a year now and it works great. My only wish was for a scent when the laundry was done, I can’t wait to add the scent beads to it.

    • I use 1 bar Fels-Naptha, 1 cup Borax, and 1 cup Washing Soda. Use 2 tsp per load, makes about 75 loads and it cleans really well.

  24. Cheryl Moyer says:

    Hi~ Love the idea of making your own lip balm ~ especially BURT’S BEES :)

    • Burts’ Bees sold out to one of the mega companies. If you have always loved Burt’s Bees products, keep a lookout for changes in the ingredients.

  25. Stacey crum says:

    I love this recipe. Thank you for sharing it! It was so easy to make too. I was skeptical of making my own soap but was very impressed with the outcome. Since this recipe is for HE washers do you know how much to use for a normal washer? I shared the recipe with my friends and family and that was one of the questions that was asked. Thanks again!

  26. Ashley P. says:

    I found this just a couple days ago. After reading a bunch of comments and how to make it I went out to walmart bought everything and made me a batch. Since making it I have done about 3 loads of laundry and LOVE this recipe. My clothes are coming out spelling great and looking cleaner than the store bought stuff I have bought for the last many years. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  27. I love the laundry soap my sister in law had made this i got to use it for two weeks for
    our vacation

  28. Even though you may be able to find A & H or Purex for the same price, I love knowing I’m impacting the enviroment less and putting less chemicals on my kids & I…and its better for my septic =))

    • I feel the exact same way.

    • Charlotte says:

      Nicki, I would have to disagree.

      We used a very similar recipe to this one without issue for 6 months, after which we had our septic pumped as we were having issues with the washer draining. While we were having the guy pump it out, he noted there was a “heavy build-up of powder-style laundry detergent gumming up the bottom of the septic tank”. After we had the septic pumped, the drainage issues went away. Just a cautionary tale for those living out in the country.

      I know what my city-water-and-sewer friends are getting for Christmas this year (in a extra large colored mason jar with a bow)!

      • Charlotte, you could just add to a cup of really hot water. would really only take a second longer to do ! Then no build up in the septic :-)

  29. Looking for ways to save money . Searched for recipes for laundry soap and saw yours. Just made a batch this morning and its was so easy. The time invested ( which is not much) is definitely worth it for the savings. I have done three loads so far and am quite happy. I have a front loader and I took the little doodad for liquid or dry soap out of my washer and there is no soap left in my dispenser. I use vinegar and baking soda for fabric softener,which I also like. For 5 to 10 cents a load,when all is said and done, I will definitely continue to make my own. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. An easy way to grate the fels naphtha is to cut it into about 8 pieces and place on a dinner plate in a circle. Microwave for 3 minutes. it is quite a site, it bubbles up and looks like bread or cheese. Let it cool and then place it in a Baggie and squeeze it to break it up while you watch TV. It breaks up to a corn Meal consistency. Great for dry or liquid versions

    • Watch out using a glass dinner plate.I microwaved my fels on one and right before it was done the plate popped and broke,so be careful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Yikes Laura…that would not be fun.

        • How do I find out if I can use the home made powdered laundry detergent with a septic system?

          • Charlotte says:

            We used a very similar recipe to this one without issue for 6 months, after which we had our septic pumped as we were having issues with the washer draining. While we were having the guy pump it out, he noted there was a “heavy build-up of powder-style laundry detergent gumming up the bottom of the septic tank”. After we had the septic pumped, the drainage issues went away. Just a cautionary tale for you.

            I know what my city-water-and-sewer friends are getting for Christmas this year (in a extra large colored mason jar with a bow)!

  31. I read on one site that I could use Irish Spring soap, but I only saw it on one site. Have you heard of anyone using it successfully?

    • No, I haven’t used Irish Spring, but I do love the scent from it. I would assume that if you can use Ivory or Fels Naptha you could also try Irish Spring? Not really sure, but if you try it come back here and let us know how it works.

      • Irish Spring tends to cause allergic reactions, in my experience. Would stay with mild and simple if I were you.

  32. I just started making my own soap and I love it ! I am always looking for way to save money for us.
    I need help finding out how to make hand soap and dishdetergent and fab softner. I also heard you can make your own toothpast? Any help you can provode would be helpful.
    Looking forward to hereing more things about home made items.
    Thanks Barb

    • For toothpaste just mix some coconut oil in the solid state with baking soda. Make a paste consistency. Add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to the mix. Just put in a small container with a lid. Whitens teeth better than whitening toothpaste without the other questionable ingredients they put in there.

  33. So, just out of curiosity, I wanted to see how easy it was to make my own laundry soap. Keep in mind, I’m 23 and am in the military. So my uniform is always SUPER stained with oil, dirt and grease from different aircraft. I also love the out doors and consider myself a “Manly Man.” So for me to make my own laundry soap, I feel like I’m stepping out of my “manly zone.” But right now, I followed your steps. Everything cost me around 22 bucks at walmart and I just finished my first load. My uniforms are looking great!! I’ve tried numerous types of soap but none have compared. So happy for your insight on this. Definatly going to spread the word. :D

    • Awesome, thanks Nick! So glad to hear your experience with this recipe. It works so great for me and my messy kids too, and if you are single and on your own that big box of laundry soap you just made should last you like 2-3 years!!! I have a family of 6 and it has taken us about 10 months to use up that $20 worth of mix.

  34. Stephanie Jones says:

    I have a question. I am going to be making my own as soon as what i have runs out and i was wondering which is better, the liquid or the powder? I would much rather use the powder b/c its less steps and less storage space BUT i have seen on many recipes where hot water is needed to liquefy the soap and i run 99% of my laundry on cold wash….does the powder that you make work the same on cold wash or will it have to be run on hot?
    Thanks so much, i am SUPER excited to try your recipe :)

    • I have used this powder on cold water and I have NEVER gotten white residue or anything left over. I have also heard that the liquid versions do not work as well, but I have never tried them (too many more steps).

      • Stephanie Jones says:

        Im right there with you on the to many steps for the liquid…plus that makes a LOT to store so i would have to do a smaller batch…at least with the powder i can put it all in a tupperware container. lol

    • One of the other ladies was saying to just mix the powder with a cup of hot water & give it a little stir before you put it in the washer. Then add your clothes and wash on cold water cycle.

  35. You can call and get coupons every 6 months sent to you for Borax and Fels-Naptha. The number is 1-888-468-6673. They aren’t very high value coupons but its totally worth it since it just takes a phone call. I found this out from another blog that had a homemade detergent recipe.

  36. Stephanie Jones says:

    Made a batch of this soap today and i used it on one load and it seems to work very well and i didnt add the purex so it just smells like clean laundry (which i like). The only complaint that i have is that the soap smells SO strong….i have had a headache for hours now from it….may have to try something different next time. Anyone know of any similar soap that is fragrance free or a VERY lite smell?

    • I know that the day I make it my whole house smells like laundry soap from all the mixing and such, and yes it can be strong smells that day. But after that I don’t notice it anymore.

    • I use Kirk’s Natural soap. It’s not too bad, even when I’m running it through the food processor to grate it. I make the liquid version and there is almost no scent once it cools. I’ve also heard of people using Dr. Bronner’s Soaps (not the liquid ones, the bar ones) if you can tolerate those scents.

  37. Robin Marceau says:

    Can’t wait till payday to try this.Amazing idea!Thank you for sharing!

  38. Being single, it sounds like a lot of laundry soap! Think I will be having a soap making party with some of my other single friends!

  39. Robin DeMaio says:

    I just finished making my girt homemade detergent.
    My 1st load is washing. I’m so excited to see the out come.
    I was wondering if it would make a difference if I added the remainder of the
    Oxyclean in the mixture?

  40. My daughter made homemade detergent at church about a month ago. I honestly just put it aside and never thought about it again. Well this past week money became very very tight and with 5 people in my family we ran out of detergent. I didn’t say anything to the family cause they think Tide is the ONLY way to go, but on 5 loads everything form towels, to delicate, to sports attire I used the homemade soap. Well tonight at the dinner table I asked if anyone had noticed there clothes smelling or feeling any different…..everyone said no!!! I explained to them what I had done and to my surprise they all are EXCITED about making our own detergent!!!! I can not wait till payday :))

  41. Karrie…Hi. This is on my task list for next week, but I have a dumb question…Did you use just 1.3lbs of the Oxyclean or did you use 3lbs for your mix? I bought two 3lbs. tubs, but just reviewed your recipe again and am confused? (Plus, your tub in your photo looks a lot bigger than mine…) Help :)

    • I used around 1.3 sized (my tub was bigger but had already been used so there was only about half left in there.)

      • Thank you for the reply! Copy I will use about half of my 3lb-er! (I have enough for 3 batches for years to come! LOL!) Going to grab my grater right now and begin! Have a wonderful week! Thanks again!

  42. I made a batch with a recipe that was slightly different from this one.
    It required 2 boxes of baking soda and all 3 lbs of oxy.
    It has faded all of my color clothing and made colors bleed onto other clothing.
    HELP! Is there something I can do or add to stop this. I absolutely hate the idea
    Of throwing it out.

    • It’s probably the oxyclean..too much can lighten your clothes. I would just make this a double batch using my recipe by adding all the other ingredients to tone it down.

  43. Desiree says:

    Wanting to try this out!! Husband is iffy. Lol so how much of each do I use to make a smaller batch until I see for myself and prove to the husband that it does work?! Thanks!

    • Ha ha… Well you will have to buy the full boxes of these anyways so you might as well make the whole batch. If you hate it I suppose you could give it away to some “natural” type friends of yours? But I am sure you will love’s awesome.

  44. My first attept at this was with Ivory soap. bad idea…it took forever to get my food processer clean and the soap was too sticky (not sure if that’s the best way to describe it.) Just attempted again (this time with fels-naptha – had to order online) and wasn’t as dry and didn’t get at crumbly as I was anticipating, but way better than the Ivory soap. Is it still okay to use? Thoughts anyone?

    • Some people have used the fels-naptha with just grating it like cheese, and I hear it works great still. I make sure mine is a nice powder by first grating it with the cheese grater and then using the food processor on the cheese size peices to make it tiny. Just make sure and get the fels naptha as small as you can, and then go for it. :) Sorry you had to order it online, your area doesn’t have a Walmart (that’s where I found mine in the laundry section). Let me know how it goes!

    • Brandi says:

      Just add a little bit of your baking soda to your food processor with your Ivory or Fels Neptha. It coats the soap and keeps it from sticking.

  45. I made my first batch last night, and tried it out, i had a white shirt that had stains that i did not pre treat first and the stains did not come out :( i’m bummed (i didn’t know the shirt had stains otherwise it would have been pre treated) The shirt came out dingy and stained :(

    • If I have a stain, I wet the stain and then use a bar of Fels Napha to rub directly onto the stain to pretreat. This seems to take out most stains.

  46. I just made this and I love the smell some people are making it but only using 3 of the 6. I think using the 6 is So much better. I’ve been giving out I’m a home aid and I gave it to both of my clients and they love it. So now I’m making it for them. Give it a try. I did and I love it.

  47. Beth Turner says:

    I started using this recipe in December and am soon to make another batch. Clothes are cleanest ever, gets out all those stains my little one always seems to get on her clothes without pretreating, NEVER a problem with not dissolving (and I always wash in cold unless it’s whites)…short story is I LOVE it! I skip the Purex crystals and just started using epsom salt mixed with essential oils for softener instead. 1/4 c epsom salt (big bag is $3 at Walmart or Dollar General) per load added with detergent. I haven’t quite worked out the amount of EO to add to get some scent yet so you’ll have to just play with it…or skip the EO for no scent at all.
    Someone asked for a recipe for dishwasher soap: I haven’t made it yet because I’m still using my super big box of cascade packs but when they run out I’m going to make this instead. :)

    • Oooh, I will have to try the epson salts with essential oils next time instead of the Purex crystals…great idea! I love more natural elements. Thanks so much Beth!

  48. Hi Karrie,
    I googled a recipie for homemade laundry detergent, and came across your site. I am looking forward to “diving in”, but in the meantime I picked up the supplies, made the recipie and just started my first load. It’s funny to be THIS excited for laundry! I am anticipating a GLORIOUS LAUNDRY EXPERIENCE! Thanks for the recipie and I will be sure to let you know what I think!

    Dawn :-)

  49. Marlene Watson says:

    Made my own washing powder but my husband got a itchy rash from it.. I put the borax, super washing soda, baking soda, oxyclean,and purex crystals, just wonder has this happen to any of u all? ANY SUGGESTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED.. THANKS A BUNCH..

    • This recipe still has harsh chemicals. Try eliminating the purex and substitute biokleen oxygen bleach plus for the oxyclean. I use Dr Bronners organic bar soap also. Essential oils and vinegar in the softener section works nice.

  50. Marlene Watson says:

    And I used the zote soap as well..

  51. Hi recently my husband and I decided we would try saving money like never before. HIS IDEA!! We cut down on our grocery bill, our electricity bill, and paper towels. I told him from the start there are certian things I cannot change. Toothpaste, deodarant, and laundry soap. I absolutely love Tide pods!!! This morning he insists we make our own laundry soap. I was not on board! I resisted! I love my Tide pods!!! I have been reading everyones’ experience and I will try your recipe. I am not looking forward to using it but I will give it a try. I have about 2 weeks worth of my pods but after that I will use this recipe. I will let you know how I like it.


    • Hello Maria, I do love the smell and quality of Tide as well, but this method does save some serious money! :) Maybe save your pods for something you LOVE to smell like tide…like your towels or favorite blanket? Hope you like this recipe though…it does work really well.

  52. Is it safe for cloth diapers?

    • I would say yes! I use it on my daughter who have very sensitive skin (and exczema). So I would think its safe for cloth diapers.

      • Thank you! I am turning into a . Little country gal also!

        • Awesome, welcome to the club Stephanie ;)

          • I’m just about to make my second batch of this. It has lasted 7 months for our family of 6 (4 boys!)
            I have been using it on cloth pocket diapers but occasionally I get a sour smell. Perhaps I just need to strip the diapers, but I’ve just been throwing them through the wash again and it always fixes it.
            I add the scent booster separately because I don’t want scent on everything. (and more on some things)
            This has been great! I love not having to lug heavy jugs of liquid laundry soap home as we have very hard water and the powdered stuff didn’t work here.
            Since trying this, I’ve also tried making my own dryer sheets and I’m going to attempt dishwasher tabs too.
            Thanks for the recipe!

  53. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have made my first batch and just love the way the kids clothes and bedding come out. I have even sent my Daughter and Son in law the recipe. They are expecting there first baby and are looking to save money.
    Thank you from a grateful Grandma to be. :)

  54. Hi I am new to home made remedies but am love in the new life style, I am defo going to use these and also home made fan conditioner, I was wonder in when making the powder can you use Epson salts if can’t get borax?

  55. I am so going to try this! Question, can I add bleach for color in powder form or is the oxyclean acting as a bleach? Thanks!

  56. MichelleP says:

    LOVE this! I am a single mother and a student, and have to save money. This was perfect! I used the Downy unstoppables. Thank you so much!

  57. Dial owns both borax and fels-naptha. I have had good luck emailing dial and asking for coupons for these specific products before. With coupons I have been able to get the price down to under a penny a load. Also, my husband is very picking about how his clothes smell and greatly dislikes most perfumes in detergent. I don’t use anything to scent it and he loves the smell. I usually use vinegar in a downy ball as my fabric softener which works great.

  58. Does This Lather Up?

  59. Well, we finally purchased all the ingredients listed and spent $21.65. I usually use Tide pods which are $18.97 and last me almost 2 months. We had our 10 yr old and 7 yr old participate in the whole process. It was a fun family project. It smells so great, i cannot wait to use it.
    Thanks a bunch!

  60. I am stopping at walmart after work to get the ingredients. Super excited to try this. I also read on another blog that you can call Henkel and get coupons for the borax and fels naptha soap but the number is a little different than the one that was posted previously. The number 1-800-258-3425, I just called and it works, should get my coupons in 7-10 days, but I can’t wait, so I’ll save those for next time.

  61. Hi! I tried to micriwave the Ivory soap like you mentioned but it just came out pasty. Is it supposed to fall into little bits once crushed? I am at a loss of how to revive this soap to make the detergent. :(

  62. I’ve made this same recipe a couple of times this year because I use so much of it! Love it for my laundry which I only use the 1-2 T, but I also have dissolved it in hot water and used it in my shampooer. It works great and rugs smell good. I have also put it in dry form in some old suitcases I bought to take some of the musty smell away. Have even used it sprinkled on my deck and hosed down after something got into a bag of trash. When I went to a laundromat recently to wash some big comforters, I walked in with a baggie and everyone else had 3-4 bottles and boxes of products with them!!! Wanted to get up on a soap box and shout out the recipe! Would also be great for going camping, to the beach, any travel, and for college students! Even my elderly dad who has a problem lifting the big bottles! Love this stuff!!!

  63. I was wondering if there was a different alternative to Ivory or Fels-Naptha? I have not been able to use Ivory since I was a teenager. It makes my hands swell and not sure I wanna waste my money trying the Fels-Naptha. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    • Is there another type of soap you do use? Give it a try and see if it works. :)

      • I do not use bar soaps, I use only liquid soap for hands and dishes. I do not like the way bar soap feels on my hands.

        • Eirykah says:

          Dr. Bronner’s has a baby mild unscented bar of castile soap. That’s what I use for my daughter and myself (we both have sensitive skin, allergies, asthma and eczema).

      • I did look at the ingredients for both suggestions and they have all the same ingredients so I cannot narrow it down to what I could be allergic to. Oh and you are welcome I like websites like this where people help other people.

        • Hmmm… well, you have to be careful with allergies. I am not sure. Maybe try this detergent recipe without the soap? Not sure if your clothes will come out as clean… Or you could make your own homemade bar soap like I did (wait a few months for it to cure, grate it down to use in your own natural laundry soap like pioneers did!) Here is a link to making homemade soap.

          • I will give it a try thank you so much for you help. God Bless and hope to be of help to others.

          • I know the Coconut Oil cost pretty expensive in the jars at the store. There is a company locally that sells the Coconut Oil at a more reasonable price.
            For a 5lb (320 fluid oz measured myself) it costs $16.95 ($0.053 an oz) which would make the soap even cheaper than the cost you have listed. I use the coconut oil for cooking baking and even spreading on toast due to it being healthier than butter. hope this helps more people. :D

          • Kitykatmom says:

            At the dollar general the have epson salt in certain smells already. Does the epson salt cause any problems like rust?

  64. Hi I just tried this homemade laundry soap, I’m very excited about the cost savings, but when I did my laundry, I checked during the wash cycle and I didn’t have any bubbles. Am I supposed to have bubbles? will my cloths still be clean?

    • I have a high effeciency laundry machine and never seem to get bubbles on any laundry detergents. So I am not sure how this works on other machines. I don’t have bubbles but I love this detergent!

  65. Hey Just to let you know you can actually make your own washing soda it is just baking soda baked in the oven at 400 degrees til it becomes the washing soda. I don’t know if this would be more cost effective but I can never seem to find the washing soda.

  66. I have been using this detergent for almost a year. I am in fact just about to make my second batch! I had lost my recipe so was very glad to find this! It even gets my husbands dirty work clothes clean and I use cold water! Love the fabric softener recipe: 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, 2 good squirts lavender and white vinegar. Mix in a cute bottle and leave on washer. The 2 go together well!

    • Lauren Price says:

      When you say 2 “good squirts” of lavender what do you mean? Essential oil?

      How much do you put in the wash?


  67. My daughter has made this several times and she puts a little bit of the washing soda into the soap when she processes it the second time. When I tried to do it the first time it all stuck together but when I tried it that way it works much better!

  68. I am confused.. so you use the whole box of borax, and whole box of washing soda… do you use the 1.5 or 3# container of oxy clean (I wasn’t sure with the recipe…)?

    • I used 1.5 for my recipe, but in my picture I had half a container. I think it would be okay to use a whole container if you wanted to for extra stain protection though.

    • I used about 1.5 lbs and figured I would try that first. If it isn’t working how I want it, I can always add more. Too much will cause your clothes to fade. So, I decided to add 1.5 lbs and keep the other 1.5 pounds on the shelf to add to white loads.

  69. Regarding the use of vinegar…(which I love to use as a cleaner for floors, mirrors, counter, etc)…it is very harsh on your washers components gaskets, seals, etc. Most machines warn against it.

  70. Just mixed mine up tonight. Can’t wait to try it. We used the lavender Purex Crystals and it smells great!

  71. I just made my first batch! I wanted to try it out so I washed a dark load and I used 2 tbsp but it didn’t suds up at all so I added 2 more tbsp still no suds is that normal?
    I must say it smells lovely…

  72. Kathleen Leary says:

    I grated the fels up and then put it in my food prosser but it ended up like in little balls and it is not mixing like I thought it would. I still need the oxie,baking soda and the borax as Walmart did n’t have it. Hope this changes how it mixes.

    Even the fels it different than it used to be. Smells diffierent to.

    • Kristiana says:

      When I grate the fels neptha in the food processor add about 1/2 up of borax first. I’ve notice when grating the soap alone it trends it gets hot from the blade then starts to feel sweaty then clumpy as mentioned and hard to process. Adding the borax I noticed keep the soap dry and the soap will grate to a fine dust. Hope it helps.

  73. Awesome! Can’t wait to try it! I just mixed up my first batch. I must add, I filled the purex crystal container back up with the mixture – perfect size/container for pouring since I have almost literally no storage by my washer/dryer. :) Smells lovely using the baby purex crystals!

  74. when you say you can use ivory soap can you use the ivory flakes so you don’t have to grate the other soap; that’s the only part i hate

  75. How does this detergent work on dark colors? When I have used Oxyclean on darks in the past, they have faded quite a bit.

    • I haven’t had any problem with my darks lightening, maybe its because there is so little of it in each wash with that 1 Tbsp of detergent.

  76. i have really sensitive skin and i usually use tide free. have you had any problems with allergies?

  77. I am making this to wash my infants and 3 year old son clothes. Just wondering if anyone has used the Johnson’s bar soap and the purex crystals for baby. Just want to make sure to use the right amount of everything. I also got the oxyclean big container to help with stains.

  78. Mike Gallagher says:

    Dear Karrie,
    I found your site a month or so ago and loved it. I saved it in my Favorite’s and have used it on several occasions making beans and laundry detergent. About a week ago my hard drive crashed and I never wrote down your web page name. I wanted you to know that I have spent 7 and a half hours looking for your page because it is such a great page. Thank you for the hard work you put into it.

    • Oh my goodness, thank you SO much Mike! I am just so sorry it took that long to find me…next time just google homemade laundry detergent – I am one of the first ones you will find in search. :) Seriously, your compliment just made my year. I kid you not. Thank you so much.

  79. heather says:

    Does anyone have children with skin sensitivities? My oldest gets a rash is we use anything but free and clear. Has anyone tried this with sensitive skin? Before I go spend the money on something I can not use.

    • Hi Heather, my daughter has sensitive skin & exzcema as well, and this is PERFECT for us, she has not had any issues whatsoever with this recipe. I would always buy free & clear detergents as well before making this because my daughter would break out in rashes. Give it a try and see what you think. I am not sure what your children are allergic or sensitive too, so I can’t guarantee it will work, but it worked for me and my daughter.

  80. Will buy products this weekend. Can’t wait!

  81. Monica says:

    What can I use to make this because I am allergic to three or more of the ingredients.

    • I used Kirk’s Natural soap instead of Naptha because it is healthier alternative

      No Animal By-Products because it is:
      Never Tested on Animals
      No Synthetic Detergents

      Coconut Soap, Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Natural Fragrance

  82. I found the Zote laundry flakes at Walmart and put them in my chopper to grate into smaller pieces. I’m not sure how much to add to this recipe. Would I measure out 5 ounces? It seems that amount isn’t very much compared to all the other ingredients. Thoughts?

    • Maryland Mom says:

      I just found those Zote flakes too – use the whole 17-some ounce box because remember, the recipe calls for 3 bars of Fels Naptha that are 5.5 oz each for a total of 16.5 oz of Fels Naptha.

  83. Hi! Is this safe for newborns? Either way if you have to buy a separate soap for baby you still dont spend as much:) so excited to try this!

  84. Mellisa says:

    Any idea if this homemade detergent is safe for cloth diapers? Im wanting to make my own detergent for everyday clothing as well as my cloth diapers, was hoping I could use the same recipe :) Thank you!

    • Maryland Mom says:

      I don’t see why not – all the ingredients are OK for babies so why not for their diapers. Use the higher amount of OxyClean for stains, and maybe try Ivory soap rather than Fels-Naptha. Frankly, I never used a separate baby laundry detergent and never had a problem! I did avoid fabric softeners though.

    • Maryland Mom says:

      On another blog I saw that baking soda affects they way cloth diapers absorb liquid (and, by they way, so do fabric softeners). The first time I made my own detergent from a recipe on another site, I don’t believe it called for baking soda, just super washing powder… so try leaving that ingredient out

  85. you can add a more natural scent to it buy add 15 drops of an essential oil of your choice to 1lb of powder…..mix it in and break up any big chunks….get creative!

    • *by adding

    • Eirykah says:

      Thank you so much! I was wary about using the Purex crystals b/c my daughter is very allergic to fragrances. It pretty much the reason I am making my own health and beauty products now. I can’t wait to try this. :)

  86. Maryland Mom says:

    I made a similar recipe a few months back and, not believing I could get away with so little, I have been adding about a cup scoop worth…reading these comments I have re-calibrated myself and will go back to using the scoop that came from the Oxyclean.

    I just was shopping for the ingredients to make another batch – I do a lot of Amazon Prime shopping and couldn’t believe how much more it was than your quoted Wal-Mart prices so I braved Wal-Mart (insert Lurch-type groan here) and found the similar prices to yours in my expensive metro area Wal-Mart! I actually bought the 5# bucket of OxyClean which is actually $2.46 for 1.3# worth! My other recipe didn’t call for Baking Soda – couldn’t find a 4# box so just bought 4 1-pound boxes at $0.68, so a little more money than what’s listed here. The bonus came when I found a 17+ ounce box of ZOTE flakes for less than $3 – this is about the same net weight as the 3-bars of Fels but they are already flaked! I may run them through the processor with some of the dry ingredients to cut them up a bit more since they’re about the size of half a dime. Now that I’m away from the store, I’m looking at the receipt to write up this note, I see that they didn’t even charge me for that… SCORE!

  87. Hello,

    Just wanted to let you know I LOVE this laundry detergent. I was introduced to it by one of my co-workers who has been using it for almost a year. She brought some in to work to share with me once I expressed an interest in making it. I washed and washed and washed and really enjoyed the fresh, clean smell in my laundry room. Thanks for sharing, I am hooked.

    Sonya from Southfield

  88. thanks, does this work as well in cold water?

  89. I made your laundry detergent after it was highly recommended by a friend and reading all of the positive feedback here on your blog, but now I have a little problem…. We have a standard top-loading washer and I was everything on cold – I am using the scoop that came in the oxi-clean tub for my detergent scoop and putting two scoops in for a large load of clothes ( I’m estimating that’s about 2 1/2tbsp ), but apparently my husband and I have super stinky pits! Many of our t-shirts are coming out of the wash smelling less than fresh in the arm pit regions, which is a major bummer. Have you or anyone else had this problem? What would you recommend? I haven’t tried any pre-treaters like Shout yet because I just want this detergent to take care of it all for me like my Gain did before :0 /

  90. I have used this recipe without the purex chrystals for scent. I also have a recipe if you cant find the fels napa to use ivory soap. I have used it and it works fine, but the scent of ivory is strong for me. I prefer the fels napa.
    >>>Has anyone liquidated this recipe? I have a large amount of this soap and find since I use cold water to wash my sometimes doesn’t totally dissolve.

  91. lisa garcia says:

    Hey how much do i use if i dont have a he washer?

  92. Jeri Hibbs says:

    My only gripe about this is that the fels naptha doesn’t completely dissolve, I am getting ready to do another batch and am using Zote bar soap (available at Lowes) I have dissolved this in water (strained out the big bits and put it in a spray bottle and use it to clean everything!.. it smells great..

  93. I was wondering if you have heard of anyone using sun oxygen cleaner, and kirk’s castile soap.

  94. How much would you use for a regular top loading machine?

  95. For those concerned about residue, etc. from the dry detergent, you could dissolve the amount for each load into hot water (in a measuring cup, bowl) and add to the wash. I love the idea of using Zote as I have used it in the past for stain removal and love it’s aroma. I just rub it on the stain after wetting the stain with water, and then launder. I am going to try the vinegar rinse as softener helps to remove soap residue, however adding regular softener to towels reduces their absorbancy, per my late 101 yr old grandma. She never used softener for towels. I will be trying the epsom salt “baggie” as a softener, also. Thanks for the info and all of the informative comments.

  96. Shannon says:

    We go through so much detergent I have decided this is the way to go. Today’s payday so I’m making a trip to Walmart the savings will definitely make my husband happy

  97. I am going to try this recipe! I have 5 kids and we go through on average about 15 loads of laundry a week….yea we have a top loader with no adjator….I have tried the Duggar’s version, which ppl have listed above and it has NOT worked for us, which is astonishing, since it does for them, who have so many kids! So the liquid versopn for us is out and the clothing smells bad after washing! I will try this version in hopes that I can make it work! Otherwise back to Tide I go, which has always worked great, yea it cost more, but sometimes u get what u pay for! I have one question, as far as the in-scent boosters like the Downey crystals, do u all to the laudry recipe when u make it, or do u add from its container each time you do load? I am going to post ur site on my FB page as well, since I have a lot of peeps asking about homemade laundry detergernt! Thanks for the recipe idea!

    • Hi Amanda, I add the crystals right to the mix. It is optional, but if you like a little bit of scent and softener its great. Thanks for sharing on your facebook!

  98. Please note that any form of scent that is not essential oil or natural based is a potential health hazard in regards to phthalates. Too many scented products utilize phthalates to fix the fragrance.

    Please use scented items with caution.

  99. Patsy Clinton says:

    I used the larger size of Oxi Clean. Should I go ahead and mix up an additional double batch before I use any of it. Don’t want my clothes to be faded.

  100. Cassandra says:

    I only have the Ivory soap readily available where I’m at. I just wanted to make sure I was using the right amount. Is it 3 -5.5 oz bars or 5.5 ounces total?


  101. Jennifer says:

    I also added a box of Clorox 2 color safe bleach + color booster to mine and it works amazing. My clothes come out smelling like an orange :)

    • Great Idea I’m going to steal this one! ;)

    • Amy Fraunfelter says:

      Jennifer, did you also add the Purex Crystals? I am asking cause you said it smells like oranges. So was just curious if a combo of all did this ~ thank you!

      • Michelle says:

        How much Clorox did you add?

        • Yes, Jennifer, I would also like to know if you added the Clorox 2 color safe bleach + color booster in addition to the Purex Crystals?
          Thanks for letting us know!!

          • Ladies, does it “suds up” when you run your wash? Also, for front loaders, do you pour detergent inside the wash (with the clothes) or do you add it to the designated spot for detergent on the machine.

            It’s probably a silly question; however, I don’t want to ruin our front loader.


          • Using a front loader like I do, you won’t ever see much sudsing…but it might suds up if you use a regular machine, not sure. I pour my detergent into the detergent spot on my machine, just remove the liquid container and add it in directly.

          • I have a top-loader and it doesn’t suds up :)

    • could you please tell me what size box of the Clorox 2 color safe bleach + color booster that you added to the mixture?

  102. Best part, it could cost less without the crystals!

    I just add them to special loads (sheets, guest towels)

    Line dry.. Save even more money!

  103. I have 2 try this because I wash cloths so much & I buy detergent every week & its costly

  104. Love it it’s work great!!!

  105. The soap shavings didn’t mix well until I put them in a shallow pan and dusted borax over them, just enough to to make the shavings separatable. I also added essential oil for fragrance instead of fragrance crystals.

    The recipe works great.

  106. I just wanted to say thanks for this! I’d been looking for a recipe that works, and this is definitely it. Better than Tide, and obviously way healthier.
    I also wanted to add- I use it to mop my floors and its fantastic! I hate super sudsy mop water because its so hard to get off the floors, and I had been looking for an alternative. Couldn’t be happier. I use a tablespoon for a bucket of hot water. Could probably use less, but I’m happy with that ratio.

    • Wow, really? Mopping your floors? Awesome, I am going to have to try it too!

      • Oh cool! Yeah, I’m a big fan :)

        • Rachelle Stropola says:

          I wish my steam mop could use this solution! hhhmmmm……you have me thinking about the possibility of dissolving a small amount of this and putting it on the pad to see what happens! It’s in my head now….I think I may go scrub the kitchen….LOL

          • Rachelle Stropola says:

            FAIL: I just tried it, will have to pass back with a clean cloth to re-steam the floor to get the film off…on the upside, it smelled fabulous…LOL

    • Mopping your floors with vinegar water works well. White vinegar is a cheap alternative to expensive Swiffer products. Also for the bathtub…warm up vinegar and a couple squirts of dishsoap in the microwave. Wipe down walls and fixtures with warm vinegar mix with wash cloth. All of soap scum will come off and shower will look brand new. It is amazing!!!….will never buy brand name bathroom cleaners again:) Using white vinegar gives everything a fresh, clean feeling and the smell quickly leaves.

      • Willette says:

        Amen…Vinegar is a wonder product. I use it for fabric softener, mopping, the floor is so clean feeling under my bare feet…lol… cleaning my bathtub and shower, cleaning my dishwasher and for soaking my feet when doing pedicures. Thanks for posting, Dawn. We can get by with so many less expensive products things if we will just make the effort. I make homemade washing detergent dry and liquid with a couple of recipes just to try them for comparison. If my towels are extra dirty, I use 1/4 cup of bleach mixed with a quart of water and pour in the washer with my homemade detergent. So far it works great.

  107. HELP!!! we have been using this homemade soap for over a month and we’ve loved it. Although we have encountered a problem this past weekend. I don’t understand why this is happening after over a month but this weekend I’ve noticed some clothes have come out stained it seems like a discoloration of the clothing. WHY!??! Has anyone experienced this? I loved this soap until now… what’s happening?

    • It maybe the oxyclean. I tried to treat a shirt stain w/that stuff once. And it made a grey shirt ..well Kelly Green? Not certain but that could be it.

    • I had that happen too; I just re-washed. What I think it is, as this happened on a whites load and the first one I did, is that it is cleaning out the build-up gunk that is in the washing tub from all the fillers, from the saop I used to use; the area that you can’t see with out taking the washer completely apart. Just my humble opinion.

      • That very well could be Diane. :) Great thought. So everyone make sure and do one load first with just the detergent inside and no clothes.

  108. We have tried homemade laundry soap in the past I didn’t feel the clothes smelled clean. Going to try yours and also add the crystals to see if that helps. Thanks for sharing.

  109. Amy Fraunfelter says:

    I made up my first batch today ~ and I only used 1.3 lbs of the OxyClean. Do I need to add more or is just the 1.3 ok to the rest of the ration of ingredients? Thank you!

  110. Can you use this in an HE front loading washer?

    • Yes, I use it in my HE front loader washing machine.

      • Cristal says:

        I want to make this for our football team uniforms. They have industrial machines. Do you think that I would use the same amount or a little more?

        • How big are the machines? If they are really huge then maybe add a little more than the 2 tbsp – otherwise if it’s the same size, then just the same amt.

          • Cristal says:

            The machine are larger than normal. So I told them to use 3tbsp. Especially since they get really dirty. They do have the greased lightning to pre-treat them as well.

  111. Joe Manleeman says:

    I love your site and your story! Thanks to you, I am going to try making my own laundry detergent AND lip balm. While investigating other DIY projects, I noticed some sites mention that some homemade laundry detergent (not this recipe specifically, but some similar ones) made their clothes come out “dingy”, and made their whites look “gray”. Have you (or any of your readers) come across anything like this? Thanks.

    • None of my clothes have come out looking dingy or gray. :)

      • Joe Manleeman says:

        Thanks for the response. I can’t wait to make my first batch. Keep up the great work! :)

        • I have been using this laundry soap for the last 3 years most of my friends and family are using it now and we all love it! I will never buy store bought detergent again! We are addicted!

    • Clothes look dingy and gray because this homemade detergent doesn’t have brighteners added to it. I make my own because I’m trying to stay away from chemicals but if you feel you really need the brighteners, then I would add the chlorox2, that should solve the issue.

    • I learned from another site what the problem is that sometimes makes clothes dingy and/or gray with homemade laundry soap. When people switch to the DIY version, they often switch to vinegar as a fabric softener or rinse agent. The problem is that vinegar reverses the saponification process, separating the soap and turning it into oil. When this happens, your clothes literally come out dirtier than they went in. You *can* use the vinegar in the final rinse, but often some leaks into the wash cycle if one uses a fabric softener dispenser. I have learned that my HE front loader does leak fabric softener into the wash cycle, so I no longer use the vinegar. Haven’t had a problem with it since that discovery.

  112. Marilyn says:

    Can you use this detergent with cold water?

  113. Rachelle Stropola says:

    I made this lovely concoction over the weekend and used the Downy Unstoppables (smells like pink bubble gum). My family is IN LOVE with this detergent! Our son is active in multiple sports and has REALLY nasty clothes. One of the sports is wrestling, which means he goes through two changes of workout clothes per practice (to avoid the spread of bacteria onto the mats and teammates) then has to shower afterwards and put on yet another change of clothing just to be able to come home, this also means that his clothing has to be washed separately from the rest of the family’s. With that said, I am sure you get the gist of why this recipe is so “valuable” to me (one person going through 5 changes of clothes in one day). I really don’t love doing laundry, but this has made me actually look forward to the chore!! Thank You Karrie! May you and your family be ever so Blessed!

    • Aweee, that is so nice to hear! So glad it works well for you and your family. I have a wrestler too, so I know exactly what you mean.

      • Rachelle Stropola says:

        I am so happy that I found your site! I look forward to exploring your world further! Thank you for bringing us back to the reality that our grandparents knew in the “good ‘ole days”. And, let’s pray that the people in charge of the Olympics come to their senses….

  114. How can I turn this recipe into a liquid Laundry detergent instead of using it as powders?

  115. I have a whole house water softener. Will these ingredients and proportions still work? Sounds great- Elissa

  116. vanessa says:

    I am stunned, the mix works very well. Our clothes just smell ‘clean’, no lingering perfumes. Did not add the perfume crystals, since we are trying to reduce too many ‘scents’ in the house. I only made a small batch to test it out. Once it’s gone will do the rest. Thanks for sharing this info. Truly the internet has made a lot of resources available to those willing to search, simplify and reuse our limited resources.

  117. michelle says:

    Hi ,I’m new to ur site I can’t wait to try the soap.

  118. Carly Fletcher says:

    Is it safe to use at the Laundromat? I know this sounds silly but I live in a apartment and we have no washer/dryer and no laundry center lol yeah I know “say whatttt?” but its cheap as my husband and I are trying to save up to buy a house :) especially with the housing market starting to creep up! Thank you so much :)

  119. Hello!! I have tried other DIY detergents, but I like your recipe better? But where do you buy your supplies? I can’t seem to find them for the prices you have listed & I am hoping to make it as economical as possible.

  120. I’ve used this homemade detergent for 3 months now & find my clothes are much brighter than before! Also use a bar of fels naptha for stubborn stains ( my sons greasy work clothes). Just wet the stain & rub with the bar. I’m allergic to most store bought detergents so I am really pleased with my homemade results!

  121. Dennette says:

    What a great recipe! I have been using my homemade liquid detergent (tired of the big ole bucket and the shaking), but will be trying your dry recipe over the weekend. I have noticed some comments about dingy, white clothes. I have had this problem with all laundry detergents at times. The cure to dingy whites for me was BLUING (I buy Mrs. Stewarts brand). It doesn’t remove stains, but makes old white fabrics bright white again. And a little goes a long way.

  122. Catherine says:

    I’m going to try the detergent recipe. Also, I want to subscribe to your newsletter.

  123. If I wanted to make a smaller batch and use all the items bit only use one soap, how much of the other items should I use to make it equal?

    • MaShonda says:

      What I found in searchng the internet, if you are using one bar of the Fels Naptha, 1 cup of Washing Soda, 1 cup of Borax. Some recipes used Oxi-clean, however a lot of the sites left out the baking soda and oxi-clean.

  124. If I wanted to make a smaller batch and only one bar of soap, should i only use 1 cup of the other items?

  125. Virginia says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if we’re supposed to use 1.3lb of the Oxy-clean or 3lb for one batch?

  126. kristena feliciano says:

    I am super stoked to try this, thank you so much for sharing!!! “) My children and I have terrible skin allergies to a great number of soaps and perfumes. I have a good feeling that this recipe is going to be extremely gentle and help relieve further irritation to our sensitive skin!!!
    I’m off to the supermarket to get the ingredients…
    Thanks again

  127. I am going to try this next. I am running out of the last recipe I made but am looking for a new one. The last one was as good as store bought det. but needs to be a little better and needs to smell a bit better for me to be happy and it needs to be worth my time. ;)

  128. I have a baby and I use Greased Lightening to get the stains out of her clothes. If I use this detergent, will I still need to use Greased

  129. If I use ZOTE laundry soap and each bar is 14.1oz, how much do I need to use.
    Second question if I buy the larger size of Oxi Clean 3 lbs do I use half of the container? I couldn’t find smaller size.

    • Yes, I would use 1/2 of the container. Or double up and make a bigger batch of everything! :)

    • If you are using the little bars of Zote soap I would use 3 bars – just use in place of the Fels-Naptha. :)

    • Even better, no grating of soap, I found ZOTE flakes for $2.48 which equates 2 bars of soap. I just made my batch and love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • H sue. Where ever did u find zote soap? ;) have looked but it is hard to find. Thank u. Got the other soap as a back up. Felsnaptha.

  130. Please add me to your newsletter!!

  131. Pat Ashley says:

    This was my first time at trying homemade detergent. Love it so far! I just have one quick question. How does it work for delicates? I have one item thats used all the time and has to be washed on delicate cycle, a mattress protector. Do I reduce the amount I use?

  132. how big of a rubbermaid container do you recommend to mix and store this whole thing? thanks for sharing this recipe, I’m excited to try it.

  133. learning says:

    how much of the clorox 2 am I supposed to add?

  134. Does anyone know if this is safe to use on cloth diapers? I bought the ingredients and got all excited, and then read up on bumgenius (cloth diaper brand that I use) website that I should not be using DIY detergents… :( any advise would be greatly appreciated!!

  135. Kaye Chambers says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe. Can’t wait to try it!!!

  136. Brenda Stolingwa says:

    Be careful not to put in too much Oxi Clean! Because I am Visual in my learning, I used a larger container of Oxi Clean (the photo of ingredients shows the larger container)! I’m gonna have to now go back to the store, and remix with more of the other stuff so I have the right ratios. I was not looking at the recipe when I did, I just thought I had everything I needed. Dang me!

  137. Rachel Q says:

    This is, by far, my favorite recipe!!! I recently found the white Zote bar and it is fabulous!!!! I got a food processor at Goodwill for $7 and that is what I use to grate the soap. A tip is to et it air dry for a day first. After it is grated, I take a handful, add the oxi, borax and soda and blend it. It break the shreds down into a powder. I do ths until I run out of grated soap. Dump it all in an empty bucket, cover it and twist it around until it is all mixed….

  138. john Ratliff says:

    What is super washing soda?



  139. Rebecca says:

    Can we omit the baking soda? Does it still work well?

  140. Please sign me up for your newsletter! I’ll be trying this DIY laundry detergent very soon! It seems wonderful!!

  141. Shital Shah says:

    Please add me to your newsletter

  142. emily houghtby says:

    is this recipe safe for septic tanks

  143. Barbara Mayberry says:

    Love the laundry detergent…

  144. Lisa Arstrong says:

    I went to buy all the ingredients this weekend and finally found the last 2 today. But I was reading on the zote flakes that is was not recommended for HE washers. Has anyone used it in HE washers?

  145. Can I use homemade soap in place of zote? And iis it possible to add essential oils for fragrance? How much / ratio or will the homemade soap fragrance it enough. I have sensitive skin trying to keep it gentle. Any response will be helpful.
    Thank you

  146. emily houghtby says:

    Fels-Naptha is not septic tank friendly :(

    • Being in the septic tank pumping business, I would say that yes it is safe for septic tanks. As most of these ingredients have been around for a very long time and city sewers haven’t been the norm, except in big cities, I would recommend it more than store bought detergents as most of them have fillers in them and that is what makes pumping a tank harder to do.

  147. I’ve been using almost the exact same recipe for a couple of weeks now and just love it! It works great, but I find that I miss the scent the commercial detergents left on the clothes…so started to research.

    The trick: Homemade dryer sheet:
    1 clean dry cotton washcloth
    Your favorite essential oil – make sure it’s pure EO, not fragrance oils, b/c those can irritate sensitive skin

    Sprinkle 3-5 drops (max) on the dry washcloth, throw the scented cloth in the dryer with your washed clothes. And voila, once your clothes are dry, they will have a lovely light scent! As long as you only use 3-5 drops of EO on the wash cloth, there’s no problem with the oil migrating onto clothes or leaving spots. Tip: You can use that same wash cloth for several dryer cycles, just refresh with 2-3 drops of EO each time. Hope it works for you if you too miss having scent on your dry clothes :0).

    • Eirykah says:

      What an awesome idea! Thank you :)

    • Another thing you can do to soften and add fragrance is take a spray bottle fill it 50/50 water and white vinegar add your essential oil. Then use this to spray your cotton wash cloth. Just be sure to vigorously shake your spray bottle before every use.

  148. michelle says:

    Looks like im gonna have to try this!

  149. Stephanie says:

    Instead of FelsNaptha I can use Ivory? Still 3 bars? And, I’ve heard of people microwaving them. Any suggestions there?


  150. Pat Ashley says:

    THANK YOU so much for this recipe! I have been using this for about a month now. I LOVE IT!!!! If any of you are thinking of trying this but unsure, go for it! My saving are not just with the cost of the soap. I find I no longer have to use the extra rinse cycle on my washer to get out the excess soap and residue so I am also saving in water and electricity. Plus I thought I was gonna have to replace my dryer as it was not as efficient anymore, sometimes I had to dry my clothes twice. Now one short dry cycle works. My lint trap hardly ever has anything in it which means the fibers of my clothes are not breaking down as bad. I think with less lint my dryer is working as it should again because it gets better air flow. No replacing it now. Also, with the fibers of my clothes not breaking down as bad my clothes will last longer. The savings far exceed beyond just the cost of the soap. My daughter also loves it and she has 3 kids and 3 dogs. We both highly recommend this to anyone we talk with.

  151. Debra Dunklin says:

    Please add me to your newsletter. Thank you

  152. Best detergent by far! I was shocked! I will no longer buy detergent at the store. My clothes smell so good and are really clean! Thanks for sharing, I wish I’d known this years ago!!!

  153. Looks like a great idea, going to try it!

  154. If I mix the ingredients exactly as shown, using the Ivory soap bars instead, is there any chance that because of the Oxyclean I will have discolored clothes or spots on the clothes? I’m not sure if they make Ivory Soap Flakes but If I used Ivory soap flakes instead of grating the bars, how much should I use with this recipe? I am soooo… excited to try this tonight! Thanks for your MAGIC! :)

    • I have never had any trouble with the Oxyclean, and I haven’t tried out the Ivory soap or flakes version of this yet. Anyone else tried it and can share your opinions. Have fun Debbie, you will love using this homemade version!

      • :) Thank You! I’ll let you know how this turns out! Now I’m off to mix my ingredients and start Washing! Oh, by the way, I also plan to make that delicious Bread I noticed! You’re site is truly a God-send! o:)

  155. Well, day one of washing my clothes! They look great! Thank you Karrie!
    Question: Husbands really dirty jeans (works in moderate dirt during the day-Handyman) I had to wash them twice. Should I use more than 2 tbsps for those?

  156. I have been making my own laundry soap for some time now. The recipe is a bit different. Lately my clothes have been smelling sour. Am I doing something wrong. My recipe does call for water. Could it be that it is better to use the dry soap? Is the water causing the soap to sour? I was so excited to make my homemade soap and now I do not want to have to keep rewashing the sour smelling clothes. What am I doing wrong? My son says his shirts smell so bad when he sweats. Thanks for any help to let me know what I am doing wrong.

    • Do you let the clothes sit in the washer after they are clean? I find if you don’t dry them pretty much right away, they can smell sour. For your son’s clothes, you could add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle and they’ll be amazingly fresh and clean.

  157. I am an Independent Consultant for Scentsy Fragrance. I add the Scentsy washer whiffs to this also. Washer whiffs are fragrance beads that adds scent to your wash. They come in 6 fragrances.

  158. Caroline says:

    Can I find all these ingredients in my Canadian Walmart ie: Borax & Fels Naptha? Does anyone know?

    • I am not sure about the Fels Naptha…but I think my Canadian relatives said they have a different type of laundry soap bar up there…and I think that would work fine too.

      • Kimberley says:

        I’m in Halifax NS and I had a hard time finding the fels naptha but I did see a sunlight laundry bar. I didn’t use the sunlight because I don’t light the scent so I am trying it with Ivory soap. Hope it works, I’ll let you know.
        Thanks for the recipe :)

        • Caroline says:

          I haven’t found the Ivory soap so I’ll use Sunlight as I already have it.

          I looked at WalMart & SuperStore (Moncton, NB) and can’t find the Super Washing Soda. Is it hiding in a different department or can I only find it at a certain store?

  159. love the recipe many ways to play with having an amazing smell
    just mixed it me and my son and he enjoyed it great thing for u and ur kiddo to do and a way to save just did our first load.. thanks going to try the fabric softner

  160. Danielle says:

    Going to try this recipe when I run out of my current detergent…according to my current usage, this recipe would last me about 2.5 years!!

  161. Jaricia says:

    Just made my first batch and washing my first load as we speak! It didn’t suds up at all, hoping that is normal! And also I don’t have a food processor so I had to grate the soap! Hoping it works well :)

  162. I just found your site via Pinterest, and I love it! Is the laundry soap okay to use for my baby’s clothes? Normally I use All Free and Clear detergent. Just wanted to check before I made it. Thanks!

  163. I made this last night and took my first load out of the washer just now. Smells great. I’m not sure I used the right amount of soap to it as I did make the larger amount thought. I did use washing soda, the Oxi-clean, a smaller amount of regular baking soda and the Fels Naptha. I’ve been making homemade softener since December and love it. And the Blue Dawn/Vinegar Shower soap is great too!

  164. Leslie Clayton says:

    I saw a story on last week with a woman who had 18 children and made her own laundry detergent. It was the liquid kind that you made up in a 5 gallon bucket. I’ve never heard of this before, but was so intrigued to try it. I went to the beach for a week and couldn’t wait until I got back today to try it. I didn’t like the thought of dealing with melting the soap on the stove and waiting 24 hours in between steps. When I got home, I found this recipe and immediately liked it better since it was dry ingredients. A trip to WalMart to buy items costs me $21.06. Grating the soap wasn’t fun, but just thinking of the money I was going to save, kept me going. I used Purex crystals for scent. I bought a large container to mix it up and store. I also bought a smaller container to put above my washer for easy access and I think it was the Borax box that came with a little scoop that was a perfect size. I’ve done two loads and am really happy with how clean and bright my clothes look. I was surprised that there were no suds in the washer, but apparently I don’t need them! Thanks so much for your recipe!

  165. Tammi C. says:

    I have a top load HE washing machine. It has a slot to pour liquid detergent in. Would I use this slot for the powder or put the detergent directly in the washer?
    Thank you, Tammi C.

  166. Lindsay says:

    I really like this recipe! I figured the worst that can happen is it doesn’t work and I’m out $20 (or so) and have to rewash a load. I’m trying to stay away from using scented things which is another issue in itself..that takes some getting used to. About the detergent: I used Ivory instead of the Fels Naptha (I was not a fan of the smell) and did not add any of the Purex Crystals for scent. I grated the soap then added Borax while food processing as recommended and that was well worth the extra step due to the moisture in the soap. The hardest part about using this detergent is only using 1-2 TB. I have a complete mental block about it for no reason–it works great only using that amount but it just SEEMS wrong. It cleans perfectly with the small amount. I will definitely make this again…in a year when I run out ;)

  167. With all of the great reviews on this recipe I decided to give it a try. I went directly by the recipe given and I have to say that it doesn’t live up to the reviews. For normal washing it does good, but any soiled clothing does not come clean. My work clothes I have to generally rewash them in Tide to get them clean. If you use this recipe, have a bottle of Tide on hand.

  168. heather says:

    Hi, i had a question about the fels naptha. I did some research and apparently it’s not very good for the environment or for your septic tank. It’s bad for aquatic life. I wanted to try Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap (especially for that lavender scent). Do you think this would work if I used the same ratio as the fels naptha? Thank you.

  169. Melissa says:

    Just made the recipe and am washing the towels in it. We used 3 bars if grated ivory bars, not many suds and am wondering if others encountered that. We bought the 3lb oxyclean as it was cheaper and just weighed out 1/2. The lavender Purex crystals is very nice.

  170. Caroline says:

    I looked at WalMart & SuperStore (Moncton, NB) and can’t find the Super Washing Soda. Is it hiding in a different department or can I only find it at a certain store?

  171. I have never seen the soap recommended, so I think I will try the ivory. But is it the ivory bath soap bar?
    I can’t wait to try this detergent, my husbands uniforms have that sour/ sewaty smell and I HAVE to get rid of it!

  172. Caroline says:

    Anybody know where I can get washing soda in Canada?

  173. Le this recipe and I added the Home made fabric softner all without the scent and the clothes come out sooo fresh smelling ad soft and no static cling!!

  174. Karen Rodriguez says:

    I made this recipe in March and it lasted my family of six (that’s a LOT of laundry) almost five months! My husband is a Police Officer who works outside…sweating in his bullet proof vest all summer long…this stuff knocks the odors right out. Not to mention the four dirty, messy children. Works great! Even gets out stains! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!

  175. I am in absolute LOVE with this Homeade Laundry Detergent! I have 4 kids, 2 boys & 2 girls, plus a husband that goes to the gym before work in the morning everday before work (i.e. those sweaty clothes sit in a bag in the trunk in Florida all day… just imagine the smell). I had tried several others that just didn’t cut it when it came to getting everything clean without leaving the clothes looking dingy and grey after a while, or getting rid of the odors. I would always revert back to Tide since that seemed to be the only thing that would work. I’m also super obsessive about my whites being WHITE (yes I still used Clorox bleach for my whites before this). For those of you that may have had some “issues” here are some things I have done and NEVER have an issue. I have been using this for about 4 months for my family of 6 and am not quite half way thru my first batch! Love that!

    First, make sure you run it thru the food processer to get the soap shavings down to a powder. This is key especially if you wash in cold or warm water since the soap needs to disolve to do it’s work. I wash everything but my whites in cold water with great success.

    Before you use this detergent for the first time wash your washing machine. I’m serious… I learned the hard way. The detergent is so great that it will also break up all the crud that has built up over time on the inside of your washer, and it will end up on your clothes. Fill your washer on the largest load with HOT water put 2TBS of deteregent in you washer with 1-2 old towels let it sit overnight, then run the cycle as normal. Done… no more brown spots deposited onto you clothes.

    For stains, I just keep an extra bar of Fels Naptha soap nearby. Dampen the stain with water rub it with the bar of soap. Throw into the wash. There is nothing that I haven’t been able to get out this way… dirt, grass, spaghetti sauce, marker and pen, makeup, baby food, spit up, ect

    For whites( remember I’m obsessed with this… socks must be white on the bottom, t-shirts can not have stains, towels must be crisp. Once they stain or turn “gray” they get thrown away or cut up and put into the cleaning or “paper towel” basket (I cut up old white T’s and keep them in a basket under the kitchen sink to use as “paper towels”. They easily wash for reuse and when they get gross I just throw them away) I wash whites in WARM water with 2TBS of detergent + an extra scoop of Oxi-Clean (scoop to the 1 line). I let them soak for about an hour (I’ve even left them over night). Pre-treat if needed. Beautiful everytime!

    I usually line dry my clothes as well, and this detergent is great! My clothes are soft even line dried now… never thought I would say that haha! Even the towels are less scratchy and stiff since I started using this detergent. I believe the main reason for this is the lack of residue and soap left on the clothes at the end of the wash. I do use an additional liquid fabric softener when I line dry, but not if I use the dryer. I have also been able to cut the fabric softener back to the 1 line and get great results (That’s 1/4 of what I used to use)! The water here in Florida is so hard that for my personal preference I just want that little extra softness, but you could totally get away with not using it.

    Thank you so much Karrie for sharing this with all of us! The only regret I have is not finding this sooner!

  176. This is the exact recipe that I use (except I omit the crystals) and I love it so much. I have kids who play soccer, football, and cheer, and it all comes out clean.

    I microwave the Fels-Naptha bars first and let them puff up. Then after they’re cool, I grate them with a grater. I guess I need a foot processor LOL

  177. Jeanne Tatro says:

    Try putting vinegar in a downey ball. Eventually it may wear the rubber gasket. Get a new one. Cheap enough. Soft, soft clothes that smell great!

  178. Lauren B. says:

    I would love to try this, especially after all the awesome feedback…however, I have one concern, my daughter has extremely sensitive skin and breaks out in a rash with any kind of detergent that is not free and clear, would this be okay to use for her if I omit the scent crystals?? Thanks so much, I appreciate any feedback!!

  179. Just made my 1st batch! Can’t wait to see the results.

  180. using borax is forbidden on Europe due to its long term poisonous properties, i guess simple soap , washing soda and essential oil works fine for any kind of dirt.

  181. How Long Do I Microwave Bar of Soap?

    • If you are using Ivory, just microwave until it’s all big and puffed up. Then stop. It shouldn’t take long. You don’t want to burn it so just watch it. If you are microwaving the fEls – it takes a bit longer, so still watch it closely till its all big and puffy.

  182. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a couple months now (a different recipe). I’m curious why you add the baking soda? We don’t have washing soda in my local grocery store so I make my own (baking soda baked in a 400 degree oven for an hour) so the 1/4 cup baking soda seems redundant so I was just wondering what the baking soda does for it that the washing soda doesn’t. I will have to try adding the scent boosters to my recipe, though I have to admit I love the smell even without those :)

  183. I’d like to know what brand and capacity of food processor to use. I have never owned a fp and don’t know what kind would be best for grinding soap bars. I’ve looked at lots of reviews of all kinds and all prices of fp and I don’t know which ones are best. Thanks for advice on this.
    My daughter and I have made this recipe twice but hand grated the bars of soap. Great recipe. We will always use this for our laundry soap.

  184. Having the most excellent laugh at your completely unrealistic prices. Oxy-clean here starts at $13.99 for the generic. I mean, come on: Tide is cheaper than that!

    • Girl, you can get generic oxy-clean at the dollar store…for a dollar. That is if you have a dollar store nearby. If you are out in the boonies though, yeah…it could be expensive.

    • Her prices were pretty spot on with mine. the oxyclean brand was a bit higher so I went with the sun brand oxy clean and it was 5.25 for a 6 lb bucket so I will be able to use that for 3 batches.

      • I just made a batch of homemade soap that was very similiar to this recipe. I used a 3lb tub of oxyclean, omitted the purex crystals, and used 1 bar of “Zote” soap instead of the FN. I did 3 loads of laundry this weekend using 1 Tb/load, and everything came out clean and fresh. I can’t wait to share some of my detergent with friends and family.

        As for prices, I spent $12 on the washing soda, baking soda, Zote bar, and borax. I had an 11lb box of OxyClean that I had already bought from Sam’s, which cost about $15. So for 3lbs that would be a little over $4. So for the whole batch, it was about $15 without the Purex crystals (I might go back and add those. Never used them, but an extra punch of scent might be nice)

        • I just wanted to give an update regarding my experience with the homemade laundry detergent….it’s AWESOME! We use it for every load (gentle, darks, lights, towels, jeans, etc) and everything has come out great! We have two girls (3.5yrs and 1.5yrs) and they can create some messes too, but no match for this detergent!

          I’ve given some of mine away to friends/family and I’ve had to share my/Karrie’s recipe so they can make their own. I’ve been using it since August, and I still have a ton left! This is such a money saver, and it’s so easy to make, I can’t believe people still buy traditional laundry detergent!

  185. Sugarjo62 says:

    I have my first load of wash in right now!! Never been so excited over laundry before, lol!

    Mixing up a batch of this was fun…I think next time I will hit up the dollar store for knock offs …probably save even more money.


  186. Made my first batch last night and it seems to be going great! I even stayed up late doing laundry just so I could try it! I am a new fan for sure! I would like to be added to your mailing list but it isn’t sending me the link to click on to confirm. If you could somehow add me, I would just love it! Thanks for all the great recipes! :-)

  187. H I make home made soap. I added 4 fels naphtha 4 zote, the size you said of washing soda, baking soda and borax, my husband bought the 5 ib box of oxy clean and I also added a small box of tide with Downey now how much would you say I should use in each load. I added the small box of tide just because I had gotten some desitin on my shirt and my first batch I made with out tide and less fels naphtha lol didn’t take it out an when I was buying big liquid tide it did so felt I needed some soap to take it off unless you think I should just add more bats of soap and cut out the tide for the next batch? I use I be the type person if I don’t see enough suds then I didn’t put enough soap lol.

  188. Also I have been using the oxy clean measuring scoop and fill up to line 2-3 line 4 on my husband work stuff he’s a plumber. I have twin 9 month old baby girls who’s onesies get very dirty with food and a 3 yr old boy .

  189. I would just like to point out a small calculation error. You divided the cost of the Tide by the # of ounces in the box (143) rather than the # of loads it does (102). That actually makes the Tide cost per load 17.6 cents rather than 12 cents. That makes the home-made stuff an even better deal!

    Sorry, but I get a bit “anal” when it comes to facts & figures. At least the faux pas was in your favor!

  190. Has anyone tried making their own crystal fabric softener? I did and it smells amazing! Now i am going to try my hand at making the laundry soap.

  191. Hey I am making my first batch right now and I just want to verify! Is it good for color cloths? I just read on all the packages and none of them say it’s ok to use on color! Just want to make sure! I don’t want my cloths to be ruined

    • Hello Vanessa, yes I use this recipe on colored clothes. Works

      • Oh my god… Loved it! Tried it on my towels and they came out great! Smell awesome and cleaned great! And I also feel like my towels dry better now! Thank you so much for the great recipe on that! Please add me to your newsletter

  192. my neighbors are poisoning me with their dryers sheets, fabric softeners, etc – people whose dryers vent into others’ yards should be aware tht theya re contributing to air pollution – it isn’t a jolke – why anyoe has to have laundry that smells like perfume is beyond me — if you use those products, do some research and find out what you are actually puttig into the air and into peoples’ lungs

  193. Sammi Cook says:

    I’m going to try this recipe for sure, so excited. Thanks so much. Please add me to your newsletter. :)

  194. I have a portable washing machine. Can I use it in there and how much?

  195. I currently use a mixture of washing soda, fels naptha and borax….the soap is grated very fine, this seemed to work well for me, but lately I noticed a few things, 1) when my wash is complete, there are still granuales left on the clothes, as if the soap never mixed in and liquified….I tried washing on warm and rinsing on cold, this seemed to help. 2) my clothes look clean, however they don’t smell clean, the harder smells (i.e. men’s sweaty armpit smell) still are on the clothes even after washing them. Any suggestions? I really love using homemade laundry soap as it saves so much money. I also use homemade fabric softener to add a little bit of scent, so I’m surprised I’m having a smelly issue!

    Any thoughts/suggestions? If it matters I have a regular top load washer

  196. Does anyone know how to use the homemade soap at the laundry mat washers the front loaders?

  197. Monica Gooding says:

    For front loaders you put the powder DIRECTLY into the barrell.

    I’ve been using this for over 2 year now and love it!!!!! I worked at Mcdonalds and the bottom of my pants would get CAKED in grease. this took care of it no problem. It doesnt always smell like FRESH laundry but i know it’s clean. I will literally NEVER go back to anything other then making my own. I love this stuff!

  198. I know it said to use 2tbs is that for the regular top loaders as well or is it lil more for those ???

  199. can you use this if you have a septic i dont want to kill off the ridex?? thanks

  200. For those that use the Crystals bought in store or made at home. you can put just Epsom Salt and it works . I like mine without chemicals and the laundry soap scent is all i need because sometime too much is just that too much..

  201. I made this 8/6/2012 & probably have enough for another year & half to go. I love it. The recipe I have is the same except for the Purex crystals which I use anyway & just put it in each load. Love it & gets our clothes clean well.

    • I also use this same recipe. I was wanting to make some as a gift but have since realized Oxyclean shouldn’t be used on wool or silks. The oxyclean is made to break down animal proteins….I know the person I was going to gift wears wool socks often. Any thoughts?

  202. Made the detergent – discolored all of my clothes – made sure to not pour right on clothes, but where water was running – help?

    • Julie Schmeiser says:

      Joan what ever happened to the load i am wondering because I just made it for the first time too and i put the laundry in the washer went to check on it and my water was very dark. I was thinking wow this is really pulling the dirt then i noticed stupid me put a white towel in with the colored so Im wondering if its pulling out the colors??? Has anyone noticed there colored clothes not as bright when using this soap mixture? I have only tried one load and its washing now so just wondering……

      • I have been using my batch for 6 months now and haven’t noticed my clothes changing colors. I pull hot water first and then add my detergent to the water and spin my tub around then switch back to my warm cold combo. After that I add my clothes and at the end add an extra rinse cycle.

      • I have been using this soap since 5/14/13 (with plenty left!) and haven’t had any problems, I love it! I dump it right into the washer onto my clothes and then fill. No discoloration and my brights are bright. My one concern was that I have 2 very active boys and a manly man and their clothes get filthy dirty, would this detergent do the trick? I did! It can handle my kids toughest dirt. My kids clothes smell from sweat and feet so I add a little white vinegar to the loads as well and it stops it in it’s tracks. I hope you are able to work out the kinks, because this detergent really is wonderful and cheap!

    • I had the same thing happen in just one load. I ran an empty load with just the detergent first to clean out the washer and had washed a couple of other loads before it happened. I was washing some black/dark blue clothing and threw one red shirt in with it and it came out very dark with even darker splotches. I had dried it before I realized what had happened and I thought it was ruined, but I re-washed it and it came clean.

  203. Does this dissolve easily in cold or lukewarm water? Also, any issues if my water is well water? I just used a similar recipe to make a liquid soap and found it to be quite lengthy, messy and a bit complicated. I’m thinking this would be much easier if I can make sure it is ok for well water (yes we do use a water softener) and if it easily dissolves in cold water.

    • Yes Michelle, this dissolves well in cold water as long as your pieces of fels-naptha are grated nice and fine. :)

    • I have been using some type of this laundry soap for over a year and i have a well and do not use a softener and i have never had any problems with it not dissolving, i do use warm water.

    • I use vinegar in my softener dispenser instead of softener. I have horrible well water, and it helps to remove residue that can be left. I have never had it turn my colors or pull the color out, but vinegar also helps to set your colors, especially on new clothes.

  204. Is this recipe by volume or weight?

  205. I dont use the oxy clean or the purex crystals. When using borax and washing soda you are already getting the clean you will need. I also make my own homemade softener so I don’t need to use the crystals either. It does save alot of money and works very well.

  206. Great blog! I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Just to clarify, I can substitute the Purex crystals for your Epsom salt/essential oil mixture? Thanks :)

  207. Hi Karrie! Ive been following your blog for a couple months now and really enjoy it! I just wanted to let you know that I made laundry detergent following your recipe and LOVE IT! It smells so fresh and clean and boy does it really clean!

    My husband was in an accident on the job a few weeks ago and cut his hand somewhat severely. It actually nicked the artery in his hand. Anyway, it’s healing up nicely now and is to the point where the doctor wants the bandage off as much as possible to let it breath. Well, we forgot to put the bandage back on before bed night before last so needless to say since he sleeps with his hands under his pillow, his pillow case didn’t look too good the next morning. I took the pillow case to the laundry room but forgot to treat it and put it right in then so, it sat for another day with “the stuff” on it. I put the pillow case in this morning with a little extra detergent and when I took it out of the washer just moments ago, No Stains! This detergent is great! Thanks a bunch Karrie for this great recipe!

  208. Margaret Hibbard says:

    I’ve just made up this recipe for the first time. I must point out that some of these listed ingredients are NOT available at Canadian Wal-Marts. I was able to find what I needed by shopping around. I finally found the Washing Soda at a specialty store. There was no regular store that carried it. I had to use Ivory Bars as the bar listed in the recipe is totally foreign to me in Canada.

    Also the sizes listed in the recipe are not the same as what is available in Canada. Fortunate, I have a kitchen scale and was able to measure the correct “pound” measures. I will be adjusting my version of the recipe to “cups used” and/or other Canadian measures.

    Question – I need to determine correct procedure for doing laundry with this new detergent. Right now I am washing with the detergent and putting 1/2 cup cleaning vinegar (10%) in the fabric softener dispenser, then running a second rinse to use the unscented Epsom Salts. Can I combine any of these steps to save water?

    • Hi Margaret I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I just wanted to say I found washing soda at superstore in the laundry aisle. Getting ready to make recipe now :)

    • Hi Margaret,
      I’m also in Canada and found all the ingredients at Superstore. I used Sunlight Bar soap, because I don’t like the smell of Ivory soap and the recipe is working well. I think you can use Epsom Salts instead of the Purex Crystals in the recipe and then you wouldn’t have to do the second rinse.

    • Margaret,

      You can make your own washing soda by taking 2 cups of baking soda, spreading it out in a thin even layer on a baking sheet and placing it to bake in your oven for 45 mins to an hour (depending on your oven) at 400 degrees Fahrenhiet. It should look dull and feel grainy when done.

      Good luck

  209. Karma Carter says:

    I made this recipe and I ended up using Safeguard soap (it’s antibacterial and free with my coupons) and my best friend used a food processor for hers and mine’s soap and it saved so much time and it works great in this recipe. Just thought I’d share. Btw I’m really loving your blog! Thanks for your hard work and for sharing

  210. Hi Karrie,

    I wanted to thank you for this recipe. I decided to make the laundry detergent this past weekend and I used ivory soap. Although the ivory soap was somewhat of a challenge to grind and I could not get it as finely grated as you did with Fels- Naptha, it still turned out ok. I began to use this soap this weekend and I love the smell of our clothes. It appears to be working good for my purposes.

    Thank you again for posting this. I love the idea of saving money!


  211. I made this soap about 3wks ago and had to make another batch cause both my girls stole mine lol they love it too… i use it for laundry and dishes and other household chores …… i used downy unstoppables and purex crystals the crystals are the best…… i will forever make my own soap… just gotta keep my kids out of it lol…..

  212. Thanks for the recipe & instructions. I just finished my monster batch of detergent and have my first load in the machine :) is it supposed to make any suds? Mine is not. I have a front loader so water is minimal but wondering if I did it wrong. I even paused the machine and put another 2T in towards back of washer but no difference. Our clothes don’t really get stains. How can I know if its working?

    • I have a front loader as well, and never have bubbles unless I have put too much detergent in. They make these machines just too darn effective, I too miss seeing suds. But it does work and my clothes come out clean. I do get stains and dirt from my kids and even though you cant see the suds it gets their clothes clean.

  213. This is great! I have 5 kids, 4 are boys. I have always had trouble cleaning their clothes until now. It took 10 minutes to make and was cheap. I got a bucket from work with a lid to store it and kept the scoop from the oxiclean to measure for the washer. I will never buy pre-packaged laundry soap again. Thank you!!!!!

  214. hey, I had sooo much fun making this recipe. I got all the ingrdients crazy cheap using coupons. Praise God for coupons and for your site ! The detergent smells so good in the storage container, but when i add the 1-2 tablespoons into the machine I can no longer smell it, :( . i was kinda hoping I could smell it in the clean laundry but I cant. Is that normal to not smell it in the washing machine water or in the clean laundry ? The only substitution i made was i used the store brand oxi clean instead of the name brand oxi clean.

    • Deborah Ioane says:

      I have the same issue, so I tried adding the downy unstoppables, but same end result.. no smell =[ .. i have seen other laundry soaps where ppl add essential oils, but not sure how to do that with this laundry recipe since it is powder

  215. Hi! I have considered making my own detergent, and I have a question about this recipe. My husband is allergic to Oxiclean (which was a nightmare to figure out, hives and everything….) so I was wondering if there are any replacements or if I can just leave it out? Thanks in advance! :)

    • Hi! I made this recipe with and without OxiClean because my daughter’s skin in super sensitive and they work out perfectly. I honestly don’t see a difference in the cleaning power when I don’t add OxiClean. The only difference is, saving $5-$6. So, to answer ur question, yes you can omit the OxiClean.

      I really love this recipe. It’s awesome! I also made this recipe without the Pure Baking Soda along with the OxiClean and it still cleans my clothes wonderfully. I also added an extra bottle of Purex Crystal I notice my clothes smells fresh a lot longer, even when it is folded or hanging in my closet. I love using this detergent with extra Purex Crystal on my bath towels; there’s nothing better than taking a nice shower and drying your face in a soft fresh towel. I love taking a deep breath in my towel and smelling the scent of the detergent. It makes my morning :)

      This definitely makes a big batch! I’m so happy I can save money making my own laundry detergent! Never in my life would I think to make my own…

  216. Does using the crystals or the Epsom salts keep your clothes from being staticky? I hate the idea of dryer sheets but they are a must when I use store bought detergent otherwise we have a major static problem.

    Just ran out of my Tide today and plan on making my own detergent for the first time tomorrow!

    • You can use white vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser and it is awesome. You never have any vinegar smell but I never have static on my clothes. Also fabric softeners leave a residue on your clothing that in time makes them less soft. Since using vinegar my bath towels are softer and more absorbent than ever. It took a month or so to get all the residue out but I will never use it for my towels again.
      My original recipe for the detergent called for fels naphta or zote soap. I have now made 2 batches. First with fels naphta and 2nd with the zote. I will be going back to the fels naphta. I am having problems with my clothes looking dingy since changing to the zote soap.
      Good luck !

      • I just made a small batch today: everything but the regular baking soda which I forgot and was told I don’t really need it. The local Walmart sells Zote flakes so I didn’t have to grate or grind anything..yes lazy. I have my first load in now. So I’m hoping for good results! I like the vinegar idea. A friend uses it for odor control too. Learning as I go for this homemade laundry soap thing.. My Mom has been making her own for a while. She throws in the scraps from her homemade soap. I enjoyed reading through this blog getting ideas. thanks! =)

    • Made my soap! I don’t have a food processor so unfortunatly it looks like there is shredded cheddar cheese in there, but I don’t think it will make a difference. I bought and used lavender Epsom salts, which I probably would not do again. I am not crazy about the scent but I have never really liked lavender anyway. Haven’t had much of a chance to use it so we will just have to see!

      • MrsMerrill says:

        Just ran out of the soap yesterday! Works great and am going to get the stuff to make it again today! I couldn’t remember when I made it before so I’m glad I was able to find my post.. So that means that this batch lasted me 10 months!

  217. I am excited about this and can’t wait to start. I wanted to know the purpose of the purex crystals, is it to replace fabric softner or does it have another purpose?

  218. How about dark clothing? I use cheer or woolite. Is this safe to wash dark clothings? I did read someone saying it discolored hers…

    I just made mine and tried one load of towels, and I don’t see any problem.
    It will be great if this is compatible to Cheer or Woolite. Thanks!

  219. How long do you microwave the Ivory soap before it foams and you can crush it?

  220. Can you use this laundry soap in an HE washer?

  221. Just wanted to say when the store bought detergent says 102 loads, you only get about 1/2 that if you fill the entire cap, so you are actually saving more than $.30 per load when you make your own:)
    I have been making my own laundry detergent for many years, and always enjoy trying new recipes. I can’t wait to try this one!!!

  222. I like this recipe but found I have to modify it to suit my chemical sensitivities. I leave out the Crystals and the Oxi-clean. I make an extra large batch of it like this:

    1 large 2 lb box baking soda
    1/2 box A+H washing soda
    2/3rds bar fine grated Fels-Naptha soap
    1/2 box Borax

    I have to go to the laundromat and I have allergies so I always wash on HOT. I don’t get super dirty\greasy but on occasion, I leave chapstick in my pocket! I reserved 1/3rd of the FelsNaptha bar to pre-treat with when this happens and it works great. Also works great on underwear! I let the clothes sit overnight before washing.

    I gave some of this to a woman that works in the laundromat dry cleaning section. She loved it, and gave some to another woman. That woman came back to her and said it had gotten all the yellowing out of a sweater. Apparently she’d tried other methods to get it out and nothing worked except this. How cool is that?!:-)

  223. Jackie Everett says:

    i noticed that u add baking soda to your soap .. is that to soften the clothes?? im using vinegar right now as a sub for softener .. should i stop using the vinegar?

  224. Hi! I just got done making a batch of this – without the soap, i’m going to make my own soap and then add that :) (I’m going to make about 100 bars to make the process worth it) but anyway, after adding the oxiclean, i noticed it had an artificial scent which are all full of things like benzene and super cancer causing health harming ingredients – plus its kind of expensive. I started this all natural diy stuff partially of get away from fragrances. So I did some research just now and learned you can buy a powdered form of Peroxide called Sodium Percarbonate. and add that instead. That way, if you are looking to be a total purist and want to save even more money (you can also add it to your homemade dishwasher detergent) then I would try this. I think you have to order it online, so after shipping, it may be a little more expensive than oxiclean from walmart, unless you buy in super bulk with free shipping, but either way, it’s even more pure and can be cheaper. :) Thank you so much for your recipes!! I love being creative and having a naturally clean house at the same time!

  225. Hi Karrie! I’ve been following your blog now and really enjoy it! I just wanted to let you know that I made your recipe of laundry detergent Saturday and LOVE IT! It smells so fresh and clean and get the stains out. Why spend more. It cleans so much better then most.

  226. Did anyone else feel any throat discomfort when making this? I felt like my throat was a little raw, not to mention I smelled like strong detergent. I hope I made it correctly. The Fels-Naptha I tried running through my food processor but it turned into little balls, not a fine powder. I tried grating it for a while but breathing all of that in was really bothering me. Did I do something wrong? Did I have my head too close? I’m trying it out on some rags first, just to see what happens. Judging by the phenomenal reviews I’m expecting it to be fine, but I’m a paranoid person so I need to air my concerns. :)

  227. I made this a few days ago using 4 bars of Ivory instead of Fels Naptha. I used the extra bar of Ivory because the Fels Naptha weighs an ounce more per bar than that Ivory does. I also made and used your epsom salt/essential oil blend instead of using Downy Unstopables or Purex Crystals. I also used scent free/dye free Oxyclean, although next time I think I’ll use the Bioclean version.

    First of all, this does work, which surprised me. It got out some stains which I thought it wouldn’t touch. I have to admit though that I started out using 4 tablespoons per load (I have a top loader) because I thought that 2 tablespoons wouldn’t be enough, but I’m down to 2 tablespoons now.

    I can’t smell the essential oils at all in this, only the Ivory soap, so next time I won’t use them as it seems like a waste.

    Also, I had a problem with color transfer as another commenter said. I’ve never had that problem with any other detergent before. I did a load of blacks/dark blues and threw one red shirt in there. The red shirt came out a lot darker with several big dark splotches on it. I didn’t notice until it had already been dried and thought it was ruined. But I threw it back into a another wash and it came out clean. Weird.

    Overall I’m pleased with the way it works and the great cost savings. As long as I don’t continue to have color transfer issues I’ll keep making it. And next time I plan on using a milder smelling soap, maybe unscented castile.

    • Update: So I’ve been using this for a month now and my laundry is becoming more and more dingy and smells off. The socks are the worst. It won’t touch the dirt on the bottoms. I started using 1/4 cup again but am now using 1/2 cup to get anything clean. I have soft water and use nothing but vinegar instead of fabric softener. I can’t figure out what the problem is, so I won’t be making this again.

  228. I have been making homemade laundry soap for over 4 years now, but my process is quite a bit longer as it entails lots and lots of water, and cooking the bar soap til it dissolves and letting it sit overnight and then it turns into a gell. I will try this ‘dry’ method – looks to be a whole lot easier! Also my recipe doesn’t call for the Oxyclean or baking soda. I make a softener of vinegar & baking soda, so maybe I don’t need the extra baking soda in the detergent?

  229. ShawnMarie says:

    *sigh* I really wish that sites promoting home made dry laundry soap would STOP adding extra ingredients. Let’s look at it chemically and how these things break down.

    Borax is for liquid soap, it doesn’t break down properly unless it’s dissolved in hot water and is only used in commercial detergent for liquid soap due to that losing it’s potency when not kept air tight.

    The reason that some people have a problem with their soap breaking down in cold water is the Borax. It’s not required & will not always break down in cold water.

    Also – baking soda is not ever needed if you have Washing soda – they are the same thing chemically (though one is NOT edible) with a different ph balance. If you want soap for delicates or sensitive skin use baking soda instead of washing soda. Adding baking soda only gives you a larger amount of detergent.

    One of the points to making our own laundry soap is to save money & cut out the unnecessary ingredients. These recipes that are shared & copied are full of extra ingredients that only make bigger batches but don’t add any real benefit to the detergent – that’s what commercial soap does too.

    When I was first going to make detergent I saw all these recipes and they were all the same, but then I started looking at them from a chemistry POV, looked into what each ingredient was and dug deeper. It was all so much bloat – both on the wallet and for the detergent. For a quick, easy detergent I just cut out all the unrequired stuff:

    Pink Zote Soap (because it has violet dye which brightens whites – whites lose their brightness when the dye in the fabric fades, whiteners are made of violet or blue dye to restore that but use fels naptha if you want – I hate how it smells) & Washing Soda. That’s it – 2 ingredients. It’s not going to make a huge batch like this, but it’s a pure batch with no extra and you can make as much as you want.

    For every 14 – 15 oz of grated Zote 2 cups of washing soda. Grind it all up fine & use 2 tbs for a standard load 3 for extra large or extra dirty. It has a clean smell that isn’t heavy or perfumed. You can add scents if you choose via essential oil or even scented fabric softener crystals we prefer not to as we like the neutral scent. For fabric softener I pour vinegar into the rinse cup in the washer. That varies as some may need more if they have hard water.

    We have a well and never have a problem. My daughter, Miss “It has to be commercial to be quality” has stopped using commercial soap and will now only use the soap I make for her family because she likes the freshness.

    Bad stain? Rub a bit of wet Zote on it and most of those will come out – it does wonders on hubby’s dress shirts & t-shirts for the underarms & collars.

    • I somewhat agree with you. I use 1 tbsp of Borax as my whitener/brightener and 1 tbsp of my laundry soap for all my washes. I sell my laundry soap and people swear by it. Including my husband who has had plenty of contaminants on his clothes from wrenching. However. I started with Zote soap flakes because they were easier to break down, but switched to Coconut based bar soap(Kirk’s) because there are no animal bi-products. Plus I wanted to support American products and Zote is from Mexico. But it works, and the white flakes smell good. I switched to Kirks, and use that with baking soda, washing soda, and essential oils. By combining the two natural whitener/brighteners it makes the laundry soap more effective. I mix all my ingredients together in batches using a high speed food processor to get them to a very fine consistency so that they dissolve well. I use the grater on my food processor to shred the bar soap into flakes and then store the extra soap flakes for next time.

      Borax dissolves fine in cold water. If it’s as hard as a rock, it’ll sit in the clump in the bottom. So I strongly disagree with your opening statement. Also, there are a lot of people who create dry laundry soap recipes with borax. I prefer to keep it separate so I can use it as an additional boost. The box even indicates to use it this way. Oh, and with my recipe, only 1 tablespoon per wash is needed. Doesn’t matter on the size of the load. Using essential oils makes it smell amazing and adds additional antimicrobial/antibacterial properties, especially when you use citrus essential oils. It’s interesting reading what works for different people. Pretty neat how many different opinions and recipes formulate and work. My formula is also great for sensitive skin and good for the ecosystem.

  230. kathi morgan says:

    How long do you microwave the ivory soap????

  231. i made my first batch in march and it has lasted until october!!! it has lasted seven months with seven people and many pets in the house. it also works great on oily uniforms. i used to pay almost $20 a month in laundry soap and now i’m only spending roughly $3. thanks for this recipe, it cleans better then commercial soaps and lasts much longer.

  232. My homemade detergent is in two ice cream plastic containers to keep the low cost.

  233. Just one humble suggestion, do not let your kids help you while making the detergant because the borax in it. It should not be handled with bare hand and it definetly should not be inhaled. Thanks for the great recipe by the way :)

  234. ScrubbyBubble says:

    Really, the Fels, washing powder, and borax is all you really need. The other stuff doesn’t hurt, but it’s not critical. Walmart sells baking soda for $2.50/4 lbs. for Arm & Hammer in the mop/broom section. They have a lesser known brand for $2/4 lb in the baking aisle. It’s cheap to convert baking soda to washing powder by baking the baking soda for 30 mins or so at 400 degrees F. Convert all or part depending on your needs.

    The advantage to this natural soap is that it is a scent free detergent for hunting clothing. Works like a charm. Seems to get out protein stains without burning holes in the clothing like hypochlorites do.

    The three ingredients work well for all my washing and it is super cheap. 10 bucks lasts me almost all year.

  235. Alicia Hill says:

    I’ve been making my own detergent for quite a while and even some homemade fabric softener. But what I really miss is the noticeable scent of the store bought kind. I really want to use the crystals, but we have a front loader and you’re not supposed to add the crystals through the detergent dispenser. And I’ve heard if you put detergent straight in the tub of a HE front loader, it won’t dissolve correctly. Ugh! Any recommendations? I just want to pull my laundry out and say “ooh that smells nice!” ;)

    • Brandy Haynes says:

      Alicia, I have been using the Purex Crystals for years on all of my family’s clothes in a front loader. The catch is that you have to omit the crystals from the detergent. The crystals go right into the tub, but the soap should go in the proper dispenser. I have used this method in a home machine and at the laundromat with no problems. Hope this helps! :)

  236. I look forward to trying this out very soon. Is there a replacement or another option besides the purex or downy. Can you leave them out completely or another product that is more natural based?

  237. Do you have to use Fels-Naptha or Ivory soap? Or can you use other kinds of soap?

  238. So I just made our second batch and wanted to thank you for all the wonderful stuff on your website! The first batch lasted 6 months for a family of 4. (We’ve had lots of house company lately so it would have lasted even longer.) My first batch was made with Zote. This batch is half Zote and half fels naphtha. I run hot water to dissolve soap then add clothes. Before this I was using $20-25 in Tide every month. So I figure this recipe alone has saved us $105-135 since June. I also started making your dish washing soap and many other things on your website! I’ve recommended this site to many friends and several are now making their own soap. Thank you so much! You have helped us to not spend our money and be able to enrich our lives.

  239. Absolutely LOVE this recipe! My clothing smells incredible. The stains are gone. Even my stinky son’s shirts and shorts are clean. Thank you Carrie! What an awesome recipe

  240. Super psyched to wanna try this..BUT… can someone help me!!!???
    I’m new at all *this*, but naturally simple minded ;*)…but HOW do you add powder detergent into a front loader ,liquid detergent dispenser?!
    We have an all in one combo washer/dryer…and its a front loader…i just wanna do it right:-)
    Thanks to whoever can help me Here because this blog rocks and I wanna be apart of this homemade, money saving GoOdNeSs!!
    Blessings ya’ll

  241. I just made this recipe. I also bought a box of Gain a week ago that I haven’t even opened yet. Would I be able to mix the Gain with my new soap mixture?

  242. A few thoughts. #1 the person above saying borax is to blame for the grey water or bleaching is wrong. A study into chemistry shows that borax dissolves in cold and hot water. It simply is more effective in warm water. There has been controversy over borax because people confuse it with borax acid-different thing. #2 I would never use Pyrex crystals because it contains dyes, man made perfumes, and PEG 150 Distearate – all know carcinogens. Oxiclean is the same. Also containing hydrogen peroxide which can bleach your clothes, and detergents which are also unhealthy for many reasons. Also, Baking soda and washing soda are the same thing (also in oxiclean which is redundant); it’s just that washing soda has larger molecules. Using just the washing soda, borax, and grated soap you have a great cleaning agent. Though those finding grey or dark water are probably seeing their hard water chemically react with the soap creating sterates that are non water soluble. Just remove the grated soap and wash with 1 part washing soda, 1 part borax in warm water (what I do). Even cheaper and much healthier.

  243. Hey! I am wanting to try your homemade dishwasher tabs recipe (I couldn’t find a comment section on that page, sorry!) After a long search I’ve finally found a place to purchase my washing soda, but my next problem is the unsweetened lemonade mix. Every mix I find is sweetened with either aspartame or sucralose. I’ve looked in dollar stores and all my grocery stores, any suggestions?

    • I think you were looking at the ready-to-use packets? I believe the recipe calls for the “regular old fashioned” Kool-Aid or store-brand drink mix packets – you know, the ones that say to ADD 2 cups of sugar when making it in a 2 quart pitcher. I just bought them at Walmart – $0.20 each!! :-)

  244. i just made this , i have an he front load machine, wondering if i put it in the compartment that says detergent or do i put it right into the machine?

  245. For frugality reasons, and environmental and health concerns, you can actually make your laundry soap just as good WITHOUT as many of the products as you listed above. Did you know that washing soda, baking soda, and shaved bar soap(kirks) refined in a food processor with added essential oils that have different properties, is SUPER EFFICIENT AND WAY CHEAPER? Plus, just use Borax as your booster. Volia, save MORE money, save our ecosystems, save our planet, save ourselves, by choosing to use less chemicals we can live healthier lives and SAVE MORE MONEY WITH LESS INGREDIENTS. Also, Borax, Washing Soda, Baking Soda, and Salt are all natural brighteners/whiteners so not sure why the expensive Oxy is even necessary in your recipe, plus it’s toxic. I noticed another reader posted a similar response. I’m always psyched to see what other homesteaders are doing. I was shocked that you use chemicals in your formula that are harmful to the environment. Homemade goodness is generally better, when it’s good for you. Cool website. And I like the point the other person made about natural whitener, hydrogen peroxide is the green friendly substitute for bleach-we use Borax seperately most of the time, and vinegar as a fabric softener and smell neutralizer if needed. Add essential oils to boost the scent.

  246. Is 1 tablespoon really enough?

  247. If your daughter has such sensitive skin, why are you using the chemical scent balls in your recipe?!

  248. I just have to say I was using a different homemade recipe of just Borax, Washing Soda and either Ivory or Fels-Naptha (whatever I had at the time) and then added Oxy-Clean. It was fine, but it wasn’t like this!!! When I made this recipe, I accidentally bought the BIG thingy of Oxy-Clean and it came with its own scoop. Score! I love, love, love the smell it gives my clothes and I have stopped using fabric softener all together because of the crystals. Another money saver! I also wanted to share a tip for grating the soap: I used a large-sized zester/microplaner and the soap comes out fine and fluffy! The Fels-Naptha takes a long time to grate because it’s so hard and dense, so after one bar, my hands hurt. So to fulfill the three total bars in the recipe, I used two Ivory bars and the scent is just heavenly. Cold, warm, or hot, I’ve not had any problems. And when washing whites, I wash with hot with a spot of bleach – my whites are uh-may-zing!!
    Question for all you crafty, smart ladies: do you have any tips about getting rid of the “crusty deodorant build-up” from the underarms of shirts? After a while, I just have to toss out my hubby’s shirts because I just can’t seem to scrub that stuff out! Thanks!

  249. I do a similar recipe but the child stiring is dangerous to his lungs…Do not do that people, common sense tells us that is wrong!!

  250. I was wondering where one might get one of those containers that is at the top. That is cool!

  251. I am trying this recipe,; it sounds wonderful! I’ll be substituting the Epsom salts for the Purex, so do I just use the 2lb box, or do I need to measure a certain amount? Also, while searching the Walmart website for pricing the items, I found a different brand of Oxyclean called Sun Oxygen Cleaner. At $ 5.94 for 96 oz, compared to Oxyclean’s $3.86 for 1.3lb(20.8oz), it saves 2/3 of the cost at $ .06 per oz versus $ .185 per oz. And the reviews said it was less toxic and worked better. :)

  252. I was chatting with my sis when all this came about .It sounds great and my sis swears by it .She lives on west coast and I live on east . My question is this; my top load washer has only cold rinse cycles and our water is hard .My husband has skin problems with regular detergents so we have been using the free and clear brands with still a slight irritation . We even use the second rinse cycle. Will your recipe still rinse out well enough with a cold rinse?

  253. I am so excited to use this. If I use Ivory bars instead of the fels naptha, how many bars do I need to use?

    Thanks so much for your help and great website!

    God bless you, Bridget

  254. Lisa Higgins says:

    I have a question, do you use 1 bar of Felsnaptha or all 3 bars for one recipe? Thanks.

  255. Preparing to make this and wanted to use Zote soap (don’t like the smell of Fels Naptha). The Zote bar is 14.1 ounces, do I still need to use three of them? I made the liquid laundry detergent last time but can’t wait to try this dry recipe, thank you!

  256. What size of container are you using to store a full size batch of soap? In one picture it shows a blue tote and another it shows a smaller one that is clear. Thanks for this homemade non-food recipe!

    • I keep it all in the big blue tote, and then take a smaller amount out for a close-by container on top of my washer. Its just for convenience, but you can use anything you like to store it in. Even a few gallon sized ziploc bags. :)

  257. I love my homemade detergent. Have been using this recipe for 3 years now. My only comment is not to allow children to mix this solution as Borax is a chemical and not healthy to breathe in or get on skin. Thanks for all your wonderful recipe’s. I’m getting ready to try the automatic dish detergent one. Tired of paying so much money for all those chemicals.

  258. Ok 2 things
    You only use 1 Tbs per load? is that small loads? (now only if I wasn’t allergic to purex)

    And I know this is nit picky but the Tide was $0.17 a load $0.12 an ounce
    $17.97 divide 102 loads is $0.17 per load
    $17.97 divide 143 oz is $0.12 per ounce
    Just sayin…

  259. This may have already been asked, but I didn’t read ALL of the comments! I am just starting to cloth diaper (this is baby #4, I’m late to the game :)) Anyway, is this good to use with cloth diapering? Thanks! And I am so excited to try your dishwasher detergent recipe! I just need to use up my other stuff first!

    • Yes, you can absolutely use this recipe with cloth diapering. One of the main reasons why I started using it is because of my little girl and her sensitive skin. It’s great!

    • Although I LOVE the idea of making your own detergent, borax is NOT recommended for cloth diapers with PUL. As I understand it, borax is known to delaminate the PUL. I would use this recipe for your regular clothes and a different diaper safe detergent for you diapers. If you want more info on washing cloth diapers, please visit my website

  260. I beleive making laundry detergent at home is a worthwhile endeavor for several reasons. First important thing is you know what ingredients you are using, that saves your health and environment. Commercial laundry soaps are very expensive, it costs more than twice as much as gasoline– and making it yourself can save you a lot of money.All it takes is a little time and a few ingredients.

  261. Just made this laundry soap cost me $20.00 to make and I have my first load in now washing so far i’m pleased. Thank you for sharing.

  262. You can make this a heck of a lot cheaper. I do the liquid version and it comes out to about 58 cents a gallon, which is 128 loads. Even used some essential oils, lose some in spillage, buy an all natural soap vs. the fels… it’s not more than $1 a gallon. 1 bar soap, grated and melted in 4 cups of water on your stove, mix it in a 5 gallon bucket, half full of hot water with 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. mix well, fill with hot water, let sit over night, stir, jar it up. 1 oz = 1 load (safe for HE, can even use less in your HE machine). 5 gallons for under $3 PLUS you can scent with a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oils instead of using those chemically laden fabric refreshers/fabric softeners. Now it’s cheap and healthier.

  263. Hey there! I just finished my first time for making this tonight…about an hour or so ago. I just put in a load of towels…(per other comments of people having the soap “stick” to their clothes and such…I decided that I would start with some old towels!)…I don’t have an HE washer…and I know that this may sound like a REALLY stupid question, but when I put the detergent in (I started the water and then added 2 tablespoons of the detergent) I didn’t see any sort of “bubbles” at all. Haha. Again, maybe this is a REALLY dumb question, but I am just wondering if that’s normal or I did/am doing something wrong. Thanks!

  264. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I was EXTREMELY hesitant to try this, but I am so very happy I did. I couldn’t afford all the ingredients, so my batch only has 2 bars of Fels, the Borax, Super Washing Soda, and the Baking Soda, but I use 2-3 Tablespoons per large load and fill my softener dispenser with white vinegar. Our clothes come out clean and fresh, and we line dry! Oh, I should probably tell you. When I say “our” I mean four adults and four kids (ages 4, 6, 11, and 18). After painting, pizza lunches, and practices this stuff is wonderful. I have shared this to my cousin, who is about to have her fifth kid, and a local resource center that offers lost cost laundry service. I actually carry 3×5 cards with the recipe on it to hand out if I should strike up a conversation about it. Thank you very much.

  265. Davoies from Canada says:

    I was a bit hesitant to try this on my own in case we didn’t like the soap. My husband has had a really strong reaction to a previous change of laudry detergent last year. So I teamed up with three friends for the first batch. I made it using IVORY soap because Fels-Naptha is not available where I live in Canada. The batch I made was $37.39 CDN. A real good price for 500 loads. I have a front load machine and use one tbsp. per load. This soap is really good. I mean, as good as the Tide pods I was using!! We are not strong on scent so we left out the scent booster but the IVORY has a small scent in the soap form that totally disappear after the wash. So glad I found your recipe. Thanks for putting it up for all to enjoy.

  266. jessica veldheer says:

    hi i just made this, have the first load of it in the wash, i notice that it doesnt bubble up like liquid detergent does, is that normal?

  267. Hello :) I am wanting to make my own detergent but am wondering where you got the price of $20 for the entire batch? I put all the items into my amazon cart and it added up to almos $60. The Oxy Clean alone was $18. Thanks!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I was able to get all my ingredients at my local Walmart. The sizes that Amazon offers are bigger than what you would need for this batch of the laundry detergent so you would have extra to use. I would suggest going to your local stores to see if you could get the prices closer (or maybe even lower!) to what I was able to pay for it! Good luck! :)

  268. I made this with the fels naptha and want to try the zote soap. I found a 14.1 ounce bar. How many do I need for this recipe?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      If I were substituting the zote soap at 14.1 oz I would probably just use one bar. When I use the Ivory soap bars they are only 4 oz a piece so 12 oz total and it makes a great laundry detergent. If you want to get really specific on the recipe I usually use 3 bars of Fels-Naptha at 5.5 oz so 16.5 oz total. So you could use one zote bar and then weigh out 2.4 oz of a second bar. A food scale would probably be easiest to measure the weight. Either way I think you are going to be happy with it! :)

  269. i just made this recipe last night except I used a larger thing of crystals because I used one load with the suggested amount and couldn’t smell anything but any ways im excited to keep trying this as with 2 little ones under 4 I have a ton of clothes all the time. I washed a shirt that had a speg sauce stain and it didn’t come out any suggestions on what else I could do maybe pre treat with the powder before hand or is there a better pre treater out there thanks for the recipe definetly going to be used in my household

  270. The sun oxygen and Super Washing Soda are the same thing. The ingredients for both are Sodium carbonate. OxiClean also contain Sodium carbonate and Sodium carbonate peroxide. Sodium carbonate peroxide is Sodium Carbonate treated with Hyrodgren Peroxide. So if you put hydrogen peroxide with the super soda you will have Oxiclean or Sun Oxygen. You don’t need to buy those if you just add hydrogen peroxide to the Super Washing Soda.

  271. Hopenjoy says:

    I’ve been making the liquid version of homemade laundry detergent for years, and finally decided to try this dry version. WOW! Love it, love it. Easier to mix, easier to store, easier to use, no heavy liquids, no drips. My first load I actually only used a teaspoon, and jeans & shirts came out clean..PLUS…with a nice scent and static-free, which I didn’t have with the liquid version. I’m a cheapskate, so used everything generic/store brand/dollar store version, and used epsom salts instead of the expensive fabric softener crystals. Don’t think I had $20 cost total for a year’s worth of laundry detergent, wowza! I think I’ll make another batch and put it in long-term storage.

  272. Good for light colors or patterned clothing, not so much for darks. It always leaves white blotches on the darker or solid colors. Overall very worth it tho!

  273. Tarny S Vanase DuBois says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just want to say, I love this stuff! My mother and sister found your recipe, and made a huge batch, and shared it with all of us! My mom has now become the head chef, and she has made like four or five batches in just the last month or so. She makes a batch for herself, my sister, me, one for each of my two brothers, and some of her friends! We are all hooked! It’s fabulous! It has gotten stains out of my family’s clothes, that I was literally about to throw away, because they were that gross! So thank you for saving my clothes! This detergent works wonders on my sheets and towels, and I don’t think I will EVER use anything else for as long as I live! It reminds me of the huge box of detergent that my meme used to buy from Sears when I was little! Hehe!

    I do have one question though. I have noticed that it is really doing a number on my black yoga pants, and I live in black yoga pants! So I was curious about whether or not anyone knows if there is a way to make a batch of this oh so fabulous goodness, in a formula for darks? Let me know if you have one please! My email is

    Thank you everyone!

  274. I just made my first batch of laundry soap. It seemed like some of the clothes have faded a little has anyone else noticed this?

  275. I just made my first batch of laundry soap. It seemed like some of the clothes have faded a little has anyone else noticed this? The recipe I used called for zotz soap, washing suds, borax, and baking soda . Anyway thoughts or suggestions I should mentioned I did not use all of the borax it called for.

    • Kelly T says:

      I have only noticed one of my scrub tops fading a bit but that could be just the fabric. I haven’t noticed any other fading and I’ve been using the product for at least 6 months. I didn’t use Zotz soap though, I used Fels-Naptha and I didn’t add the Oxi-Clean. I add that only to my whites separately.

  276. Is there a recipe for a smaller batch of this detergent? I would like to try it before commiting to full batch.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I haven’t tried making a smaller batch. Maybe you could split the batch with someone else or use a scale to half each ingredient and only make a half batch! :)

  277. This comment is actually about the dishwasher tabs- maybe I missed something but couldn’t find a spot to comment over there ;)

    I can’t seem to find a suggestion for portions. I made the dishwasher tabs and like them, but think I made them too big. How many tabs should one batch have made? Thanks for your help- your blog is a favorite and I use all your homemade cleaning recipes!!!

  278. Danielle says:

    This recipe calls for a 1.3lb box of oxy.. but in the photo it looks more like a 3lb or bigger tub.. what am I missing here?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I already had tub of Oxy so I just measured it out for the recipe. But I knew that most people would just want to buy the box to add in to the recipe! :)

  279. I just made up a batch of your DIY laundry powder, and I love it! I even added a cup of Epsom salts to the mix to help soften the load. I placed it in a large, decorative jar purchased at Walmart, and with my little scoop, it looks very pretty in the laundry room!! I cannot believe all the $$ I am going to save on this huge batch –enough to give to my daughter, so SHE won’t ever have to buy laundry detergent again! Thank you!

  280. Jackie Favarola says:

    Q question….the recipe calls for three bars of soap, 5.5 oz., and says you can use Zote, 12oz…..Do you still use three bars?

  281. Karen Threlkeld says:

    I love this recipe! I share it with all my friends and when i run into nice people at the laundry mat (only if i need to).
    Thank you for sharing this!

  282. Olive Oyl says:

    A couple of questions:

    1. I often stick my hand in the laundry to gauge the amount of detergent I need (because some loads are dirtier than others). Is it safe for my hands when BORAX is in the mix?

    2. Most of my laundry is sweat, I don’t have much stained clothing. Can I skim the Oxyclean?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I would probably make sure I washed my hands throughly after sticking my hand in the detergent. If you are worried do what I do and use an old measuring cup. You can measure out how much is in your handful and get the closest one to it!

      I haven’t tried skimming the Oxyclean–I need it at my house! :)– but give it a try and see if you like it!

  283. Just made my second batch of this today. I did the last batch almost a year ago this week. I didn’t use the Purex crystals last time, but I bought some this round so we’ll see how the laundry smells now. I have 4 active boys, and this works just great on their clothes. Thanks so much for this. I’ve got my years supply now.

  284. I was wondering as I read many questions/answers – We are rural and have a septic system and someone did ask the question about using powdered laundry detergent with a septic system….it wasn’t answered for as far as I could tell……answer, please, if you know?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I am not sure about using powdered laundry detergent when you have a septic tank. From the small amount of research I have done one of the big problems is when you use excessive amounts of powdered detergent that fail to dissolve in the washing machine. This recipe doesn’t have any fillers in it and uses such a small amount of detergent. Maybe try contacting your septic tank inspector for a more accurate answer! :)

  285. Kelly T says:

    I make this about 5 months ago and am ready for another batch. I loved that I made something so affordable and yet it works great! My only problem is that after grating the Fels-Naptha I started noticing a sore throat and as I began mixing the product I had a HORRIBLE sore throat for about 2 days afterward. I am a nurse and know that I received a chemical burn to my esophagus from inhaling the fumes from the mixture so I am hesitant to mix up another batch. This time I will wear a mask and do it outside. Have you had this happen before?

  286. HI! Loved this recipe. However, you need to have a disclaimer on it that one should wear a mask. I’m pregnant and didn’t realize that mixing all these chemicals would not be healthy for me to do since it creates a dust that I breathed in.

    That would be helpful to add!

    Also, I would add that since there are some chemical concerns about Fels Naptha and the Crystals in the recipe, that you could mention some safer alternatives that are more eco friendly.

    But other than that it was easy. Thanks!

  287. I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I mixed up a batch of this in December and am getting ready to mix up another. I have 3 teenagers (all athletes & Scouts) a husband with a dirty job and also a Scouter. We are outside & smelly A LOT. A couple things I did-I put three 1/2 cups of rice in 3 squares of cheesecloth to keep the powder dry instead of clumping and it did a great job. I also had just gotten a couple cases of oranges & grapefruit around the time I made this so I took several rinds and wrapped them tightly in cheesecloth and mixed it all in. Had great citrusy-smelling and powdery laundry detergent that took out all kinds of stains: sick dog, paprika & cumin-infused olive oil splats, ketchup, grass stains and “Eau de BoyScout” which is pretty raunchy after infusing for a week!!! Well done-this is a keeper. THANK YOU!!!

    • PS, I was wary of the scent crystals and left them out. Also used 2 bars of Ivory for one of the Fels Naptha. LOVE THIS.

  288. Cynthia says:

    Hi, so excited that I came across your website. I hope you can get back to me with an answer since Im going to make this soon. I forgot to buy the oxy clean, and sent hubby to buy and he came home with something that brightens whites, kind of like bluette, but in a powder form. Can I make the recipe without the oxyclean? Also your recipe calls for 3 bars of fels naphtha bars, my local store ran out if so I have two of the fels naphtha and one bar of zote, is that ok as well?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I haven’t really deviated from my original recipe but I have heard good reviews on people using the zote soap so I think that should be fine. I say try it with what you have and if you need to you can always add in the oxy clean to your batch later on. :)

      • Cynthia says:

        Just did it and it came out great! i think because of the humidity, the soap bars were tiny balls when i processed them down, it doesn’t look like your finish product of the soap bar.

  289. Trying to Save Some Cash says:

    I made this laundry soap back in January and paid about $11.00 for all the ingredients. As of the end of June, I’m not even half way through the batch. I have a HE front loader machine and it works just fine. This is awesome at getting out stains, and you just can’t beat it. I highly recommend this recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  290. Barb Dougherty says:

    I bought the 3lb container of oxi clean . How mush should I use?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I used 1.3 lbs so if you have a scale you could weigh it or just eyeball a little less than half of your container. :)

  291. Hi! I’ve made laundry detergent in the past but I love how easy this dump and mix method looks! Do you know if it is safe to use on cloth diapers? Thanks :)

    • Erin – I used cloth for a long time and as much as I love making my own detergent, I would NOT recommend using this on cloth diapers. I know from various sites that Oxiclean and Purex (anything fragrant like that) are definitely no-nos. The borax could be too harsh on baby bottoms; ideally, it would all rinse away clean and would not be an issue, but it usually doesn’t work out that way. Use Allens, Charlie’s Soap, or Bumgenius (which seems almost like washing soda), something known and recommended for your type of diaper.

  292. mitchell buckley says:


    Washing soda is made from baking soda, as you can make it yourself by heating a cup of baking soda in the oven for 30 minutes @ 400 degrees. Your recipe is fine, but putting in baking soda does not make it any better, as you can leave it out of the ingredients .

  293. I made the detergent last week, and was very excited to try it. Unfortunately I was disappointed in it’s performance. I could still smell the deodorant and cologne on my husband’s shirts, and his work clothes didn’t come quite as clean. I used 2 TBSP for his work clothes because they are always extra dirty. My twin’s shirts also didn’t seem to come as clean. I’m not sure if I did something wrong or not, but I am very disappointed.

  294. Im allergic to oxyclean, is there anything I can replace this ingredient with?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I have heard that using more Borax is a great substitute for Oxyclean. That might be a good alternative.

      • Jill Jaklitsch says:

        Hi, what did you mean when you said you’ve not used Borax? After all it is one of the ingredients in your detergent. Also, is the Purex scent really necessary? Leaving that out makes this detergent even cheaper!

  295. I’ve tried the dried variety of the homemade detergent and found it works well for me too. I had to try different amounts of the ingredients and found it absolutely necessary to add about 1/2 c white vinegar in with each load as well. I’ve used it for a few years now and really liked it. It’s worked well in Utah where the water is really hard and in Hawaii where the water is really soft. Here is my recipe if anyone is interested: I tried using the oxi clean, like you do, but it irritated my daughters skin so I skip that. I’m excited to check out your other posts since it sounds like we like similar things! Thanks!

  296. Just wondering how you got 18 lbs?? when you add all the ingredients its about 15lbs…

  297. Can you use Dove bar soap instead of Ivory? I was just wondering because Ivory irritates my daughter.

  298. I need a hobby and this DIY stuff looks like fun. I found all the ingredients except A&H “Super Washing Soda” after trying 3 different places. I ended up going with an A&H product that “Contains anionic and nonionic surfactants, sodium carbonate,perfume,and enzymes” as the ingredient list, 3.57 lbs. Is this going to be close enough? Also, what do you think about adding a water softener (“Rain Drops”) to the mix?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I am not sure. For this recipe I haven’t tried replacing the washing soap. Try looking it up to see if it is a good substitute for the washing soap. Let me know what you think!

      • I took your advice and did some sleuthing. I found I was not the only one having trouble finding washing soda. I also found there were many search hits on making it. A sample of them pretty much said the same thing, the only real variable was the heat of the oven. I think the most reliable source is this one and after a trip to the thirift store to get an old broiler pan or two, and waiting until the weather cools (I refuse to run the AC and oven simultaneously) the fun is going to get even better.

        I am still curious to know what you think about adding a water softener like Calgon or Rain Drops to the laundry detergent mix.

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          I haven’t ever tried it before. I have never felt like I needed it either. If you try it out though let me know what you think!

  299. Would this be safe for septic systems?

  300. Does it work with all types of clothes (ie. whites, COLORS, blankets, etc. etc.)? I just made this but I am worried that it will stain my colors and also that it will not mix well if I wash my clothes with cold water instead of warm/hot. Can anyone help?

  301. queencharade says:

    My husband and I use this recipe for our laundry. He is a welder, and I work as a CNA and a waitress. We also keep goats, chickens and ducks. To say that we get our clothes dirty is an understatement! We have made two batches so far, and I am just about to begin my third. I write a blog, and would love to link to this recipe in an upcoming post. Just wanted to check in with you before I post! If you would like to check out what my blog is all about you can visit it here:

    Thanks in advance!

  302. Thank you for this recipe. So glad I found your website. I was really interested in trying this, but when I did the math on the detergent I’ve been using, I’m currently at $.057/load (without coupons & without halving the liquid, as I often do, with the same result of clean, fresh-smelling clothes or free & clear version) not much more than $.04/load, considering effort. I’m going to stick with the liquid, for now. But I appreciate the information & effort, all the same. With prices constantly going up, I may have use, for this recipe, in the future. Again, many thanks!

  303. Love this detergent. Made 1st batch and it lasted 6 months. Doubled it next time and it lasted a year for a family of 5, 1 teenager, a 3 year old and an infant. I do use shout for stains but it always washes well and clothes don’t look gross/faded/worn/dingy like I’ve read from other homemade detergents. Also my 3 year old always had dry patches and we were told it was eczema. After switching laundry detergent, she’s never had the dry patches and we’ve been using this before the baby was born and he’s never had the dry skin. So, I would assume it’s from the switch.

  304. Is the mixture supposed to make suds? I used it for the first time today and was worried that I wasn’t using enough. I used the little scoop that the OxyClean bucket provided.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Don’t worry, it is very low on suds! :) You don’t need very much just 1-2 Tablespoons per load and it does its job!

  305. Hi there! I have been making a laundry detergent similar to this for a few months now, but I have a question on yours. Basically the only thing different is that I have not added the Purex Crystals to it…only as I wanted to know if those were okay to use in the detergent slot of an HE washing machine? I have never used them before, but I know with the Downy Unstoppables, you toss them in on the clothes themselves. Do you do the same with the Purex Crystals as well, or do those go in the detergent slot also? Thank you for your time!

  306. I add essential oils to mine each time, depending on the mood.

    Thank you for the recipe! I have completely went to this, and haven’t bought soap in 5 months!

    (Also, our town had just passed that we could get a permit for Chickens!)

    Thank you for all the great information!

  307. How did you make this last 6 months+??????? I might get 2 1/2 out of it! I’ve been using the oxyclean scoop, which is 2 Tbl, as others mentioned. I did leave out the scent crystals… we are a very sensitive family… but that shouldn’t have mattered all that much. Do I need to cut back to 1/2 a scoop? Still that would only give me 4-5 months. Not to mention I like the way the 2 Tbl cleans and smells, not sure I would want to change it! :) I love this, but I can’t justify the cost… HELP!!!!!!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I only use 1 Tablespoon per load and it lasts a long time. Try a couple loads with a smaller amount and see what you think!

  308. joan maglitto says:

    just a little fyi washing soda is just baking soda with less moisture ;-) bake at 400 for about 30 minutes then cool put in a container so it doesn’t absorb moisture out of the air .How ever I just add extra baking soda and forget it problem solved ;-)

  309. I feel like you should include in your recipe the easiest way to “grate” the fels naptha. the first batch I had, burned up my blender. I did a little more research and found that if you cut up the bars into about 8 pieces, microwave for 3 minutes (they get all puffy and crazy looking) on the glass plate, let cool completely….it will then crumble easily….no danger to your small appliances! I microwaved about half a bar at a time to give the bars room to “grow.” way easier than freezing or grating, or any other method I tried and gets the pieces way smaller.

  310. All I want to know is what size of Rubbermaid container would I need to put this all in when it’s done? I tried reading all the previous comments, but I couldn’t find anything :(.

  311. I have been wanting to try this for a long time! I have been yard saling and have a box of borax 25 cents, 4 bars of the soap for 50cents, oxi .25 and downy unstopables free. I am going out to buy the soda’s hopefully at a good price :) can’t wait to figure out the cost per load! thanx so much for the recipe. am very happy that it is a powder! not so messy to make :)

  312. Great price point. We will be using this product soon.

  313. Our family of four is on our second batch (and second year) of this recipe. I do add 1 box of purex color safe bleach to the mix. It only adds another dollar or two to the cost but really helps keep things extra clean and bright. Not only it’s it the best detergent I have used, it’s fun to mix up, and at less than 30$ a year for detergent and fabric softener it can’t be beat.

  314. I found this recipe last year made a batch with my grandmother who along with her husband are retired and on a budget we split the batch and since then i have only had to make it one other time ( still have half a container) We found that for those who are worried about time that if you grind all your soap at once ( store for later batch) it cuts down on time. My extra little secret i will buy a box of dryer sheets when they are cheap and cut the box in half to use instead of a whole sheet. I LOVE this recipe and use it with a homemade fabric softner on my bedding it amazing.

  315. Use of vinegar or baking soda with this is make it more effective or not ??

  316. I’ve used this recipe as well and loved it. I tried this powdered version as well as a liquid version. I’m glad I only made 1/3 of the recipe for the liquid, because I love the powdered detergent and I hadn’t used powdered detergent in well over a decade. With 7 people (5 kids), 4 cats and 2 dogs, this detergent has stood up to a variety of stains. When I made this before, I used the Fels-Naptha, but this time I tried Zote as I found a box of shaved Zote. Using the shaved Zote, making the recipe took no time at all, just dumped out all of the boxes and mixed them all together.

  317. Hi: I have an old top loading wash machine and I wash in cold water to save on the electric bill. I gave up on commercial powders because I always found undissolved powder left in the washer (which not only drives up the cost of any powder formula, commercial or home made, but isn’t cleaning a darn thing if the soap’s still in the washer when it finishes). I’ve been using the homemade liquid/gel because I also found undissolved tidbits of the fels naptha in the machine when I used the powder. I would rather use the powder and wonder if anyone has any suggestions (aside from washing with warm water). Thanks

    • You want the soap bars to be baby powder fine to properly dissolve.

      I have also heard this recipe can be converted to liquid for these issues. Or even better dissolve your powder in a cup of warm water before adding to the machine. You can control the tidbits this way.

  318. I tried this last night for the first time and it worked! I used tide with oxi because I have about 12 tubs of it since I coupon. I used a bar of ivory, 1 cup tide w/ oxi, 1 cup borax and 1/3 cup downy unstoppables. I was hoping you had a smaller version of this so that I could try it out first but a friend found one on Pinterest and we used that one. Im going to try your dish tabs later on today after I run to the store :) thanks again!

  319. Vincent Turano says:

    how toxic is this soap recipe compared to detergents on the market

  320. I have been using this recipe to make laundry detergent for a few years now only difference is I use Zote bar soap.

    This may seem like a lot of work grating (processing) bars of soap and over the years I have figured out easier ways to get it powdery fine. I use to use the microwave trick but it melted the bars into a gooey mess rather than drying them out. I even tried the oven on low but that took hours. So how do I do it? I buy the bars in bulk and let them sit in my cleaning cupboard for 6 months to cure (dry out). At this point it crumbles as you cube it for the food processor. Another more immediate course is to grate the soap and let it sit out for a few days. The soap cures and you can process it to a powder.

    While using free child labor is fun all around I need to mention that all involved with making this soap should be wearing a dust mask. My husband, daughter and myself have allergies and the powder filling the air from all the fine cleaning agents cause a cloud and sneezes are heard for days. But then I make large batches of this at once so a few days of sneezing once every year or so is fine.

  321. i have been using this a for a few years and i put all my stuff in a 5 gallon bucket snap on a lid and shake it up this saves a lot of dust and mess. Then I pour into a smaller contaner

  322. Hi Karrie!
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made it last month and was able to find everything at my local Walmart! It was pretty easy, except I fought with the grater and it won leaving me with to cuts on my thumb!
    Since we air dry some of our laundry I did find that the detergent leaves powdery residue on our clothes. To rectify that issue we turned our shirts and pants inside out and ran the clothes through another rinse. I might try the liquid version once this runs out.

  323. Sheila Criddell says:

    I was so excited back in March to make my own powder detergent…that being said, I’ve been using it ever since, until recently, when my machine went kaput!! The drum was pulled and it was coated in a chocolate milk, sluggy substance. The repairman asked what kind of laundry detergent I was using, I showed him the homemade detergent that I was so proudly using…guess what, it was the fels naptha and the dirt from the laundry coating the entire inside of the machine!! Since I don’t always wash in hot the fels naptha was not dissolving and it was coating the inside of the machine!! My repair bill ended up costing me as much as buying detergent for the year would have!! No savings for me!! That being said, they will have to pry my other homemade cleaners, remedies, etc from my homemaking little fingers!! I love everything that I learn here and I’ll keep trying new ideas!!

  324. I made this in October, and convinced a friend to make it too. It works really well! There are 5 kids from toddler to pre-teen here, and two adults, one with a really dirty, greasy job. The clothes always come out very clean. We used Epsom salt with cinnamon essential oil for fabric softener. Sadly, I have to make another batch next week, because my sister does not believe it could possibly work with one scoop and keeps putting in 3-4! If I can keep her from doing laundry the next batch should last at least 6 months instead of 3.

  325. Forehead slap – so I grated all 10 bars of Ivory soap, how much of the other ingredients should I add?

  326. I apologize if this question has already been asked an answered, I skimmed the responses but didn’t see it.

    Is the OxyClean a must have ingredient? My boyfriend is allergic to it. I’d love to make this and start using it for the savings and the cleaning results, I just wonder if you have to use OxyClean or can you use something else in it’s place?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I have always used oxyclean but some others have tried using Bioclean, Sun Oxygen Cleaner and Borax in place of it. Another reader said that they didn’t use the Oxyclean at all and put in Purex color soft bleach instead and it seemed to be be working well and it was the same measurement as the oxyclean and it was $1.97. Try it out and see if you like it!

  327. Thanks for a great idea. I have some questions about your mathematical analysis however.
    First, how did you arrive at $0.12 per load for the Tide? It cost $17.97, and supposedly contains 102 loads. So I get $17.97/102 ~= $0.18 per load.
    But to keep the comparisons easier, let’s compare based on price per pound, and assume we use the same number of tablespoons per load for each. So this Tide product is 8.9 lbs, so 17.97/8.9 = $2.02 per pound.

    Now, with the prices of the inputs to your recipe, I get a total of $15.51 without the crystals, or about $21.01 with the crystals (assuming the crystals cost $5.50 – midway between the $5-6 you mentioned). For the total weight, I get ~14.5 lbs without the crystals, and ~16.25 lbs with the 28oz of crystals.
    So, without the crystals, I come to 15.51/14.5 = $1.07 per pound.
    With the crystals, I come to 21.01/16.25 = $1.30 per pound

    So with that analysis, your recipe is definitely a money saver over the Tide.

    I went to a Walmart today, and surprisingly they had all these ingredients right next to each other. But, the prices were all higher than what you were able to get.

    I went to Costco and noticed they have a Kirkland Signature Powder detergent – “Super Concentrated” as well. It is 28 lbs for $15.89, or 15.89/28 = $0.57 per pound. The marketing for this product claims you can get up to 200 loads, at a cost of $0.07 per load. This seems to be the most cost-effective approach so far, though not as much fun as making your own.

    Perhaps if you could buy all the ingredients to your recipe in bulk, you could beat this Kirkland efficiency. And only then would you really be reducing, by a slightly significant amount, the packaging waste as opposed to buying a Tide or whatever. (At least this Kirkland stuff comes in a nice rectangular bucket you could definitely re-use).
    Note – I do not work for or represent Costco in any way – I just went there to see if they had the ingredients for this recipe and found their powdered detergent. I was actually kind of bummed by my conclusion here, on some level, because I was looking forward to making my own detergent, but my primary goal is to minimize costs.

    • Since you are comparing the two by weight, does that mean the Cosco kind only takes a tablespoon per load?

      • Hammerdog says:

        For the purposes of my analysis/comparison, I assumed we are using 1 tablespoon per load for both the recipe and the Costco product. I don’t know how much they actually recommend using for each load. But, it says “Super Concentrated” right on the box, I figured a tablespoon of the Costco stuff *ought* to be as potent/effective as the Borax/washing-soda/Oxy-Clean mixture. But I’ll have to double check when I go back to Costco. Obviously the cost-effectiveness of the Costco stuff compared to making your own would decrease if you have to use more of it per load.

  328. Just a reminder that Zote soap is not made in the USA and Fels Naptha is.

  329. Vickie Gillespie says:

    I’ve used Arm and Hammer liquid detergent. To me the stuff isn’t worth buying as nothing is clean when I’m done. It short it doesn’t work in cold water which is about all I use. Also like Tide I’m allergic to it; they make me itch. I love the home made laundry detergent. I don’t use the scent crystals and I don’t use the oxiclean so mine costs even less but it doesn’t last quite as long either as there is less of it. I didn’t do the math so I don’t know my costs. The only product I buy at Walmart is the washing soda. Everything else I get at the dollar store. To me the oxiclean doesn’t make the clothes any cleaner or brighter and the scent crystals just aggravate my COPD and asthma. A cup of white vinegar in the rinse washes away any lingering traces of soap.

  330. So I stumbled on this recipe for laundry detergent back in July 20 1 4 since then I’ve only had to mane two batches. Tomorrow I will be making my 3rd. I have a pretty big house full of people. 3 kids, my husband and my mom. Plus my mil comes over often to do her laundry. That’s a lot of laundry and this recipe doesn’t disappoint. I have also used your dish detergent recipe as well. Again another home run winner! Thanks you so much.

  331. Diane L Junk says:

    If you don’t use homemade castile soap and buy Fels-Naptha….buy it well in advance so you don’t have a relatively “fresh” bar. If you let it sit in the wrapper several months, it grates a lot finer. I used my multi-purpose blender/grater/shredder/beater/mixer/chopper gizmo to grate…if it’s too soft, the soap bar tends to gum it up.

    Next time, I’m gonna try using my homemade soap scraps instead.

  332. Hi, First or all I just want to say I love this recipe, I have been using it for over a year and I really don’t ever want to go back to buying detergent. It smells great and it works. I make a 6 month supply for around $20 and I love it. But now (half way through my 6 month supply) we buy a new HE washer and Ive read all the articles saying that I can still use it in the new washer, but I have noticed that the Fels Naptha does not disintegrate like it should, and I just don’t know if it will start sticking inside the new washer. So I guess I’m asking if I can take the mix I already have and make it into a liquid, then when its gone, I can make a new batch in liquid form. But how do I do that? Any help would be great. I just really don’t want to go buy expensive HE detergent if I don’t have to. Thank you in advance for any advise.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      No, once it has been mixed together as a powder you don’t want to try to put it in liquid form. The processes are so different from the beginning. But on Wednesday I will be showing you my favorite liquid laundry soap. So stay tuned!

  333. I just made this detergent using a combination of 1 bar Fels Naptha and 1 bar Zote (Zote is a larger bar) because that’s what I already had on hand; however, I’ll use all Fels Naptha from now on. As someone else stated, Fels Naptha is amazing for getting out stains, even old, set-in ones. I have a small piece of a Fels Naptha bar that I keep in the laundry room. I just wet it and rub it into the stain. You’ll be shocked how well this works vs. traditional stain removers.

  334. Forgot to mention….. I’ve never used baking soda or OxiClean in my detergent. I made it this time with the baking soda as noted above (excited to see how it freshens the laundry) but not the OxiClean. I’ll just use BioKleen oxygen boost separately for each load.

  335. Congrats for the amazing recipe! I had a similar recipe – using for the last 6 months – that was working very well but I was missing a strong sweet ‘smell’ from my clothes. Today I made my first batch of your recipe with the Purex Crystal and I loved it. I’ll share on my FB page.
    Thanks again and Blessings to you!

  336. Christine says:

    Hi Karrie!

    I love the idea of making my own laundry detergent. As the jury is still out on the potential harmful effects of Borax…and if that particular ingredient were to be left out…do you have a substitution that could be used? Is Borax absolutely necessary?

    Thanks for your time

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I have heard you can use baking soda or vinegar in its place but I have never tried it. Other readers have also mentioned that they add in the borax separately on as-needed basis.

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