Homemade Detergent

I’ve had people still emailing me about my “homemade detergent” recipe.
I thought id post a new post with the recipe again, for those who missed it years ago πŸ™‚

To start, heres what you need…



1. 1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (comes out to about 2 cups) – use smallest grater side – so its super fine
You can find this in the grocery store laundry aisle.
OR you can use just a natural soap bar of some sort –

I’ve actually never used FELS NAPTHA – Its not sold in our town.

2. 1 c Borax
Comes from the grocery store laundry aisle and some hardware stores.
It cost around $2.00 a box

3. 1 c Washing Soda

I found this at “Harris Teeter” a more upscale grocery store in this area.
They were around $2.50 a box

4. 1/4 c OxyClean (not necessary, but can be added)


I recommend doing all this outside… grating SOAP makes a mess!

Mix it all together into a bumpy, granular mix. Don’t worry about stuff getting correctly dispersed, even if it doesn’t quite look like it does.

Use 1T for a light load

Use 2T for a large or dirty load (It’s true! Only 2 Tablespoons per load!)

This recipe came from HERE.

I’ve used this recipe for almost 2 years now! It works great and I have never had a problem with it.
To those curious where my “scoop” came from.. I got it from an order of home made detergent years ago, but I found the same scoops online for under $5, if you wanted one like it. Then again you can go to the dollar store and get a table spoon scoop for way less πŸ˜‰

Whenever I make my detergent I do a double batch. It fills up the glass jar in the photo at the top of this post. That one jar will last me well over 6 months, if not longer! – and I do A LOT of laundry πŸ™‚

To those curious if it saves money. I believe it does.
Heres what the recipes source website says about the cost savings:

Cost to make your own: Around $2 per batch.
This is about 5.7 cents per load (using 2 tablespoons for each load, you get about 35 loads).
Arm & Hammer laundry detergent is about 12.4 cents per load.
Tide detergent is 30 cents and more per load.

Do the math.. its way cheaper and last way longer.
Its worth the effort.

About dreawood

32 Yr old Mom to 4 boys. Married to a former Cop who now Pastors a Evangelical church in SC. Professional Photographer and random blogger @ www.dreawood.com
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12 Responses to Homemade Detergent

  1. mandy says:

    I use the same detergent and love it. If you have a food processor you can do it all in it. I use mine to grate the soap and then mix all the other ingredients together in it. I would do it outside b/c it kind of makes my kitchen very hazy when I mix it. πŸ™‚

  2. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for posting the recipe again! Do you ever add essential oils to it for scent? Would that work?

  3. Krista says:

    My hubby claims it doesn’t work as well on his clothes, I really need to do a blind test on him. But I think it might actually work better for me (with our hard water) as a liquid… and my friend posted about how to do that with the same recipe.

    • Dreawood says:

      @Krista, I think husbands want more “scented” smelling clothes πŸ™‚ and honestly when my husband runs and has really sweaty clothing, I will use a regular detergent because of that… lets face it, men can stink up clothing a lot quicker than us women πŸ™‚ at least thats my experience LOL

  4. tanya says:

    I am curious if anyone uses this detergent with a front loader. I have always been nervous about trying it. I am one of those people who always looks for little front loader safe signs on the label. Although latley I have been using the all in one purex sheets and they are great. However, I am all for using the home made detergent and saving money if it proves to be okay for front loaders.

  5. Jenn says:

    The liquid version goes even further. If you good The Dugger’s family laundry detergent recipe, you can get both the dry recipe and the liquid. The liquid would probably work well in front loaders, and it definitely goes much further for the money!

    When I do the dry version, I used a food processor instead of grating. It does go much easier and less mess. πŸ™‚

  6. Jenn says:

    I meant to say, if you “google” not good….The Dugger’s family laundry detergent recipe….etc.

  7. Drea, do you use this on your cloth diapers? I’ve been hesitant to make my own because I wasn’t sure how it would do on fluff.

  8. Thank you so much, this was very interesting. I was actually born in Spain ( not telling you what year though!) but was moved around various parts of europe and lastly settled in England when I was a teenager. I dont remember an awful lot of the few years I was in spain, but the delicious smell of spanish food always seems to ring a bell in me or something. It’s weird how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I even found a whole website dedicated to spanish recipes, which gave me great delight and thought I really should to share. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my husband to add your feed to my rss thing…

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