Making your own laundry soap at home will help you save a lot of money. Plus, you can customize the scent using your favorite essential oils.

Homemade laundry detergent recipe, Cheap Recipe Blog

What if I told you that if by using you own homemade laundry soap at home, you’d be spending just 2 cents per load?

Liz over at Carpé Season Photography was kind enough to share her recipe/fomula for homemade laundry detergent. Thank you, Liz!

Make your own laundry detergent at home for much less

Why Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?

I started making my own laundry detergent a couple of years ago, after reading this cost breakdown.

I’ll sum it up for you: homemade laundry detergent is going to cost you about 2 cents per load as opposed to your standard Tide load, which is going to hit you up for 20 cents per load.

Or, to put it another way…if you did one load of laundry per day, you’d save yourself roughly $65 per year.

Do you also have $$ signs in your eyes, or is it just me?

If you’re not convinced yet, please let me tell you how easy this process is. It literally takes 15 minutes to put a batch together (a batch that will last you 52+ loads) and includes only 5 steps (more specific instructions below):

How to make homemade laundry detergent at home

How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Scroll down for detailed instructions + amounts. But here’s the process, in a nutshell:

1. Grate a bar of soap into curls.

2. Boil water.

3. Add grated soap to water and dissolve.

4. Pour boiled soap mixture, borax, and washing soda in a large bucket and mix.

5. Pour and mix in more water.

Done. And two of the steps include pouring, so does those really even count?

Ingredients to make your own homemade laundry detergent at home

Does It Clean As Good As Store-Bought?

Finally, this stuff works.

My clothes feel and smell clean (without any of the perfumey after effect some detergents have), and they don’t appear to be any more worn down than what I had experienced using store-bought detergent for many years.

I hope I’ve at least convinced you to think about making your own detergent. It really is super easy, effective, and best of all, cheap…which can feel really good as you head into this holiday season and see all of those gift-buying receipts piling up.

Homemade less-toxic dishwasher detergent, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Find out how to make your own homemade, less-toxic dishwasher detergent at home.

This is just one way to save money on laundry: Learn 9+ ways to save money on laundry.

How to make homemade laundry detergent at home

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Yield: Approximately 52 cups/loads
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1. Use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of detergent for a large load; less if your load is smaller.

2. You can either leave your detergent in the bucket and use a measuring cup to scoop it out, OR I’d recommend asking friends for their old store-bought detergent bottles, giving them a good rinse, and then using a funnel to pour your homemade detergent into the used bottles. The used-bottle way is just a little less messy and a little more convenient, but definitely not necessary!


  • 1 bar of soap (I used Dove unscented, but whatever you prefer is fine!)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 4 cups + 3 gallons of water
  • Essential oils, optional


  • Cheese grater
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Long mixing spoon
  • Large 3-gallon+ bucket with lid


  1. Bring 4 c. of water to boiling in a large (preferably covered) pot. Meanwhile, grate your bar of soap into small curls (or cut into tiny pieces with a knife). Once water is at a rapid boil, add your soap curls, and stir until mostly dissolved.
  2. Once dissolved, pour your boiled soap mixture, washing soda, and borax into a large bucket. Add and stir in 3 gallons of water. At this point, you could also add in about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil if using. Cover your bucket and allow to sit for 24 hours.
  3. After 24 hours, stir your detergent. At this point, it’s ready to use. Mine always has the consistency of liquid gel, similar to dishwasher detergent. Additionally, the color may vary a bit depending on the type of bar soap you used.
  4. Use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of detergent for a large load; less if your load is smaller.


Adapted from The Simple Dollar

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