How to Make Liquid Laundry Detergent

Nannette Richford

Making your own laundry detergent provides a host of benefits, from the ability to add your own scents to avoiding chemical additives. For many, the real benefit is the feeling of self sufficiency making your own detergent brings, as ingredients are easy to store and require little storage space.

Homemade laundry detergent saves money.

For others, the cost savings alone is worth the effort involved to make their own laundry detergent.

  1. Grate one-third bar of a mild soap with a vegetable grater.

  2. Mix the grated soap with 6 cups of hot water in a large kettle. Place the kettle on the stove and heat on medium heat until the soap dissolves, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda to the mixture. You can find washing soda in the laundry aisle.

  4. Mix in 1/2 cup of borax, also sold in the laundry aisle as a laundry booster.

  5. Stir the mixture with a large spoon until the washing soda and borax dissolve and the mixture thickens. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

  6. Pour 2 qt. of hot water into a 2-gallon bucket or jug. Add the soap mixture and stir well.

  7. Fill the container to within 1 inch of the top with hot water. Stir thoroughly and allow to set over night to thicken.

  8. Fill an old detergent bottle with the mixture and use as you would commercial laundry detergent. Use 1/2 cup of homemade laundry detergent per load.

  9. Tip

    Add several drop of essential oil to the mixture once it has cooled for fragrance, if preferred. Orange of lemon essential oils gives your detergent an uplifting scent, while lavender creates a soft relaxing fragrance suitable for bedding and night clothes.


    Always cover your bucket of homemade detergent to prevent injuries to pets and small children.

    Label your detergent bottles to prevent injuries.

    Washing soda is not the same as baking soda.

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