Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Tomorrow is the last day of the giveaway from Homemaid Expressions. Have you signed up?

Thanks to each one who joined in the discussion on using homemade detergent in high efficiency washing machines. I learn so much from you!

I thought I should share the recipe I use for homemade laundry detergent. There is so many recipes on the web. I have tried the cooked recipe and the shredded soap bar recipe in the past. They worked but the recipe I've been using for nearly a year now is the simplest I've found. I keep the ingredients handy, and when I run out, it takes only minutes to dump it together, give it a stir, and we are back laundering clothes.

I've tested this recipe on very dirty muddy clothing this summer. I won't say that it will remove every stain, but it does a better job than many detergents. I figure any soap that can make cloth diapers smell sweet is doing a good job!

For a short while last spring, I used a bought detergents since I was given a box. Immediately, my dish clothes started to stink again. Ed wanted me to throw out the bought stuff and go back to homemade.

All ingredients can be found in the laundry department of larger grocery stores.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 box (55 oz) Arm and Hammer Super washing soda
1/2 cup Mule Team borax
2 cup oxygen cleaner (such as Oxyclean)
1/2 cup Calgon water softening powder

Mix together. Use 1/8 cup per load.


  1. Very interesting- a no soap version! I may try this out:)

  2. Now this one might work with a softening agent! Do your whites look grey at all? I just couldn't stand that with the other recipes I tried. I might need to give this one a try.

  3. Hey there :)

    I am just new here. But I thought I'd take a moment to tell you hi.

    I pray the Lord Jesus will bless you and your family, Gina.
    Yours, Carra

  4. Fascinating. I've never considered making my own detergent, but this is a useful post. thanks!

  5. I might give this a try when my fels recipe is out. I have been using homemade laundry soap for two years now. I find myself adding oxyclean to my homemade most loads. My two youngest are messy little ones! I also use cloth diapers but can't use my homemade recipe on them because of the soap. Hmmm, I might be trying this!!! Seems like such a lot of soda versus borax? I'm not a scientist though, so if it works for your family of 4 children and cloth diapers, that might be all I need to know!

  6. How well do you think it would work without the borax? Me and 2 of my children can not use borax, gives us a rash. And it works on cloth diapers?

  7. Wow, I've never thought of leaving out the soap. I have read a recipe before that called for Calgon water softener. I have not been able to find this in a powder form. I have used something from Purex. I think it is called water softening crystals. It works really well but of course adds to the expense. I will have to give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  8. Some of my friends make it without the borax. Gina- where do you get Calgon water softening powder? I've been making my own laundry soap for sev. years and am fairly satisfied... but do feel like it could get things a little cleaner!

  9. Wow Gina
    This is a different recipe than I have seen before..Have you tried the fels naptha soap version? Do you think it cleans much better.. I still added oxi clean to the wash with the other so..I may switch to save the pain of making the other recipe..How are your whites look?? Please post

  10. I have been very pleased of how my whites look. I use this detergent for everything, including my husband's white shirts. Maybe different water would respond differently to different types of detergent? I don't know.

    I have never tried it without borax, but give it a try and see what you think!

    Wendy - I found the water softening powder at a larger grocery store. You could try it without.


  11. How does the price compare when you add up all the items, compared to the super generic stuff that might be fount at a walmart?

  12. Gina, I too use the grated soap recipe and would like to try this, as I like the cleaning power of the oxiclean addition. One question: if I don't have a problem with soft water could I leave the calgon out or do you think it adds to the cleaning power of the recipe?
    Hugs from Oregon- Jami

  13. Just wondering whether you do your laundry with hot water or with cold? Does it make a difference in the cleaning power of this home made detergent?

  14. Hi Gina, I just got home with all the items to make this. One question - do you use only an eighth of a cup no matter the size or soil of your load? Excited to see the outcome of my first load!

  15. Is that an eigth cup per large load? ~Karen

  16. A few answers to questions:

    I haven't figured out the price. I should. At this point I just know that I like it far better than generic - and maybe even better than the best detergent.

    I'm not sure the purpose in the water softening powder. We have soft water and I still use it since the recipe called for it. But maybe it would work fine without.

    I use warm water except for cloth diapers then I use hot water.

    I use an eight cup for a big load, which seems to be the only size load I do around here! For sheets and towels, I may use a bit less.

    Hope that answers your questions!

  17. I might give this a try too, thanks Gina. We have hard (well) water, I don't know what difference that might make. My daughter in law has problems with her dish cloths smelling too, I'll send this along to her.

  18. 4 Cups - hot tap water

    1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
    1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
    ½ Cup Borax

    - Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

    -Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

    -Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

    -Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

    -Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

    -Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

    -Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

    *Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

  19. I've learned when I use palmolive ultra dishwashing soap that the dish cloths won't stink. No matter what laundry soap I use.

    Thanks for this recipe, Gina. I too have used the cooked kind that you apparently have also, and quickly became disallusioned .

  20. I made your recipe up and gave it to our church families as Christmas gifts....everyone has loved it!!!!

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. Hi Gina,

    Your ingredient included:
    Mule Team borax and Calgon water softening powder. Aren't they the same thing?

    1. I didn't realize they were the same thing. I'll need to read the ingredient list on both of my boxes and see if they are.


I love to hear from you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails