How to Make Low-Sudsing Laundry Detergent

Making your own homemade laundry detergent is a wise way to save money on your household budget.

Bars of soap ground up with other ingredients makes an effective detergent.Bars of soap ground up with other ingredients makes an effective detergent.
Commercial laundry detergents can be expensive, particularly if you have a large family. Although they create lots of suds, the presence of the suds does not have anything to do with the detergent's cleaning ability. You can make large containers of a powdered detergent that works just as effectively in cleaning your laundry.

Place 1/2 cup each of borax and the washing soda into your food processor.

Cut up the bar soap into four or five pieces and drop it into the food processor.

Grind the mixture until the soap bar is in tiny chunks, about the size of a pencil eraser or smaller.

Store the laundry detergent in a plastic container with a lid.

Use 1 tbsp. of the laundry detergent in a regular wash load. For heavily soiled clothing, use 2 tbsp.

Things You Will Need

  • Food processor
  • Measuring cup
  • Sharp knife
  • Bar of soap, such as Ivory, Fels Naptha or Zote
  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Essential oil (optional)


  • Adding the other powders to the food processor before adding the bar soap makes grinding the soap and incorporating it with the other powders easier.
  • You can use a metal grater to grate the soap finely if you do not have a food processor.
  • Washing soda and borax are located on the laundry aisle in discount or grocery stores.
  • You can add a couple of drops of your favorite scent of essential oil, such as orange, lemon or tea tree, if you desire.

About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.